Cowboys have new coach and a motivated Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are trying to make a run in the deep NFC behind Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy after missing the postseason a year ago. 

Best-case scenario

The motto of the Dallas Cowboys and their fanbase every season is Super Bowl or bust. That’s regardless of the record from the previous year. With a new head coach in Mike McCarthy, a revamped coaching staff, and an offseason training program stunted by a worldwide pandemic, championship goals seem more overly optimistic than ever.

Instead, a deep playoff run would be the best-case scenario in 2020. This was an 8-8 team last season under former head coach Jason Garrett. During Garrett’s near decade long run, the Cowboys failed to make it past the divisional round of the playoffs. Doing so under McCarthy this season would be considered a success.

Worst-case scenario

As former Cowboys’ head coach Bill Parcells used to say, “‘you are what your record says you are.” That might be the greatest fear of every Dallas fan. Coming off a .500 season, the Cowboys being anything worse than an 8-8 team this year would be a worst-case scenario. Although, there will be plenty of excuses to pull from if it happens.

From the hiring of a new head coach, massive coaching staff changes, zero preseason games, and a virtual offseason training program; Mike McCarthy will get more than one season to prove he’s the right man for the job in Dallas.

But posting anything other than a winning record will be disappointing.

Biggest offseason move

Unquestionably the most impactful offseason move was the hiring of McCarthy as head coach. Under Garrett, the Cowboys finished with an 8-8 record four times since 2011, including last year. Dallas has had only three postseason berths and two playoff victories over the past decade,

McCarthy brings hope to take America’s Team to new heights. After all, during his 13-year run with the Green Bay Packers, McCarthy took his team to the postseason nine times, registering a total of 10 playoff victories, and a Super Bowl title in 2010.

Draft pick who makes the big impact

CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys selected the Oklahoma wideout with their first-round pick, giving Dallas the best trio of starting receivers in the NFL. Adding another weapon to an offense that led the league in yardage last season is borderline unfair.

Lamb has made it a daily habit during training camp to make jaw-dropping catches. And with opposing defenses having their hands full with the likes of Pro Bowlers in wideout Amari Cooper and running back Ezekiel Elliott, expect Lamb to see plenty of favorable coverages and to make an early bid for Rookie of the Year.

Overall expectations

While the Cowboys will have many obstacles to overcome, they also possess one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. And now, they have a proven winner and former Super Bowl champion head coach at the helm.

Under McCarthy, expect the Cowboys to improve on their 8-8 record from last season, landing somewhere near 10-6. The Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles should once again battle it out for the divisional title, with their Week 16 matchup in AT&T Stadium likely being the deciding matchup.

Regardless, both the Cowboys and the Eagles are talented enough to earn postseason berths this season. While Philadelphia will likely see an edge early due to their overall team consistency, Dallas should build chemistry during McCarthy’s first year with the stacked team reaching its peak sometime in December.

That might just be enough to propel America’s Team into the NFC Championship Game.