It’s all about the offense for the Cowboys. Sure, they are also working to strengthen their defense. They decided that beefing up the interior defensive line would be good idea. They signed veteran Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to help out on the back end at safety. They brought in Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator to spice up the defense and create a different mindset. All of that is good.
But for the Cowboys, this team will go as far as their offense takes them. And it’s quite an offense. Last year, the Cowboys led the league in total yards, yards per play and were in the Top 10 of almost every important offensive category. Consistency was part of their problem. An offense of that caliber shouldn’t have three clunker games in a season where they only score 10, nine, and nine points like the 2019 Cowboys did.
While Cowboys fans recognize that the offense is their calling card, and that, at times, it can perform at elite levels, does the rest of the NFL fanbase agree? Bleacher Report polled their community to find out which skill position groups were the best in each division, then they ranked those groups one through eight.
As one might expect, the Cowboys were the pick for the NFC East.
This was one of the more obvious calls. Had any team but the Dallas Cowboys been the pick as the NFC East’s best assemblage of skill-position talent, it would have been a massive upset.
That the Cowboys couldn’t get to the postseason last year despite all this firepower goes a long way toward explaining why former head coach Jason Garrett is in New York.
Of course, the number one position for any skill position review of an offense starts with the quarterback.
At quarterback, Dak Prescott is coming off a career season. His 4,902 passing yards trailed only Jameis Winston, his 30 touchdown passes ranked fourth in the NFL, and his passer rating of 99.7 slotted inside the top 10.
That was year one in the new Kellen Moore offense. Now, with quarterback guru Mike McCarthy in town, and another huge weapon at receiver in CeeDee Lamb, Prescott could be in line for another career year.
Then there is the running back position. The Cowboys certainly have the firepower there, even though it’s likely costing them too much when using analytics to break down a roster.
In the backfield, the Cowboys boast arguably the NFL’s best back over the last four years in Ezekiel Elliott. In a “down” 2019 campaign, he piled up 1,357 yards on the ground (fourth in the league), scored 12 touchdowns, averaged 4.5 yards per carry and caught 54 passes. Elliott has paced the league in rushing twice in four seasons.
Then comes the really good stuff. The Cowboys trio of receivers, when you throw in CeeDee Lamb, has the potential to be the best in the league. It’s an embarrassment of riches.
The wide receiver corps in Dallas is as deep as any in football.
Amari Cooper may have vanished at times last year, but when the dust settled on the 2019 campaign, he had still tallied 79 catches for a team-leading 1,189 yards. And he wasn’t the only wideout in Dallas who topped 1,100 yards.
Michael Gallup emerged as an excellent pass-catcher in his own right during his second season. Plus, the Cowboys added yet another dangerous downfield weapon in the 2020 draft, selecting Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb in Round 1.
The final position is tight end. Here is where the Cowboys lack a defining player or group.
That Dallas lacks an established receiving option at tight end barely registers here given all those weapons.
What will really be interesting is to re-visit this at the end of the year. Blake Jarwin certainly has the potential to turn some heads. We have seen what he can do in the limited sample of catches he’s received over the past few years. Can he replicate that on the regular? We should get the answer to that in 2020.
Overall, the Cowboys skill positions on offense were slotted as the third best in the NFL. The top teams were the Kansas City Chiefs (#1) and the New Orleans Saints (#2). That’s fair, it’s hard to argue against that. After the 2020 season, though, we’ll have to see if this still holds true.
Do you buy these rankings BTB? Where would you place the Cowboys skill potion group overall?