We made it, fellow Dallas Cowboys fans!! After an offseason for the ages, filled with more real-world news and events than one in recent memory, the NFL season is now upon us. This time next week, we will have seen live-action of the newest Dallas Cowboys, and the return of some familiar faces. To win Mike McCarthy’s coaching debut with the team, Dallas will need to be prepared for an under-the-radar Rams team.
Dallas Cowboys Offensive Firepower:
Following this past weekend’s roster cutdown, the 2020 Dallas Cowboys are for the most part finalized. The team boasts one of the premier offensive lineups in the game. First round draft pick Ceedee Lamb joins
1,000 yard receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in a stacked passing arsenal. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is surely pleased, as he once again enters a “contract year”, following the team assigning the franchise tag to the QB. Prescott will look to take his team to the next step, while also earning a lucrative contract.
The news isn’t all rosy on offense, though. All-Pro Travis Frederick retired following the 2019 season, leaving a void at the pivot of the offensive line. Joe Looney looks set to be the starter in place of the FredBeard.
The o-line took another hit this weekend, with La’el Collins being moved to Injured Reserve. The new rules regarding IR designations in 2020 means Collins can return in as soon as three weeks. The team will look to get by with Super Bowl champion Cam Erving manning the right tackle position.
Front Seven Reclamations/Returns:
Defensively, the team received good news this weekend, with the reinstatement of Randy Gregory. The much maligned pass rusher will miss the first six games of the season, but his scheduled return will be welcomed. Another reclamation project, Aldon Smith, will make his Cowboys debut this week.
He is teaming up with free agent addition Dontari Poe and Tyrone Crawford to bring some much needed aid for Demarcus Lawrence. The defense will look much different under defensive coordinator Mike Nolan. Following years of a “bend but not break” philosophy, expect this year’s Cowboys defense to play faster and more aggressive to set up scoring opportunities for the offense.
Joining offensive tackle La’el Collins on IR to start the year is veteran linebacker Sean Lee. Lee’s absence may hurt, but the team is still getting the return of Leighton Vanderbilts Esch. The 3rd year linebacker, who battled injuries last season, returns to the lineup playing a new position as the middle linebacker of the defense.
The wolf hunter boasts top notch talent, and his return with Jaylon Smith in the lineup brings an aggressive edge to the defensive lineup. Dallas looks ready for a rebound performance by the front seven.
Defensive Backfield Versatility:
In the secondary, a former Raven may be joining the lineup as veteran leadership. Many would have guessed Earl Thomas if you asked them a week ago. However, it is Brandon Carr who will add some mentorship and leadership for the young defense.
Carr begins the year on the practice squad. But, look for him being called up to the active game day roster. Many Cowboys fans remember Carr from his time as a prized free agent cornerback for the team.
However, the veteran figures to see time at safety, a position that looks like the weakest on the team. To beat the Rams passing offense led by Jared Goff, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Tyler Higbee, the Cowboys will need all the help they can get in the secondary.
Fortunately, the team didn’t stand by at cornerback following Pro Bowler Byron Jones’ departure as a free agent. The cornerback depth chart sees rookie Trevon Diggs joining the lineup. His addition will be one to watch for fans looking for an X-factor in the lineup. Chido Awuzie, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis and Darly Worley provide a lot of options for Secondary coach Al Harris to deploy on game day.
Looking Ahead to LA:
Against the Rams, Dallas will want to start fast, allowing the defensive additions time to acclimate. With the offensive line in flux, the team should look to get the ball out quick to its playmakers in the passing game.
Mike McCarthy’s team is ready to break years of disappointing seasons in the metroplex. With expectations higher than ever, the team needs to remain focused and ready to adjust to whatever the rest of this strange year brings.
With a pandemic being thrown into the mix, Dallas faces a tough script to their storybook 60th season. To have a Hollywood ending this season, the team will need to begin fast with a win in Los Angeles.
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