The Cowboys will inevitably fall into a trap game similar to 2021 with the Broncos. But which one will it be?
3. Cowboys @ Titans, Week 17
While a lot of eyes are on the Green Bay game or road game against the Rams, this late-season matchup is certainly one to watch out for, too. Tennessee also went 12-5 last year and ended up as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They had one of the most dominating defenses in the entire NFL last year and have made several offseason moves to improve for 2022.
A very important note about this game is that not only is it on the road, but it will also be a shortened week. The Cowboys will take on the Eagles the week before on Christmas Eve, then only have two practice days and a travel day before heading to Tennessee for the very last Thursday Night Football game of the season.
The perks for Dallas are that Ryan Tannehill isn’t the best quarterback in the world and the team did just lose A.J. Brown. However, running back Derrick Henry is powerful enough to do damage on his own. Plus, the Titans used their first-round draft pick to pick up WR Treylon Burks – a receiver from Arkansas who was on the Cowboys’ radar. They also got Robert Woods from the Rams, which should give their WR corps some comfort.
It is a fair question to ask with Lamb as the WR1 now.
Both had similar years in 2021. Lamb was even Dallas’ de facto WR1 when Cooper missed two games due to testing positive for COVID-19. However, he does have sizable shoes to fill. Cooper was the Cowboys’ proven WR1, and Dallas’ decision to trade him for scraps left many scratching their heads.
Quarterback Dak Prescott performed better statistically with Cooper on the field. He completed 67.9 percent of his passes with a 102.9 passer rating with Cooper compared to a 63.5 completion percentage and an 86.1 passer rating without him. During his time in Dallas, its offense was weaker without his presence.
While Lamb was the unquestioned WR1 at Oklahoma, he’s yet to prove he can be a suitable WR1 in the NFL. This season, he’ll get his first opportunity. Prescott and Lamb are already trying to form a true QB to WR1 connection. Their lockers are now next to each other, with Prescott declaring Lamb “the guy” to be Dallas’ new leading receiver on Friday.
Whether you agree with Jones’ take or not, Lamb has shown nothing but an upward trend, coming off his first Pro Bowl selection last season. In 2022, he’ll get a majority of the targets and has a chance to break out as one of the NFL’s elite receivers. Lamb can definitely become the “upgrade” over Cooper that Jones thinks he is. But for now, we’ll have to wait and see.
There will be a handful of players that see more opportunities in 2022. These five might even become starters.
Malik Hooker, SAF
The oft-injured safety was once a first round pick but after suffering injury after injury, Malik Hooker found his way to Dallas last season. Last season was a prove-it year for Hooker, in more ways than one:
He had to prove he could stay healthy.
He had to prove he still had some game
Hooker proved both in 2021 and the Dallas Cowboys rewarded him with a two-year deal that will keep him in Dallas through 2023. Hooker progressed as the season went on last year and by the time the season ended, he was the best option on the roster not named Jayron.
In 2022 Hooker figures to start at FS, replacing the departed Damontae Kazee. Kearse will reclaim that LB/SAF role Dan Quinn created for him and Donovan Wilson will play a little in-the-box and split safety to complement each.
Cowboys Ripped by ESPN for ‘Bottom-10’ Offseason - Our Top 10 Takes- Mike Fisher, Sports Illustrated
Did Dallas actually have a bottom-10 offseason?
1) We think Dallas may have overpaid on Gallup, so no applause from us there.
2) We think Dallas may have overpaid on Schultz, so no applause from us there, either.
3) We have heard from so many people here inside The Star and in Pittsburgh about Washington’s upside that we endorse that signing.
4) We don’t see any particular problem with Lawrence’s contract.
5) He’s right about the second-year escapability of Kearse’s contract, though we would not forecast that it would be utilized; there’s every reason to think that he’s worth $5 million at age 29 in 2023.
6) Vander Esch is a flat-out steal. Dallas got very lucky there, because Pittsburgh was close to paying him four times what he got here.
7) He may be right about Gregory - though again, it doesn’t make Dallas look “smart’’ because they lucked into something.
If you’re going to make a prediction, might as well be bold with it.
Dallas Cowboys Bold Prediction No. 4: Dante Fowler records 10 sacks
One of the biggest losses in the offseason for Dallas was when Randy Gregory backed out of a deal the two sides agreed on to bolt for the Denver Broncos. The Cowboys took a lot of heat for this one since they reportedly changed some of the wording in the deal, which infuriated Gregory and his team.
There were some rumors about Dallas looking at players such as Von Miller — but we all knew they were never going to pay premium money for an outside free agent. Instead, they did what they always do, which is to sign a player who has had success in the league but comes in at an affordable rate.
This season, Dante Fowler was that guy. The third overall pick in 2015 out of Florida, Fowler missed his rookie season with Jacksonville due to an injury. He made it back to the field and wound up with 14 sacks in 39 games before being traded to the Los Angeles Rams.
He ended up having his best season with them, recording 11.5 sacks in 2019. That led to him joining the Atlanta Falcons in 2020 where he worked with Dan Quinn ‚— up until Quinn was let go.
Blogging The Boys Podcast Network and YouTube Channel
We offer a different show every single day on the Blogging The Boys podcast network.
- Monday: 1st and 10 with Dave Sturchio, Tony Catalina, and Aidan Davis
- Monday: Hidden Yardage with Mark Lane and Sean Martin
- Tuesday: The 75O with Tony Casillas and RJ Ochoa
- Tuesday: BTB Roundtable with various BTB personalities
- Wednesday: The NFC East Mixtape with RJ Ochoa and Brandon Gowton
- Wednesday: Talkin’ The Draft with Connor Livesay and Mark Schofield
- Thursday: The Ocho with RJ Ochoa
- Thursday: Ryled Up with Roy White and Tom Ryle
- Friday: Girls Talkin ‘Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Friday: The Star Seminar with Danny Phantom and Rabblerousr
- Saturday: Cowboys Hoy with Mauricio Rodriguez
- Sunday: The World’s Team with Meg Murray and Paul Stewart
The Blogging The Boys podcast network is available on all major podcast platforms.