Higher, worse or the identical? For Dallas Cowboys’ offense, well being is the important thing – NFL Nation

Better, worse or the same? For Dallas Cowboys' offense, health is the key - NFL Nation

FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys had been among the many greatest disappointments within the NFL in 2020, ending with a 6-10 file in coach Mike McCarthy’s first season.

Pin the outcomes on the coronavirus pandemic, poor in-game choices by the teaching employees, a porous protection or accidents to quarterback Dak Prescott and offensive linemen Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, amongst others.

Because the Cowboys look to 2021, there’s a elementary query that must be requested: Are they higher, worse or the identical?

Here’s a position-by-position have a look at the Cowboys’ offense for 2021:


Additions: None

Losses: Andy Dalton

Returners: Prescott, Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, Ben DiNucci

Higher, worse or the identical? Worse, and it has nothing to do with Prescott’s return from a critical proper ankle damage. It has all the pieces to do with the unproven backups.

A 12 months in the past the Cowboys had Dalton, along with his lengthy observe file in Cincinnati, as Prescott’s No. 2. Dalton is now with the Chicago Bears, and Gilbert, Rush and DiNucci have mixed for 2 profession begins (one every for Gilbert and DiNucci final season). The Cowboys met with free brokers Jeff Driskel and Brett Hundley, however they seem able to go along with Gilbert because the No. 2 for now.

It is a danger, nevertheless it’s a danger they’ve taken prior to now. Actually, if Prescott goes down once more for any size of time, the season is not going to be what the Cowboys hope for whatever the backup.

Working again

Additions: Brenden Knox, JaQuan Hardy, Nick Ralston

Losses: Jamize Olawale

Returners: Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Rico Dowdle, Sewo Olonilua

Higher, worse or the identical? The identical, however with an asterisk.

Elliott is coming off a down season with 979 yards and 6 fumbles. Was it a pronounced drop-off for Elliott, or a product of accidents on the offensive line or the lack of Prescott? We’ll discover out when the common season begins.

Pollard confirmed he could be greater than a change-of-pace again, however his workload shouldn’t be anticipated to extend that dramatically. The Cowboys have but to point out they’ll work out the best way to get him sufficient work to maximise his abilities, whereas additionally making Elliott the lead again. Pollard’s explosiveness must be an even bigger a part of the passing sport in 2021.

Extensive receiver

Additions: Simi Fehoko, Johnnie Dixon, Osirus Mitchell, T.J. Vasher, Brandon Smith, Brennan Eagles, Reggie Davis

Returners: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson, Noah Brown, Malik Turner, Aaron Parker

Higher, worse or the identical? Higher, though the highest 5 receivers from a 12 months in the past are the identical. Why? Lamb’s numbers with Prescott would have been terrific, and a receiver typically makes the largest leap in Yr 2.

Cooper had a profession excessive in catches (92) whereas working with 4 completely different quarterbacks. His touchdowns dropped (from eight in 2019 to 5) however the passing sport muddled alongside for spell after Prescott went down. Gallup, who’s in a contract 12 months, is a big-play menace. Wilson had a 100-yard sport with Prescott. Brown is a serviceable receiver, blocker and particular teamer.

Tight finish

Additions: Jeremy Sprinkle, Nick Eubanks, Artayvious Lynn

Losses: Blake Bell

Returners: Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz, Sean McKeon

Higher, worse or the identical? Let’s go along with higher, even with Jarwin getting back from a torn ACL in final 12 months’s season opener.

He was speculated to have the breakout season. As a substitute, it was Schultz, who took over for Jarwin after catching simply 13 passes in his first two seasons. He completed with 63 catches for 615 yards and 4 touchdowns final season.

Considerably like determining the best way to get Pollard extra concerned, coordinator Kellen Moore must work out the best way to make the two-tight-end look productive when there’s a lot personnel to select from on offense. That is drawback to have and why he has been given a considerable elevate to remain after he opted out of the Boise State teaching search.

Offensive line

Additions: Ty Nsekhe, Josh Ball, Matt Farniok, Braylon Jones

Losses: Cameron Erving, Joe Looney, Greg Senat, Jordan Mills, Marcus Henry

Returners: Tyron Smith, Connor Williams, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin, Collins, Connor McGovern, Terence Steele, Brandon Knight, Eric Smith, Mitch Hyatt, Isaac Alarcon

Higher, worse or the identical: It is the identical with an opportunity to be higher, relying on the return to well being of Tyron Smith, Collins and Martin.

Smith performed in two video games due to neck surgical procedure final season. The left deal with has not performed a full season since 2015, however the Cowboys’ hope is the surgical procedure will repair what had been a recurring drawback. Collins didn’t play in any respect in 2020 due to hip surgical procedure. Martin missed six video games final season due to a concussion and a calf damage.

If they’re proper, then the Cowboys must be proper. If not, then the hope is the gamers who gained expertise a 12 months in the past — McGovern, Steele and Knight — aren’t as inexperienced and might play higher.

Biadasz, a middle, carried out decently in his 4 begins earlier than a hamstring damage halted his growth. He wants to point out he can deal with a 16-game season and make the mandatory checks on the line. Having Smith, Martin and Collins ought to assist him with that.

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