I hate the Dallas Cowboys.
I always have, and I always will. But to ignore the division rival is not a good idea because this team could make quite a bit of noise this season. Then again, Jason Witten came out of retirement to join the roster this season, causing me to die of laughter when I saw the news. Anyway, here is my breakdown of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys were able to pull off a strong second half of their season last year thanks to the midseason acquisition of Amari Cooper from Oakland. Cooper helped propel the Cowboys to the top of the NFC East as the team won seven of their last eight regular season games, securing the fourth seed in the playoffs.
The Cowboys went on to defeat Seattle on wild-card weekend before falling to the Rams in the divisional round. However, the Cowboys have retained most of their key pieces heading into this season. If they can replicate the momentum they experienced during those last eight games, than watch out for the Cowboys to make a deeper playoff run.
The team may not be perfectly well-rounded, but they do have some elite talent (not including Dak Prescott). Ezekiel Elliot is a top five rusher in the league with a well-crafted offensive line to help showcase his eliteness. Amari Cooper is a solid #1 receiver who perfectly fills the void left by Dez Bryant at the position.
The defense also has some stellar pieces too. DeMarcus Lawrence is one of the premier defensive ends in the league, drawing comparisons to former Cowboy DeMarcus Ware. The team also has a solid linebacker core containing key pieces in rising sensation Leighton Vander Esch, veteran Sean Lee, and a great tackler in Jaylon Smith. In addition, Pro Bowler Byron Jones and veteran Jeff Heath continue to lead the charge in their defensive secondary.
The Cowboys offensive line was hit with injuries over the course of last season, giving up 50 sacks and lowering their performance quality. Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and Travis Frederick are the core of the line. Smith and Martin both missed some time while Frederick missed all of last season. With the trio coming back looking healthier and stronger for this season, look for the Cowboys offense to experience much success.
The only positive that came from his decision to rejoin the roster this season is that we no longer have to hear him on Monday Night Football. The guy is 37 and he just took an entire season off from playing football. Although he may provide veteran leadership in the locker room, I cannot see him being a major help for the team on the field. The decision to come out of retirement is certainly questionable.
Having players with elite talent also means you have to pay them. DeMarcus Lawrence was given a massive extension of $105 million over the next 5 years. Jaylon Smith and La’el Collins were both paid their lump sums as well. After a battle with the front office that could’ve turned out a whole lot worse, Ezekiel Elliot got his massive paycheck that will keep him tied to the team until 2026. Dak Prescott was reportedly offered a $30 million deal which he turned down as he wants $40 million, which is completely absurd.
Prescott should realize that given the Cowboys salary cap situation, he might not get what he wants. Star receiver Amari Cooper is going to want an extension as he is a free agent after this upcoming season is over. I am sure the front office didn’t trade for him for a first round pick just to watch him walk two seasons later.
A massive chunk of their money is going into the offense and not their defense. Players like Maliek Collins or Byron Jones are solid pieces that help the defense out. They both have expiring contracts after this season and they’ll want to get paid as well.
The team obviously cannot pay all of these players the money they want, so it will be interesting to see the decisions they make down the line and see how it will play out for Jerry & Company.
I hope it blows up in their face.
Jason Garrett is entering the last season of his contract with no extension offered to him yet. Jerry Jones has made it clear that the team is trying to contend. If Garrett can’t bring a title or at least a playoff run this season, it is likely that he is not going to be apart of the Cowboy’s staff after this season is over. Having the head coach in the hot seat before games have been played is a massive distraction for the team. I’d like them to just promote Kellen Moore again to become the head coach so that they really commit to sucking.
The End Result:
Should the NFC be scared of the Dallas Cowboys? Coming from a hater, no. Coming from a fan of the NFL, maybe. I think that there are some more talented rosters in the NFC that could stomp on a team like Dallas come playoff time, but there could be some surprises if this roster comes to play together fluidly. Or Aaron Rodgers could snuff out their season in the playoffs to restore balance and bring happiness to all fans outside of the Dallas area.