ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL: What it will take for your 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys to reach Super Bowl XLIX

ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - Glendale AZ

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t been to the Super Bowl in 18 years. The NFL’s parity driven league allows most franchises to feel like they’re close to the mountain top. After three consecutive .500 seasons, what would it take for the Cowboys to make it to next year’s Super Bowl? Photo: Tom Fox/DMN


Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee prepares to catch the ball during afternoon practice at Dallas Cowboys training camp - The Boys Are Back blog 2013

1.) Stay healthy. Injuries to Sean Lee, Anthony Spencer, DeMarcus Ware, and Tyrone Crawford greatly reduced the level of talent on the Dallas Cowboys defense. If Dallas can avoid those significant injuries, the defense should be an improved unit in its second year in the Texas-2 scheme.


ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - Dallas Cowboys NFL Draft war room

2.) Draft well. With little salary cap space, the NFL Draft will be the best way for the Dallas Cowboys to improve their roster. Gain a quality pass rusher and a playmaking safety this year and the defense should bounce back. Photo: Vernon Bryant/DMN


ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - Dallas Cowboys coaching staff changes

3.) Smooth coaching transition. The new job titles held by Rod Marinelli and Monte Kiffin shouldn’t be a significant adjustment, but how Scott Linehan, Bill Callahan, and Jason Garrett operate on offense will be interesting to watch. If all three work well together, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys offense could be in for a big year. Photo: Vernon Bryant/DMN


ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray

4.) Run more often. Callahan didn’t run the ball enough last season and Linehan has a history of calling a pass-heavy offense. The Dallas Cowboys need to average more rushing attempts per game. Photo: G.J. McCarthy/DMN


ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - Dallas Cowboys defense must improve

5.) Improve defensively. The Dallas Cowboys finished last in the league, allowing 415.3 yards per game. This group needs to get back to being a Top 15 unit. A second-year in the 4-3 scheme should help. Photo: Louis DeLuca/DMN


ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - Dallas Cowboys TE Gavin Escobar

6.) Improve depth. One of the Dallas Cowboys biggest problems has been a lack of roster depth. To be a contender in 2014-2015, Dallas needs major contributions from players like Gavin Escobar (pictured), B.W. Webb, J.J. Wilcox, and Kyle Wilber. The Cowboys also need to add a few key reserves in the middle rounds of the draft. Photo: Vernon Bryant/DMN


ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - All NFL teams hope for a little luck

7.) A little luck. Every team needs a few breaks. A few fortunate bounces could be the difference between going 8-8 and 10-6. Photo: Tom Fox/DMN


dallas cowboys cb morris claiborne scores on a 50 yard fumble recovery vs philadelphia eagles - the boys are back blog

8.) Fit the Players. Bruce Carter, Morris Claiborne, and Brandon Carr struggled at times transitioning into Monte Kiffin’s scheme. Dallas Cowboys defensive coaches need to modify the scheme to make sure these players bounce back and succeed.


ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - Dallas Cowboys coaching must continue to improve

9.) Coaching improvement. Jason Garrett continues to improve as the Dallas Cowboys head coach. With the recent restructuring, 2014-2015 needs to be the year that all of his experiences pay off. Photo: G.J. McCarthy/DMN


ROAD TO THE 2015 SUPER BOWL - What the 2014-2015 Dallas Cowboys need to reach Super Bowl XLIX - Dallas Cowboys distractions and drama

10.) Minimize distractions/drama. Josh Brent (pictured during his trial), Jeremiah Jay Ratliff, and a younger Dez Bryant have all had off the field issues over the past few years. It’s easier to perform well on the field when there aren’t any distractions off of it. Photo: Ron Baselice/DMN

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