The Cowboys have a ton of talent on offense, but do they have the best offensive roster in the league?
In addition to Elliott and Tony Pollard in the backfield, a three-headed monster of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb is nothing short of a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators. While Cooper and Gallup both topped 1,000 yards last year, the latter was considered by some the best receiver in the 2020 draft before slipping to Dallas at pick No. 17. Even Blake Jarwin is a serviceable tight end.
Their offensive line remains elite, as it can still lay claim to arguably the best left tackle and right guard in football in Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, respectively. Their coaching is top-notch, as Kellen Moore is one of the hottest young coordinators in football helping Dallas average 431 yards per game last year in his first season on the job.
The quarterback making everything run smoothly is Dak Prescott. While the daily discourse of how good he truly is and how much money he deserves can be nauseating, what can’t be argued is the fact that he almost threw for 5,000 yards last year while tossing 30 touchdowns, establishing himself as one of the league’s top 10 quarterbacks.
Tyron Smith is a future Hall of Famer, but fell to pick 9 in the 2011 draft. In Bleacher Report’s re-draft, the Cowboys again get lucky.
9. Dallas Cowboys: OT Tyron Smith, USC
What actually happened: Drafted OT Tyron Smith
Where he was actually picked: Ninth overall by the Cowboys
The Cowboys likely (and rightly) view themselves as a Super Bowl contender, and Smith is a big puzzle piece. Landing him again in this spot would be a great scenario for them.
Smith and Jason Kelce are the only offensive linemen from this class with multiple first-team All-Pro nods, but the USC product has made seven Pro Bowls (compared to three for Kelce).
They could roll with Green, but they have a trio of good receivers. They could go with Dalton, but he’s Dak Prescott’s backup now anyway. And plenty of accomplished pass-rushers are available, but none are good enough for Dallas to sacrifice its left tackle when it already has Tank Lawrence on the roster.
Zeke has proven to be one of the best backs in the league since entering the NFL.
Across the last 10 seasons, eight runners have brought home the award. Adrian Pederson and Ezekiel Elliott were the two who doubled, with Elliott bringing home the award in two of the last four seasons. Shockingly, Elliott led the league in both total rushing attempts and total rushing yards in both 2016, his rookie year, and 2018, while failing to play in all 16 games in both seasons.
Elliott’s record-winning years being in his rookie contract is a fairly important note. Five of the last six seasons have seen the rushing yards leader come from a rookie contract player, with Adrian Peterson’s 2015 season the lone outlier. Peterson beat out runner-up Doug Martin by only 83 yards—Martin was, at the time, on the final year of his rookie deal.
Evaluating four possible reasons the Cowboys front office didn’t extend Dak Prescott - DannyPhantom, BTB
What are some reasons that the Cowboys did not sign Dak Prescott to an extension prior to the franchise tag deadline?
The Cowboys are preparing for the financial fallout of 2021
We are all privy to the possible salary cap consequences of the current COVID-19 situation. Revenue lost from not having fans in the stands is going to be significant and it will ultimately impact the salary cap in some form or another. Maybe it won’t result in a huge cap reduction like what has been brought up before, but even if the loss is spread out a bit, it’s going to create some financial problems. Look at the top 10 cap hits for next season (courtesy of spotrac)
This is going to be an issue for several teams. In fact, there are three teams in a world of hurt as they are already considerably over the cap next season, and they all have a high-priced quarterback on the books.
Eight of those top ten cap hits are on teams in the bottom half of cap space next season. The Cowboys would join them had Prescott’s first-year cap savings taken effect this year. However, should the Cowboys be able to get Dak signed next offseason, the team’s first-year cap break comes at a very opportune time.
Granted, money can always be freed up with restructures, and there’s carryover, so this is all a bookkeeping technicality, but is it possible the Cowboys front office has the foresight to set them up for success later?
Some teams are inevitably going to have to scramble. And it could be a huge road block for teams to go out and get the players they need to be competitive (I’m looking at you, Philadelphia Eagles). The Cowboys may be able to sidestep some of these huge financial sacrifices if they can position their money correctly. For Dallas, it’s just about making good investments, and it doesn’t necessary reside on buying stock at the precise moment before it rises. There is still plenty of room for that Dak stock to climb.
Eventually, we’ll learn the real reasoning for the Cowboys hesitation to get a deal done, but for now, we’re going to put a pin in this theory as maybe there’s something to it.
Dak appears to be excited for what the future holds for he and Zeke.
After a stellar 2019 that saw him finish top five in QBR and surpass 30 passing touchdowns for the first time in his career, there’s zero reason to doubt that he’ll build off of that breakout season.
Prescott heads into 2020 with 64 regular season and three playoff starts under his belt. He’ll lead one of the best collections
Dak Prescott’s not afraid to bet on himself. He’s done it two years in a row and will do it again in 2020. Dak Prescott carries a well balanced amount of self-belief and humility. Prescott is a resilient player who grinds to get better. His work ethic brings the best out of him and his teammates. His toughness inspires.
With the franchise tag in place for the 2020 season, the attention of the Cowboys, Prescott, and the fans turn to the training camp and the regular season. With a new head coach upgraded weapons on offense and a more aggressive offensive and defensive personality, the Cowboys look poised to be a contender in the NFC this season.
Dak to Indy? It is a possibility if the Cowboys don’t sign their franchise QB.
What’s equally important is the fact Indy is expected to have over $45 million come off the books in quarterback salary alone — Rivers carries a $25 million cap hit this year, while Brissett accounts for a $21.375 gut punch — which rank first and third on the team, respectively.
Want another neat nugget? At 6/1, the Colts are the early betting favorites to sign the former Mississippi State star in 2021.
Make no mistake about it, the Colts will have more than enough financial flexibility to meet Prescott’s demands. Even with Rivers’ and Brissett’s contracts on the books, they currently rank sixth in the NFL with a grand total of $23.387 million in cap space.
A lot of things have to fall in Indianapolis’ favor, and there’s still the future of 2020 fourth-round round pick Jacob Eason to consider, but you have to think that the Colts will be in the thick of the Prescott sweepstakes next offseason.
Interesting article on how the Niners can take advantage of the Cowboys’, Eagles’, and Saints’ spending.
It just so happens that some of the teams most likely to be trapped between a rock and a hard place are the ones currently seen as the most likely to unseat the 49ers from atop the conference.
The Dallas Cowboys’ series of head-scratching contract decisions seems certain to put them in a precarious financial situation as it relates to the 2021 salary cap. But if you think the Cowboys are in a rough spot, just wait until you see the forecast for the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.
Dallas appears to have been shortsighted in its negotiations with quarterback Dak Prescott, whose desired long-term contract likely only will be more expensive next offseason than had the team addressed it before Wednesday’s franchise tag deadline. Regardless, we can assume that the Cowboys currently have around $210 million in cap liabilities for the 2021 season, according to Over The Cap.
The Cowboys will carry over about $10 million in space into next season, so if the cap remains flat, they’re currently rubbing right up against it. The Saints and Eagles, however, are way over the line, as both teams clearly were banking on what was an anticipated rise.
Thankfully that this never came to fruition.
Larry Fitzgerald to Philadelphia Eagles
During the same 2008 offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles discussed adding Arizona Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald.
As Fitzgerald told Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com (h/t Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk), the trade would have included first- and third-round selections going to Arizona in exchange for the wideout. Fitzgerald’s impending contract extension ended the talks.
Philly probably wishes it could redo those conversations.
The franchises met in that season’s NFC Championship Game; Fitz had nine catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns in the Cardinals’ win. They’d fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl, but Philly suffered its fourth NFC Championship Game loss of the decade.
Fitzgerald has since climbed to No. 2 in career receiving yards.
With training camp set to begin shortly for many teams, players spoke out about their questions regarding safety.
A stream of NFL stars, including New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and Seattle signal-caller Russell Wilson, took to Twitter Sunday to express concern over scant NFL health protocols for looming training camps.
Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman were also among those tweeting, all ending their messages with the hashtag #WeWantToPlay.
Following that call, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy tweeted out a statement from the league saying the NFL “will continue to implement the health and safety protocols developed jointly with the NFLPA, and based on the advice of leading medical experts, including review by the CDC.
“We will address additional issues in a cooperative way,” the statement said.
This is a significant week for the NFL. We discuss why on the latest episode of The Ocho.
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