clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

4 thoughts about the Dallas Cowboys before training camp begins

Trying to sort our what we know and what we just think we know about the Dallas Cowboys.

NFL: JUN 02 Dallas Cowboys OTA Offseason Workouts
He’s good, but we may be overestimating things for the WR room.
Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Before sharing various takes and musings on the Dallas Cowboys, we need to talk a little about sports coverage and discussions on social media. People act like they know stuff that is really just their opinion. Everyone is a football Nostradamus who has seen the future. Some of it is just being controversial to gain attention, a particularly grievous sin. This is brought up to note that this article is all about opinion and best guesses. It may be completely wrong.

We discussed this post’s idea in greater detail on the latest episode of Ryled Up on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network wherever you get your podcasts so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.

Here are some things to keep in mind as we creep ever closer to training camp.

This may be the Cowboys’ version of going all in

Unless this is your first time reading about the team, you are well aware that Scrooge Stephen Jones has $22.5 million in cap space to play with, but has pretty resolutely done nothing with it outside of some very, very marginal free agent signings. It is driving us crazy as we look at a roster that has some places that could truly benefit from some shoring up. It leads to wondering why Dallas can’t go all in on winning the way teams like the Los Angeles Rams did last season with so much success.

After so many years of doing exactly the same thing and getting pretty much the same disappointing results, a distasteful thought arises. Maybe this is Jones’ idea of going all in. Remember that Jones has been quite clear about liking his own players. For him, re-signing players from last year is at least as valuable as getting talent from outside the team. The Cowboys did bring back eleven of their own players, and made an unfortunately unsuccessful attempt to retain Randy Gregory. That was, at least by Jones’ standards, a big offer. They did complete a fairly lucrative deal with Michael Gallup. They franchise tagged Dalton Schultz, and while we grumble about not just getting a new multiyear deal done for him, that is still a good bit of money paid out even if they fail to get something worked out by the deadline, which is today. There were also some of those contracts that may represent pretty good bang for the buck. Jayron Kearse is the best of the lot, but Dorance Armstrong, Bryan Anger, and Malik Hooker were also more valuable than many might realize.

It certainly appears that Jones believes this is the right way, and he is doing everything he thinks he can to build this roster. He has always seen the draft as the biggest tool for building this team, and when they hit on players like Micah Parsons, it is understandable. It is difficult to live with for us. We just might have to.

Dak is going to silence the critics this season

My friend and colleague here at BTB put this very well.

We have gotten rather blasé about football players recovering from devastating injuries. Maybe many don’t remember the days when a torn ACL could be the end of a career, but now those are overcome routinely with the state of medicine. Prescott’s ankle was destroyed in 2020, and it is entirely understandable that he would have lingering doubts about his own recovery. The calf strain he suffered against the New England Patriots just added to things. Now, he has had a full offseason with no setbacks at all, and those doubts are greatly diminished, perhaps even eliminated. He certainly still had the arm talent as he threw for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns last year, with only 10 interceptions. People talk a lot about the turnover margin the defense put up, but they forget how protecting the ball factors in.

Prescott should be at, or near, the top of his game. That means he should be fun to watch.

Flashbacks to “wide receiver by committee”

CeeDee Lamb is positioned to have a stellar year as the WR1. But the rest of the wide receiver room is a collection of unrealized potential and past bit players.

It may be a bridge too far to compare this to the unworkable situation in 2018 that led to trading away 2019’s first-round pick for Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup should be a major help once he returns from his injury. But until then, the team may be struggling to find some help for Lamb. There are high hopes for third-round pick Jalen Tolbert. Color me skeptical that he will be ready to come in and perform well right off the bat. Outside of him, the Cowboys have Noah Brown, Simi Fehoko, James Washington, and a bunch of current and former UDFAs. Maybe numbers are in their favor and someone will break out. Still, this seems like a place Jones could have wisely invested some of that big pile of cap space. Cross your fingers here.

Let’s get after the passer

Dan laid out the logic for optimism about Prescott above. With the pass rush, we may be on shakier footing. Still, this could be a real strength of the team.

DeMarcus Lawrence is greatly underappreciated for what he does. As mentioned above, Armstrong may be more valuable than many think. Rookie Sam Williams, under the tutelage of Dan Quinn and Aden Durde, could be exciting. Chauncey Golston may be poised to take a big step up this year. Tarell Basham is quality depth and may be a contender to start early in the year. Dante Fowler could wind up the odd man out, but seems a decent bit of insurance. And there is the incomparable Parsons, who managed to be one of the best sack artists in the league doing it as a part time gig.

Dallas did a good if not spectacular job getting after the quarterback last year. Remember, it just isn’t about sacks, it is keeping the quarterback from completing passes by pressuring him and making him jumpy. The Cowboys were quite good there, only giving up the third lowest completion percentage by opposing QBs last season. With a little help from the secondary, they are probably going to be even better even without Gregory.

Those are opinions, of course. There is no implied claim that they are any better than others. We will soon find out how accurate they are.