The accolades for the Cowboys offensive personnel continue to roll in this offseason. We’ve seen rankings that have players like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper rated as Top-10 material at their respective positions. The Cowboys also have one of the better offensive lines in football, even with the retirement of Travis Frederick. The growth of Michael Gallup, the addition of CeeDee Lamb, and the expected unshackling of Blake Jarwin has people downright giddy. #Team40Burger indeed.
As you might have guessed, there is another ranking that spotlights the talent on the Cowboys offense. This one comes from Bill Barnwell at ESPN. Barnwell endeavored to rank all 32 team’s collection of offensive weapons. This ranking includes the running backs, wide receivers and tight ends but doesn’t include the impact of the quarterback or offensive line, or the scheme the team operates under. It also has a few other parameters like contract value is irrelevant and the rankings are only for the 2020 season, so long-term value isn’t part of the equation. Also, wide receivers count more than running backs or tight ends, and top-level talent is more important than depth.
Given all that, you know that the Cowboys rank high, but just how high?
How do you go from 30th to third over the course of two seasons? Invest. The Cowboys traded a first-round pick for Amari Cooper, and while the move was widely panned at the time, he ranks fifth in receiving yards and is tied for a league-high 14 receiving touchdowns since he joined up with Dak Prescott & Co in 2018. Michael Gallup was a third-round pick awaiting his pro debut at the start of 2018, but he has emerged as a star after an 1,107-yard campaign. The only third-round pick to produce more yards in his second season as a pro is Mike Wallace, with Gallup coming in ahead of guys such as T.Y. Hilton, Kenny Golladay and Terrell Owens. Dallas just added to the fold Oklahoma dynamo CeeDee Lamb, who would profile as the No. 1 wideout for a handful of teams right now. He is Dallas’ No. 3.
Jerry Jones’ team also has Ezekiel Elliott, who has led the league in rushing yards per game in three of his first four NFL seasons. The only reason the Cowboys are third is the prospects of their tight end group, for which Blake Jarwin will assume a larger role after Jason Witten left for Las Vegas. Jarwin was productive in a small sample last season, ranking eighth in the league in yards per route run and 11th in yards per target. There’s no way he is going to see significant volume with the other four guys in this offense ahead of him, but if Jarwin can maintain that sort of efficiency, Dallas won’t have any weaknesses.
A few things stand out from that write up. One is the stat on Michael Gallup. Who knew that his production from 2019 puts him in some very rare company? Also, the idea that CeeDee Lamb would be a number one receiver on many teams, but is only number three in Dallas, just reinforces what a steal that was in the draft. Finally, Blake Jarwin is the missing link. If he can perform like he has in small samples so far, the Cowboys offense will be a beast.
The Cowboys offensive weapons rank behind the Cleveland Browns (second) and the Kansas City Chiefs (first). The Browns weapons raking higher than the Cowboys is questionable. Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry are a powerful one-two punch, but they don’t have a third receiver like CeeDee Lamb. Nick Chubb/Kareem Hunt versus Ezekiel Elliott/Tony Pollard is not a significant difference. You could make the case for the Cowboys personnel over the Browns.
As for our NFC East friends - Washington comes in dead last at 32nd, Philadelphia is tenth and New York is seventh.