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GAITHER

WHAT ARE THE COWBOYS DOING?

Replacing 10 offensive starters (and their coordinator) while bracing for the county's toughest schedule. Six opponents made the playoffs in 2008.

Networking

What they're saying about the Cowboys

Coach Mark Kantor "Our main thing is just being able to not make mistakes and keep growing and working."

Coach Mark Kantor "Sometimes young's good. You don't get in bad habits."

Chamberlain coach Joe Severino "They're in a similar situation to us. They've lost a lot of players at Gaither, too ... kids getting recruited or leaving or whatever."

DB Jamal Allen "I feel like we're going to be good because we're going into the season as an underdog and we like that. I think we're going to surprise a lot of people."

Friday Night Rewind Not even Tom Landry - arguably the greatest Cowboy ever - could overcome Gaither's district (Plant, Alonso, Chamberlain) and personnel losses.

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Additional characters

A few Cowboys we'll be following on Fridays

DB Jamal Allen Fleet veteran has offers from The Citadel, James Madison and UMass.

LT Demetrius Best The offense's lone returning starter is 6-foot-4, 285 pounds.

LB Josh Scarberry Slightly undersized (190 pounds) workhorse is top returning tackler.

DB Nate Ellis-Williams Averaged nearly seven tackles a game as a freshman in 2008.

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Tweet and sour

Why the Cowboys will make the playoffs

WillWinIf

The veteran defense (six returning starters) carries the offense, and Kantor discovers a Jarvis Giles clone in his pool of running backs.

Why the Cowboys may not make the playoffs

WillLoseIf

In part, because their top returning tackler, rusher and receiver transferred.

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Coach: Mark Kantor (eighth season, 38-39)

Last season: 4-7

Class: 5A, District 5

Colors: Navy, silver, gray and white

Stadium: Cowboy Stadium, 16200 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa

Playoff history: 1985, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008

Last appearance: Lost 54-6 to Chamberlain

Up next:FREEDOM

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