Will the Dallas Cowboys return to the playoffs?
By: Jeremy Trottier
The Cowboys had a pretty rough year last year with Dak Prescott getting injured, ending up with a 6-10 record and finishing third in the NFC East (tied for 2nd). With that said, their woes were not solely on the back of the loss of Dak, as their secondary was lacking the whole year and really did not improve at any point. After Dak’s massive extension this offseason to lock him in place with Dallas for four more years, his performance will likely be on the minds of all NFL fans.
In this article, I will be going over whether or not the Cowboys will make the playoffs this year, as well as what factors can contribute to them making it or not.
The Return of Dak
To start where we left off, the whole Dak Prescott situation. After a gruesome end to his 2020 campaign with an ankle injury that many such as myself do not want to re-witness, Dak has been working out to get back into NFL form. With that said, we really have absolutely no idea what we will be looking at with his return. After such a horrid injury to his lower half, his mobility may be diminished at least slightly which could hamper his capabilities.
Despite that, even if he were to just sit in the pocket, their offensive line has some great protection for Dak. As long as he is able to move around a bit still and hurl the ball downfield, his production will likely not take a huge hit. The hope for Cowboys fans however would likely be to see him revert to full form without hinderance, I just do not think it is feasible to say that will happen as of yet.
I mean this is probably the most impressive stats coming out of the offseason for Dallas. They had eleven draft picks total to use in 2021, they came out of the draft with eight defensive players and only three offensive players. That shows some true commitment by the front office to fix the unit that was their Achilles heel all season.
One of the most prominent holes they needed to fill was cornerback, which they did fill with Kelvin Joseph, who could definitely find himself in a CB2 role with some development. With Trevon Diggs getting another year of development as well, he could look to improve into the CB1 role with a leap. They also brought in two more CBs, in Nahshon Wright and Israel Mukuamu, who should look to fill any depth needs at the position.
The Cowboys also addressed the front seven, bringing in:
- LB Micah Parsons
- DL Osa Odighizuwa
- EDGE Chauncey Golston
- LB Jabril Cox
- DL Quinton Bohanna
Overall, these improvements should at the very least bring Dallas to the middle of the pack in defense, if not higher up.
With the Cowboys biggest issue fixed to an extent that should hold, and the return of a potentially (depending on injury healing) elite quarterback, the Cowboys should definitely be aiming for at the very least a wild card appearance. In best case scenario they could find themselves in a deep playoff run, but that remains to be seen with all the question marks developing.