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NFL.com ranks Dallas Cowboys offense 8th based on win-share projections

How much faith do you have in the Dallas offense right now?

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

By the time the Dallas Cowboys reached December last season they were a bit unrecognizable. Defense was leading the charge as Micah Parsons breathed life into the unit in a way that no one had in quite some time. The Cowboys dominated when the opposition had the ball and kept hope alive as they ultimately went undefeated throughout the Christmas month.

Part of why the Cowboys were so unrecognizable wasn’t just their success on defense but their inconsistency on offense. For so long, in so many seasons, we have seen the Cowboys thrive with the ball in their hands even throughout different players and eras. To see an offense struggle so much at times was a little bit jarring.

If the Cowboys are going to improve upon last season in 2022, then the offense is going to have to re-find it’s consistency among some changes in personnel.

NFL.com ranks Dallas Cowboys offense out of top 7 based on win-share projections

It is difficult to know exactly how the Cowboys are going to fare on offense considering the changes they made for this season. Dallas allowed Connor Williams to leave in free agency, traded away Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns, and cut La’el Collins. The Cowboys obviously had reasons for moving on from each of them but their departures are significant and will be a challenge to fully replace.

This week, NFL.com’s Cynthia Frelund put together her top 11 offenses based on win-share projections and had the Dallas Cowboys as number eight.

My models are bearish on Dallas’ offensive line. Last season, the Cowboys used six or more offensive linemen at the fourth-highest rate (8.7 percent of snaps, per NGS), yet Dak Prescott averaged a career-low 2.75 seconds to throw and tossed quick passes at his highest rate in the past three seasons (42.1%). The quick throws (under 2.5 seconds) did work to help him escape pressure — as evidenced by his career-low 28.9 pressure rate — and drove a career-high 107.7 passer rating on short passes (fourth in the NFL). He also ran away from would-be pressure and earned a 116.8 passer rating when on the move (best in NFL among qualified QBs). However, this shows how Dak overcame adversity, which will likely be what’s required again this season. When Dak does have time, great things happen (SEE: his career-high 110.0 passer rating throwing outside the numbers in 2021, the fourth-best mark in the NFL).

Losing Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson will be difficult to overcome, but the sum of CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz, Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard remains imposing.

For your fantasy prep: Schultz had seven receiving TDs when aligned tight over the past two seasons, tied for most in that time. Oh, and Lamb? He had +156 yards after the catch over expected in 2021, which was tied for fourth in the NFL.

The logic laid out here is rather sound which is why things are a little concerning for this upcoming season. Frelund notes that Dak Prescott overcame adversity, and while that is notable, there could be a regression coming for the Cowboys in several capacities this coming year.

Frelund also notes the loss of Cedrick Wilson which is significant as well. The Cowboys are going to have to be the exception in a lot of ways, but even if they do finish as the ‘eighth-best’ offense, that is hardly something to scoff at.