The flurry of free agency is over. That’s not to say free agency is over, in fact that really never stops as NFL teams build their rosters year-round. But the big rush of big-name players moving around the league has come to a close. In that spirit, ESPN decided to a do a “post free agency” power ranking.
This is their second power ranking for this offseason following up on their way-too-early rankings that dropped sometime after the Super Bowl. The next big event that will somewhat shake up the perception of teams around the league will be the draft which is about a month away.
So how do the Cowboys do in the rankings? It’s a good news, bad news type of deal. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Dallas doesn’t even rank in the top half of the league.
18. Dallas Cowboys
Way-too-early ranking: 19
Best offseason move: Adding Dan Quinn
Really, it’s Dak Prescott signing a four-year, $160 million deal, but we knew Prescott would be back in some form in 2021. Given how the Cowboys have operated in free agency so far, especially on defense, it is clear they are putting their biggest reason for improvement on Quinn. He will be installing a defense similar to what the Cowboys ran from 2014-19 with the hopes that it allows key players such as DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to bounce back and the newcomers in free agency (Keanu Neal, Brent Urban, Damontae Kazee) and the draft to play fast without overthinking. — Todd Archer
As usual, the Cowboys are slow-playing free agency, besides their big splash of signing Dak Prescott to a long-term deal. Since Prescott was going to be with the team regardless (franchise tag), the effects of that signing have been somewhat muted.
Thus, ESPN chose the signing of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn as the team’s biggest move this offseason. It’s not a ridiculous thought once you exclude the Prescott deal. The Cowboys defense was a disaster last year and going back to a familiar scheme from a coach that has a lot of respect around the league should be a step in the right direction. The team has added a handful of outside additions, some to bolster that defense, but none to rival the impact of Quinn taking over.
We promised some good news at the outset of this power rankings review. Here it is - even though Dallas is ranked 18th in the league, that’s the highest ranking in the NFC East. That’s how bad the division has become. The New York Giants are 21st, the Washington Football team is 22nd, and the Philadelphia Eagles are 26th. That’s what the NFC East has become.
What’s your take on these rankings?