Head Coach: Mike McCarthy
2020 Record: 6-10
What didn’t go wrong for the Cowboys in 2020? Dak Prescott went down early after shredding the NFL for the first month of the season. The O-line was decimated. The D was a nightmare… for the Cowboys, not for other teams. New coach Mike McCarthy… possibly the most overrated coach in NFL history…. forgot he had Ezekiel Elliot in the backfield and just stopped using him. Dallas was literally what Murphy’s Law would look like as a football team.
2021 Draft Picks
1-12 LB Micah Parsons, Penn State
2-44 CB Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky
3-75 DT Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA
3 DE Chauncey Golston, Iowa
3-99 DB Nahshon Wright, Oregon State
4-115 LB Jabril Cox, LSU
4-138 T Josh Ball, Marshall
5-179 WR Simi Fehoko, Stanford
6-192 NT Quinton Bohanna, Kentucky
6-227 DB Israel Mukuamu, South Carolina
7-238 G Matt Farniok, Nebraska
The Cowboys had an outstanding draft; when your D is as pathetic as theirs was, you load up on D in the draft, and that’s what they did with a load of picks. Their first four picks could all crack the starting lineup this year, and a ton of potential after that.
Andy Dalton – QB (to Bears)
Chidobe Awuzie – CB (to Bengals)
Xavier Woods – S (to Vikings)
Cameron Erving – OT (to Panthers)
A new backup will need to be found for Prescott, but none of the other departures will affect much.
Key Pick Ups
Keanu Neal – LB (from Falcons)
A vet who’s familiar with Dan Quinn’s D.
Offensive Coordinator: Kellen Moore
2020 Points Scored: 395 (17th)
Assuming Prescott is healthy, the Cowboys should be locked and loaded for 2021. CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup should help him put up massive numbers, although Gallup needs to cut down on the drops. The line isn’t an emergency room this year. The big question… will McCarthy figure out that Zeke is a the weapon he is?
Defensive Coordinator: Dan Quinn
2020 Points Allowed: 473 (28th)
With Mike Nolan out the door, the Cowboys can get back to the things they do best. Nolan had players in positions they didn’t fit, doing things that were just out of their wheelhouse. This isn’t the most talented unit in the NFL… it’s not even in the top half of their division in that department. But he’ll have his players doing what they’re best at. With this O, they don’t need to be great… they just need to be decent, and create turnovers.
Greg Zuerlein was all but automatic inside 40, though he did miss 3 PATs. Tony Pollard is a solid return guy, and the coverage units were much better under John Fassel. They need to settle on a punter; the punting game was lackluster at best. But for the first time in ages, special teams might be a strength for the Cowboys.
If Things Go Well
If McCarthy can stay out of his own way, this might be the best offense in the NFL. Like 5,000 yard QB, multiple 1,000 yard receivers, 1,200-1,500 yard RB, lead the league in scoring good. The D holds up it’s end of the deal, and the Cowboys are legit Super Bowl contenders again.
If They Don’t
He does no such thing, gets too cute, and the season turns into a series of blunders and mistakes. The “Boys will still be fun to watch, but they don’t even sniff the playoffs.
The “If they don’t” is far more likely. There will be shootouts, but the D just isn’t championship caliber. They’ll score a ton of points and might break some yardage records, but it’s become clear this is an organization that needs a leader on the sideline… and they don’t have it in 2021.
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