We are still a few weeks away from the 2020 NFL season reaching its full conclusion, but the reality is that a vast majority of teams are already looking towards the future while a lucky couple are preparing for two important games.
The Cowboys are among the former group and had one foot in back in October when Dak Prescott was hurt. This team’s greatest chances since that fateful day have always been in 2021 as opposed to 2020, and as many have said in the last few weeks there is a lot to take care of within the walls at The Star in Frisco if they want to do legitimate damage come next January.
The thing about the NFL though is that while you can make all of the preparations that you want, a lot of other things are happening as well. Obviously (incoming coach cliché) you can only control what you can control, but the uncontrollable has a level of merit to it as well.
We thought it would be worth examining the “uncontrollables” that have happened so far this season and deciding which ones mean the most to the Cowboys. Let’s begin.
Nick Sirianni being hired as the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles
Who the head coaches in the division that the Cowboys play in are obviously of serious importance. Only one NFC East team changed coaches this offseason and it was the squad that has largely been Dallas’ primary competition for a home playoff game.
Sirianni doesn’t have an incredibly long résumé to this point in his career, but he did grow under Frank Reich and it was Reich who was the offensive coordinator in Philadelphia during their Super Bowl season three years ago.
More than anything, the Sirianni hire seems like an all-in move by the organization towards quarterback Carson Wentz (plus his hiring means that they did not hire Kellen Moore!) which is about the best possible news that we as Cowboys fans could hope to hear. Time will tell how great he ends up being, but initial reviews are not great.
Drew Brees’ just about official retirement from the NFL
While nothing is technically official on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the heavy speculation is that he will retire from the NFL after one of the more decorated careers in league history.
Brees’ record against the Cowboys isn’t exactly one that shows utter domination (he has gone 5-3 against Dallas with New Orleans), but he has commanded one of the best offenses (at times) in the conference that the Cowboys play in.
What’s more is that the Cowboys visit the Superdome next year. While Brees clearly wasn’t the prime version of himself this season or in recent ones, the reality is that head coach Sean Payton is going to have to make some sort of serious adjustment at the most important position in the game. That is pretty impactful for the conference as a whole, either in a good or bad way for the Cowboys depending on who the next quarterback in New Orleans is.
Philip Rivers’ actual retirement from the NFL
While we all await Drew Brees’ final decision, the man who succeeded him with the San Diego Chargers has already made things official. Philip Rivers announced his retirement from the NFL this past Wednesday.
Interestingly, the Cowboys never defeated a Philip Rivers-led team (they were 0-3 against him), but his retirement will have a ripple effect on the entire league through the NFL Draft process more than anything.
For the second time in 17 months the Indianapolis Colts saw their starting quarterback retire which means they would probably like to find some sort of stability at the position. Indy holds the 21st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but they are one of what is appearing to be a long list of teams who are in the market for a quarterback.
This idea could work well for a team positioned where the Cowboys are in the draft, something our own Tom Ryle recently expanded on. What happens in the offseason truly remains to be seen but the number of teams looking for a quarterback could be larger than ever in recent memory which would serve Dallas well to potentially trade out of their pick.