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MY (EARLY) DALLAS COWBOYS OUTLOOK FOR 2018


Yes, there need to be some changes. 9-7 wasn’t too bad, but it could’ve been so much better. It was a disappointing year, but all is not lost. Here is what I think needs to be repaired on the Cowboys to help get them to a Super Bowl next year:

1. The offense needs to be over-hauled, adjusted, changed, etc. to help Dak Prescott be successful. If it means a new offensive coordinator, then so be it. The offense was TOO predictable last year, with very few deep passes, too many runs off tackle or up the middle, and not enough players involved. The playbook needs to be updated and refreshed, and the big play needs to be brought back into the offense.

2. Dez and Witten. Dez probably has got to go. Dez is not a number-one receiver anymore, he really had a miserable year, and he just does not fit the offense as it is right now. Witten should be splitting time with other TEs, or coming off the bench. Witten is only good for short passes with no YAC whatsoever, and this offense needs a TE who can not only catch passes, but who has speed and can run after the catch.

3. Offensive line depth needs to be addressed. Chaz Green & Byron Bell were hot trash last year in place of Tyron Smith. The drop-off was totally ridiculous, and it impacted the offense probably more than the loss of E. Elliot. We need some backups who can come in and do the job in a competent manner, not help tear the offense totally down.

4. In fact, the Cowboys need to address depth all across the board, both offense and defense- Other teams can lose players, and you wouldn’t know it, because they keep winning. The Cowboys lose a starter and it’s like a total collapse. The Cowboys need to start developing their depth a lot better and giving these guys some quality practice time. If they’re good, then great; if they’re not, then get somebody in there who is.

5. The defense looked pretty good half of the time, maybe a little more than that, but the other times they looked positively shoddy. I still think a change is needed into a more aggressive style of play. Sitting back and letting the play come to you (bend but don’t break) is a good way for the Rodgers, Brees, and Rivers of the world to carve you up like a turkey- When the Cowboys played aggressive with their pass rush, linebackers, and secondary, it made a huge difference. Being aggressive is what brings about takeways, and the Cowboys have been severely lacking for years in generating interceptions and forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. Even though the offense was terrible this past season (compared to what it could have and should have been), the defense can be mostly or solely blamed for at least two (Packers and Rams) of the Cowboys’ seven losses.

6. Speaking of the secondary, the Cowboys should cut some the deadwood pieces and replace them. Scandrick should be released or made to retire. Byron Jones should be cut because he is either just not a good player or just doesn’t fit the Cowboys’ scheme. Heath shows up every now and then, but he should not be a starter. Anthony Brown regressed big-time, but he should be given one more year. If he fails, then he should go. The Cowboys need to draft some players with some ball skills who can force some turnovers no matter what. They are close, but also far.

7. Get David Irving healthy. Resign Demarcus Lawrence. Get another run-stopping DT. The defensive line will be set then.

8. Draft a LB or WR first. Sean Lee has health issues. Hitchens is good, but can the Cowboys keep him? Jaylon Smith is coming along nicely. The rest of the LBs are mediocre. Find a WR with speed, good hands, and a passion to be the best. Someone you can count on on every play. (Dez has lost it, I’m sorry to say.)

9. To help Dak Prescott bounce back from an average year (let’s be honest- he wasn’t totally bad or good), the Cowboys should incorporate Brice Butler, Beasley, Switzer, Jeff Swaim, Rico Gathers, and E. Elliot more in the passing game. Dez is done, T. Williams is too inconsistent, and Witten is slow and can’t break tackles anymore. Create routes which get people open. Run picks if you have to, more passes up the seam, more deep passes, and more slants. Be creative. But more than anything, give the guys I listed above more playing time. They deserve it.

10. I don’t think the Cowboys should get rid of Garrett, but the playbooks need updating and changing, and Garrett should become more hands-on, more aggressive, and more willing to make changes and adjustments when things aren’t working/going right. If we need new offensive and defensive coordinators, then I’m all for it- but if we’re going to keep them, then they need to make some major changes to their schemes.

I hope 2018 is the Cowboys’ year, because if it isn’t, then the offseason of 2019 is going to be very, very ugly. Have a great summer, everybody! And Go Saints!

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