The Dallas Cowboys’ postseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers is still embedded in fans heads but with some major improvements, this upcoming season could look a little different from last.
The Dallas Cowboys are America’s favorite team. The team with the most die-hard fans who believe every season is their season. They truly believe they are going to go all the way. But sadly, each season they are met with disappointment. The Cowboys can’t seem to make it past the first round. Their post-season drought is no secret. But as hard as it may be to believe, this upcoming season could be the season they go all the way.
What needs work?
The Cowboys traded Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick and let Cedrick Wilson sign with the Miami Dolphins in free agency. The loss of these two clears up some financial responsibilities for the Cowboys and opens the door for emerging star CeeDee Lamb, but it leaves the offense vulnerable.
Their offense has been a problem for some time now, not because of lack thereof, but due to being predictable in the second half of the season.
Despite their predictability, the cowboys were solid offensively in the 2021 season. They led the league in total offense with 407 yards per game and total points 31.2. The regular season does not seem to be a problem for the Cowboys, but making it out of the first round of the playoffs is. Cowboys Vice President, Stephen Jones, echoed these sentiments as per USA Today.
"“Offensively, we have to be more efficient,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We had a top-ranked offense. Just to be more efficient in the big games and the postseason.”"
In the second half of the 2021 season, Prescott seemed to be out of sync with his receivers. In the post-season loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Prescott only completed 53.5 percent of his passes. Even though the loss of this game is not all on Prescott’s shoulders, a team only goes as far as their leader takes them and in the Cowboys’ case, they need Prescott to be better.
The good news is the Cowboys know this already and has plans for Prescott to work on his throwing.
"“My wish would be for him to get as much time throwing with our receivers as he can in the offseason,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said this week here in Palm Beach at the NFL owners meetings. “I would like, when we get to the first game, for him to have had more time in the offseason with our receivers.”"
Prescott’s primary target this upcoming season now that Cooper and Wilson are gone, most likely will be CeeDee Lamb, the pair combined for 1,102-yards, 79 catches, and six touchdowns in the 2021 season. The extra practice in the offseason should boost their chemistry and prove to be beneficial when the season starts.
The Dallas Cowboys’ defense is still good.
The Cowboys’ defense was ranked seventh last season, thanks to Defensive Coordinator, Dan Quinn, who agreed to stay in Dallas for the upcoming season. However, this upcoming season may look a little different, due to the loss of Randy Gregory. Losing Gregory creates a hole at the defensive end, but this position can be filled in the upcoming draft.
Trevon Diggs, who led the league with11 interceptions, Demarcus Lawrence, Jayron Kearse who is the Cowboys’ leading tackler and defensive end, and Dorance Armstrong are all returning next season. The Cowboys keeping their core defense and still having Defensive Rookie of the Year, Micah Parsons, who had a total of 84 tackles and 11 sacks allows the team to continue their defensive dominance from the previous season which led to an NFC East title.
The NFL schedule could work out in the Dallas Cowboys favor
The NFL schedule was released and according to Sharp Football Analysis, Dallas has the sixth easiest schedule, based on last season’s winning percentages. They are set to face the Washington Commanders Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants twice.
The Cowboys rank seventh in ESPN’s Power Ranking. While they are not the favorite to win the Super Bowl, they are certainly in contention.