A lot has happened since June of 2021. At that time many Dallas Cowboys fans were upset over the team missing out on both Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn during the 2021 NFL Draft. Dak Prescott’s new contract was finally in the rearview mirror, but we were dealing with the narrative surrounding his return to football from an ankle injury that took away most of his 2020 season.
Over the following months the Cowboys would appear on Hard Knocks to teach us all about mojo moments and would go on to win at New England against Bill Belichick’s Patriots for the first time ever, one of their 12 total wins on the year.
Our thoughts and opinions on the team have changed a lot over that time and today we are going to discuss three things that have swayed a little bit further along the spectrum than others.
Trevon Diggs has elite CB1 potential
A year ago this time we were incredibly optimistic about Trevon Diggs entering his second season, but we had been burned a lot before by many different cornerbacks.
Nobody could have reasonably predicted Diggs would have double-digit interceptions in 2021, that he would lead the league in the category, or that his first game without one on the season would come on Halloween. While there will likely be a regression for Diggs as far as the volume of his interceptions are concerned, it is more than fair to say that the bar for him has been significantly elevated in most fans’ minds.
The future at wide receiver is in no way known
If you polled people last summer and asked what the best or highest-quality position group on the Cowboys roster was you would have received an overwhelming answer of wide receiver. All told we hardly got to experience the trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and CeeDee Lamb given injuries and other sorts of absences. Cooper was traded away over the offseason, Gallup is returning from a torn ACL, and Lamb is now carrying the weight of being asked to be the top pass-catcher on the team.
Things felt secure for the future in Dallas at receiver, at least in the short-term, but right now all there really are questions. That was a bit unexpected at this time last year.
Tyron Smith is a hinderance of sorts
Let us be clear: A healthy Tyron Smith is among the very best players on the Dallas Cowboys roster. The problem is that Tyron Smith is so infrequently healthy as our own Tom Ryle outlined recently here at BTB. He has not played a full season since 2015 which means that the team’s current franchise quarterback, who is entering his seventh season, has never had him for an entire campaign.
There is not a Cowboys fan out there who would rather not have Smith than to have him, but again the problem is that we simply do not know how much of a season he is able to play. The overall point is that the last year has fully proven what most people were maybe trying to delay in their own minds in that the end is very near.
Obviously the Cowboys themselves are somewhat aware of this as part of the reason they spent their first-round pick on Tyler Smith was so that he could eventually float out to left tackle and replace Tyron. Time is undefeated.