The sports year of 2021 has been a welcome return with events happening on the calendar as we have always been accustomed to as opposed to the haphazardness that was 2020. Sports fans have enjoyed other events these last few months like The Masters, the NBA/NHL playoffs, Phil Mickelson winning the PGA, the Euros, so on and so forth, but we all know the real deal is Dallas Cowboys football.
Thankfully order will be restored shortly when America’s Team touches down in Oxnard, California for training camp in just a few days. As we ramp up our excitement, it is worth looking back one last time at how the team attempted to improve upon their 2020 campaign.
Debating the worst move that the Cowboys did (or didn’t) make this offseason
Last season was broken for the Cowboys in a number of ways that were somewhat out of their control. Losing players like Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and Blake Jarwin for a majority of the season is always going to take a toll and hinder things. Sometimes you just get off on the wrong foot and can’t get back on track.
While those players will all return in 2021, the Cowboys also needed help elsewhere which is why they focused different resources at different spots over the offseason. The defense got a massive makeover worthy of MTV’s Made, but what is the one decision that they did or didn’t make recently that still has you frustrated?
The great Bob Sturm provided his thoughts on the manner as The Athletic pondered the worst decisions made by every team this offseason. Here is what he had to say for Dallas:
The team has done quite a few under-the-radar movements this offseason that will be largely supplemented by the simple return of so many valuable players who were lost last season to injury; QB, LT, RT, RG, and TE are probably the most important five positions to be filled internally. But, at the moment, the biggest offseason mistake is a race between not really doing much of anything at backup QB behind Dak Prescott — whose serious ankle injury last season should at least give pause to any depending upon him — and the somewhat half-measure addressing of the safety position — mixing one-year deals for veterans with allowing the kids to continue to work it out internally. They had opportunities to have any safety in the draft they wanted with a little aggressiveness on draft night (and the surplus of picks) and instead stayed put. Safety was not really addressed properly, again. — Bob Sturm
We have had many conversations here at BTB about the Cowboys not doing much behind Dak Prescott this offseason. It should certainly be noted that the team did finally pay Prescott which should have happened long ago (a point Stephen Jones recently admitted himself), but there are always multiple lessons to be learned.
Dallas handled losing their starting quarterback much better in 2020 than they had in previous seasons. They were ultimately able to win four games without their starter (not to mention they hung on in the game that they lost him) which is twice as many as they were able to the last season that similar adversity plagued them when Tony Romo was injured throughout 2015.
Of course, there is an argument to be made that a Prescott-less Cowboys team isn’t going to amount to much and devoting time and energy to that hypothetical is utilizing resources in a place where you are still otherwise up a proverbial creek. Consider what Tom Moore once said about why the Indianapolis Colts didn’t give practice reps do their backup quarterbacks.
“Fellas, if 18 [Manning] goes down, we’re [expletive],” Moore said. “And we don’t practice [expletive].”
Still though it would have been nice to see the Cowboys have done something at QB2 as opposed to just trusting that things would sort themselves out between Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, and Ben DiNucci. It is obviously possible that they will and a normal training camp period and preseason will likely aid in that endeavor, but it is optimistic at best.