As minicamp closes and the new season is now officially underway, the Cowboys will begin their quest to compete to play in Super Bowl 53. Coming off a disappointing 2017-18 season, the Cowboys have many reasons to hang their head low. Notably, with the departure of Orlando Scandrick, fan favorite Dez Bryant and future Hall of Famer Jason Witten, the Cowboys will certainly look different. It’s going to take a village to replace that kind of production. It also doesn’t help that head coach Jason Garrett has been, for a lack of better words…average. In his 7 seasons as head coach, his regular season record stands at 116-92 and playoff record at 1-2. Making the playoffs twice in 7 seasons isn’t good enough. Many thought it was time for a change, but loyal Jerry Jones decided to keep Garrett at least for another, hopefully, playoff winning year. Perhaps the biggest sting has been enduring through all the Eagles Super Bowl festivities. We’ll let them enjoy it for now. It certainly took them long enough.
As new challenges arise and new faces earn the star, I believe that the future is brighter than ever and this past year can be put to bed.
Here are five reasons the Cowboys will be hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy this season.
Let’s start with the obvious. We could write article after article about him (don’t worry, we will) but for now, let’s cut to the chase. Zeke has already proven to be a top 5 NFL back in his first two seasons. He has virtually no drop off from year one to year two despite the fact of being suspended 6 games last season. Looking to this year, I don’t see anyway, barring injury or suspension that he doesn’t get 2,000 yards. We’ve also have seen that his ability to catch in the backfield proves to be a great weapon for Dak Prescott. With his talent and experience, Zeke will have a chance to run behind the best O-Line in the NFL and be the NFL’s leading rusher. The Cowboys plan on running the offense through him so there will be no shortage of Elliot plays. You’re probably thinking, “That stat doesn’t matter. That stat doesn’t translate to winning a Super Bowl. It’s only happened four times in the modern Super Bowl era.” You’re right. Most award-winning stats rarely translate and there’s no guarantee of him even winning the award but, his stats are trending that way. Also, three out of those four times someone won both the leading rusher title and the super bowl it was Cowboys very own Emmitt Smith. He led the NFL in rushing yards in 1992, ’93 and ’95 (Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII, and XXX). Maybe it’s time for another Cowboy to break the mold. He certainly is motivated to do so. Motivation and leadership will be key for the Cowboys this year.
Obviously, to win in the NFL, you need to be able to stop the opposing team’s quarterback. With the tough schedule the Cowboys have, they will need a huge season from Lawrence especially with all the suspensions plaguing the Cowboys.
He is going to need to be the difference in 2-3 games for the Cowboys to make the playoffs. What that means is, he needs to make some big plays in some big games. He’s going to have to top his previous season. Thankfully, the Cowboys are stacked this year on the defensive line. Even after loving Irving to another four-game suspension. “Tank” had 14.5 sacks last year which if he repeats that, he will be in for an even bigger payday than his franchise tag. He’s hungry, thankful to be in Dallas and has something to prove. He motivated. He’s hungry. Let him eat!
Chidobe had a great year last year. When he was healthy and on the field, he surrendered just 7.0 yards per reception and just 0.69 yards per cover snap, both of which were the lowest rates ever recorded by a rookie corner. That’s great. With the defensive weapons the Cowboys have in Charlton, Lawrence, and Crawford (and maybe even Earl Thomas) Chidobe will have a group that will help take pressure from him. This will help the second-year corner tremendously. The best pass defenses always have a strong D-Line which the Cowboys have. Also, Chidobe missed a lot of time last year. He motivated to stay healthy and be one of the top corners in the league. He will have to have a huge year if the Cowboys want to make it anywhere, and if this defense clicks, he will.
The New Dallas Outlaws… Receivers
Man, this team looks different. There are a lot of new faces and most of them are new receivers. If you look at one of the biggest trends in the NFL, receiver/running back by committee, it certainly looks like that’s what Dak Prescott is going to work with. With Zeke being such a threat in the short game and screen game. The Cowboys can also line up a plethora of good receivers who can beat you anywhere on the field. Let’s look at the notable depth:
- Allen Hurns 198 career receptions
- Terrence Williams 230 career receptions (4 game suspension)
- Cole Beasley 254 career receptions
- Tavon Austin 194 career receptions
- Deonte Thompson 77 career receptions
- Noah Brown 4 career receptions
While these stats don’t blow you away necessarily, the idea of putting all these weapons on the field (with Zeke) make you must be accountable for each guy. Also, the new rookie looking to make a splash, Michael Gallup, could very well turn a lot of heads as well. He had 176 receptions going over 2,000 yards in two seasons at Colorado State. His size strength and God given ability makes him an intriguing prospect. Who knows, maybe he can be the surprise of the NFL this year. Having all the veteran presence will help him which will pay dividends for the Cowboys. Dak having more targets is huge. His strengths didn’t match up with Dez’s style of play so I believe this will be much more helpful for the Cowboys QB. Let’s hope they can come in with the attitude to prove something. The trend in the Super Bowl winners has been to not have a true number one receiver. Dallas wants to follow the trend.
“The beauty in having such a young and unheralded stable of pass catchers is that you just never know who’s going to be the guy that seizes the moment on any given day. It can quite literally be any one at any time. Which seems to be the whole point of this new “spread the ball” campaign the Cowboys are implementing. There’s a lot of uncertainty at the moment but it’s not always a negative thing. Sometimes the unknown breeds incredible opportunities, just ask former Cowboy Miles Austin. If it’s worked before, it most definitely can work in their favor again. – Dak Prescott
We can argue about how much of a slump Dak had last year or we can give some context to what he was playing with. A slower Jason Witten, a running back who wasn’t there for 6 games, an offensive line that was depleted and demolished mainly due to injuries. He also didn’t have the greatest play calling either and still busted out 22 touchdowns, 3,324 passing yards with an 86.6 completion percentage. However, the main argument for Dak having the season he had isn’t about stats. It was about some things somewhat out of his control. They would’ve easily made the playoffs if they had Zeke for a full season. If Dak had made the playoffs, people wouldn’t be so worried about his performance or his future. A lot of his 13 interceptions were him just trying too hard to make a play. There were also about 3-4 tipped balls. He IS the most accurate tight window passer in the NFL so we can expect that to continue especially with his new receiving corps. Digging a bit deeper, the main reason Dez is gone is that he hindered Dak from being the true team leader. Not that Dez was a huge distraction and disliked, but he was, at times, a bit too much of a personality. With the departure of Dez, this is the year Dak takes his leadership of the team into a new stratosphere. He’s going to have to.
“We’re going to be an exciting team this year,” Prescott said on Showtime. “A lot of new faces. I think you’re going to find we have a lot of new guys on this team, within this organization, that can make plays. We plan on surprising a lot of people.” – Dak Prescott.
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