2019 was undoubtedly a cruel season for Dallas Cowboys fans. The team was supposed to be a true contender with a stacked roster. Coming off a loss in the divisional round the previous year, this was the season they were supposed to up their game and make some real noise. That didn’t exactly happen. The Cowboys stumbled and bumbled their way to an 8-8 record and a seat on the sidelines when the playoffs rolled around. It cost head coach Jason Garrett his job and we are now entering the Mike McCarthy Era.
Will it be any better?
According to some pundits, the answer is yes. ESPN has an article answering some of the biggest offseason questions heading into the 2020 season. The Cowboys come up as an answer to a couple of questions, including the big one.
Fist, we’ll start with a playoffs question.
Which team that didn’t make the playoffs in 2019 will make it in 2020?
Jeremy Fowler, national NFL writer: Cowboys. Dallas should have been a playoff team in 2019 but clumsily lost at least three games it shouldn’t have. The Cowboys will likely lose a few key pieces in free agency, but an underachieving defense should be better, and Kellen Moore in Year 2 as a playcaller will strike the right balance with Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Mina Kimes, senior NFL writer: Cowboys. Prescott was terrific for most of the season, but the team fell apart (on both sides of the ball) down the stretch. A new coaching staff should revitalize a talented roster, which underachieved despite putting up a plus-113 point differential.
Fair enough. The Cowboys are actually a pretty popular answer to the question about a non-playoff 2019 team that will make the tournament in 2020. The reasons are varied but some of them are hit upon above. Mike McCarthy replacing Jason Garrett. A talented roster that under achieved. The amazing (in a bad way) stat about being plus 113 in point differential and going 8-8. That stat is so difficult to achieve that we should give them some type of award for bungling things that badly.
There are plenty of reasons to believe the Cowboys can bounce back in 2020 and make the playoffs, including a still weak NFC East. But how how about doing more than that? How about making it all the way to a Super Bowl?
Well, at least one pundit buys that.
What’s your way-too-early Super Bowl LV pick?
Matt Bowen, NFL analyst: Chiefs over Cowboys. With the expectation that Dallas re-signs both quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper and upgrades the defensive secondary, the talent is there to make a run in coach Mike McCarthy’s first season. But give me Kansas City as the early favorite to win the title. That offense is dangerous with Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes, and the Chiefs’ defense will continue to develop under Steve Spagnuolo’s aggressive approach.
It’s one thing to win a bad NFC East and make the playoffs. It’s a whole other thing to run the NFC gauntlet in the playoffs and pop out the other side in the Super Bowl. That’s a whole other level of optimism.