Before we share various shots and thoughts on the Dallas Cowboys, we need to talk a bit about sports coverage and social media discussions. People act as if they to know things that are really just their opinion. Everyone is Nostradamus football who has seen the future. Some of them are just controversial to get attention, a particularly serious sin. This is to be noted that this article is all about opinion and best guesses. It may be completely wrong.
We discussed the idea for this article in more detail on the latest episode of Ryled Up on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Be sure to subscribe to our network wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as we get closer and closer to training camp.
This might be the Cowboys version of doing it all
Unless this is your first read on the team, you know that
Scrooge Stephen Jones has $22.5 million of cap space to play in, but has decidedly done nothing with it outside of a few very, very marginal free agent signings. It drives us crazy as we look at a list that has places that could really benefit from a boost. It begs the question of why Dallas can’t go all out to win the way teams like the Los Angeles Rams did so successfully last season.
After so many years of doing the exact same thing and getting pretty much the same disappointing results, an unpleasant thought pops up. Maybe that is Jones’ idea to go all-in. Remember Jones was very clear about loving his own players. For him, re-signing players from last year is at least as valuable as getting talent from outside the squad. The Cowboys brought back eleven of their own players and made an unfortunately unsuccessful attempt to retain Randy Gregory. It was, at least by Jones’ standards, a big offer. They made a pretty lucrative deal with Michael Gallup. They tagged Dalton Schultz as a franchise, and while we’re complaining about not just getting a new multi-year contract for him, it’s still a good amount of money even if they fail to settle something before the deadline, which is today. Some of these contracts can also represent very good value for money. Jayron Kearse is the best of the lot, but Dorance Armstrong, Bryan Anger and Malik Hooker were also more valuable than many realize.
It certainly seems like Jones thinks it’s the right way, and he’s doing everything he thinks he can to build that roster. He’s always seen the draft as the biggest tool to build this team, and when they hit players like Micah Parsons, it’s understandable. It is difficult for us to live. We may have to.
Dak will silence the critics this season
My friend and colleague here at BTB put it very well.
I don’t think the Dak apologist realized how much not trusting his own body affected his game and ultimately the team’s success last year. Blame someone else, they say.
I also don’t think Dak’s skeptics realize how good he’s become when he’s healthy.
This year is the big reveal!
—Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) July 13, 2022
We’ve become rather jaded about football players recovering from devastating injuries. Perhaps many don’t remember the days when a ruptured ACL could be the end of a career, but now these are routinely overcome with the state of medicine. Prescott’s ankle was destroyed in 2020, and it’s completely understandable that he has lingering doubts about his own recovery. The calf strain he suffered against the New England Patriots only made matters worse. Now he’s had a full offseason without any setbacks, and those doubts are greatly diminished, if not eliminated. He certainly still had the arm talent as he threw for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns last year, with just 10 interceptions. People talk a lot about defensive rotation margin, but they forget how much ball protection matters.
Prescott should be at or near the top of his game. That means it should be fun to watch.
Flashbacks to “wide receiver by committee”
CeeDee Lamb is well positioned to have a stellar year as WR1. But the rest of the wide reception room is a collection of unrealized potential and past players.
It’s perhaps a bridge too far to compare this to the unworkable situation in 2018 that led to the 2019 No. 1 pick being traded for Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup should be a big help once he comes back from injury. But until then, the team may struggle to find help for Lamb. There are high hopes for third-round pick Jalen Tolbert. Color me skeptical that he will be ready to come in and perform well from the start. Besides him, the Cowboys have Noah Brown, Simi Fehoko, James Washington and a bunch of current and former UDFAs. Maybe the numbers are in their favor and someone will burst. Still, this seems like a place where Jones could have wisely invested some of that big pile of ceiling space. Cross your fingers here.
Let’s go after the ferryman
Dan laid out the logic of optimism about Prescott above. With the rush of passes, we are perhaps on more fragile bases. Still, that could be a real strength of the team.
DeMarcus Lawrence is vastly underrated for what he does. As mentioned above, Armstrong may be more valuable than many realize. Rookie Sam Williams, under the tutelage of Dan Quinn and Aden Durde, could be exciting. Chauncey Golston may be about to take a big step forward this year. Tarell Basham is quality depth and could be a candidate to start early in the year. Dante Fowler could eliminate the strange man, but seems like good insurance. And there’s the incomparable Parsons, who managed to be one of the best sack artists in the league by doing it part-time.
Dallas did a good, if not spectacular, job after quarterbacking last year. Remember, it’s not just about sacks, it’s about preventing the quarterback from completing passes by putting pressure on him and making him nervous. The Cowboys have been pretty good there, giving up only the third-lowest completion percentage by opposing QBs last season. With a little help from high school, they’ll probably be even better even without Gregory.
These are opinions, of course. There is no implied claim that they are better than others. We will soon discover their accuracy.