There are a number of things to expect heading into each and every Cowboys’ season. Heartbreak would probably top the list, but let's try to stay optimistic early and narrow down five things we can expect from this season.
CeeDee Lamb Breakout
This isn’t a hot take by any stretch of the imagination, but Lamb sits atop the list of breakout candidates across the NFL, not just on the Cowboys. Perhaps at the top of that list with Michael Pittman Jr and Tee Higgins, Lamb is primed for a career-high in just about every important statistical category. With Michael Gallup and James Washington each out for a sum of a time, Lamb touts both experience and skill over all other wideouts currently on the depth chart. Even if they were to make a buzzer-beater add or mid-season trade, nothing should deter Lamb from topping his 79 receptions and 1,102 yards from last season.
Now, this seems like a farfetched idea. However, it makes sense when analyzing the current depth, or lack thereof, on the offensive side of the ball. Taking a look back to 2018, the Cowboys had a strong, consistent defense and needed some pop on the other side of the ball. Welcome, Amari Cooper. Who will be this year’s Coop? There’s a laundry list of guys that can be traded for at wide receiver that can elevate this offense and they have the draft capital to do it. If we see the Cowboys offense struggling early and week 5-6 comes and they sit at or below .500, they could make a trade, perhaps even a ‘blockbuster.’
Don’t be surprised if Zeke tops his 237 rushing attempts from last year. In 2021, he saw a career-low in rushing attempts and a regression in receptions and yard per catch. Although far and away this is the most inexperienced offensive line he has ever run behind, he should remain a key cog and lead the team in touches throughout the season. We should also see a fair share of Tony Pollard this year in both the backfield and out wide, but a target share Cowboys fans are happy with? Unlikely. 21 still leads this backfield and will be a focal point in 2022.
Let the Linebackers Roam
This might be the most overlooked position on the Cowboys roster. Micah Parsons is obviously a bright spot and atop the list of Defensive Player of the Year favorites. In conjunction with that, Jabril Cox shined in the preseason and is another breakout candidate for the defense. Adding in Anthony Barr and a fully healthy Leighton Vander Esch, this linebacker room is deep and multidimensional. Don’t be surprised to see Parsons rushing the passer more than last year with Cox and Barr in on passing downs. Fun time it is for the Cowboys LBs!
Dak Prescott 100+ QBR
Dak has only realized a 100+ quarterback rating in two seasons, his rookie year and last year. Repeating that feat in 2022 may be difficult, but if the Cowboys are to be competitive this season, that seems like a must. His completion percentage might dip a bit this year due to lack of experience with his corps, but an elite year is necessary from QB1.