Every year it seems the Dallas Cowboys are projected to have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. Yet, the end-of-year results never meet those expectations. Are we overrating their talent level?
Mason: An argument can definitely be made for that. I believe this team still has a great amount of talent to be able to compete with any team, but their level of production this season is not showing that. Constant mistakes like costly turnovers on promising drives or, like we saw Sunday, not being able to make open-field tackles and consistently get takeaways on defense have plagued the Cowboys all season. While I think it’s more of a production and efficiency issue rather than just talent, I can’t blame anyone for believing that their talent level has been overrated. That being said, there is still a lot of time left in the season for them to correct those mistakes, but with how difficult the upcoming schedule is that will be much easier said than done.
Juwan: I believe this is an argument that could have been made in the first half of Garrett’s tenure. Now? No. This team is simply not executing on gamedays. And a lot of that begins with coaching. However, we do fall victim to overestimating the depth of this team oftentimes. But this team has enough talent to compete with any team in the league. Contrarily, they’re also inconsistent enough to lose to anyone as well.
If Jason Garrett were to be fired at the end of this season is there someone currently on this coaching staff capable of filling his position?
Mason: Once again, firing Jason Garrett has become a popular topic amongst the Cowboys’ fan base after the questionable end to what looked to be a game-winning drive against the Vikings. If they were to get what they want and Jason Garrett is fired, it does leave an interesting topic for who can take his place. The name that immediately pops into everybody’s mind is DB coach Kris Richard, who was in talks to become the head coach of the Miami Dolphins last January. Now with the way the defense has looked so far this season, it would be understandable for fans to have their doubts about him taking the top spot. However, there is no denying the passion, leadership, and intensity he brings to the team, which may be exactly what is needed for the Cowboys. We all know that right now Garrett isn’t going anywhere, but if I were to choose someone off this staff to replace him it would be Kris Richard.
Juwan: No. I know the obvious choice here for most is Kris Richard, but I can’t overlook how disappointing his unit has been this year. Similar to Sean McVay in LA, I’m positive Garrett (being an offensive-minded coach) allows Richard and Rod Marinelli to handle most, if not all, defensive duties. If we’re going to fire an offensive-minded head coach who, statistically, has the best offense in the league than it makes little sense to replace him with someone whose side of the ball has been lackluster.
Has Dak Prescott done enough to warrant becoming the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL?
Mason: Dak Prescott is having a career year through the first nine games of the season, which couldn’t come at a better time for him with talks of a contract extension still in the works. Even with the season, he is having, I don’t believe the argument about making him the highest-paid QB in the league has been dispelled. The Cowboys are sitting at 5-4 on the season. While that isn’t entirely on him, when you look at the games against the Saints and Packers earlier in the season, he did not perform amazingly in what ended up being winnable games. When I think of the highest-paid quarterbacks, I think of guys like Russell Wilson and Aaron Rogers who are having MVP level seasons with both having their respective teams sitting at 8-2, and I just don’t think Dak is there right now. The season he is having puts me more at ease if they were to pay him, but to me, it just isn’t worth making him the highest-paid QB in the league just yet.
Juwan: No. Dak needs premium help around him in order for him to perform at an optimum level. From the start, I’ve strongly opposed having a top-five paid quarterback, running back, wide receiver and offensive line all counting against the salary cap. However, speaking from Prescott’s perspective, he has been the best offensive player on the team this season. And if DeMarcus Lawrence warranted a top-three rusher contract, there’s no question Prescott should be aiming to be highest-paid heading into next season.
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