The Dallas Cowboys already have a freakish defense that could look absolutely other-wordly next season.
Quinn trusts all his players and all the players trust Quinn. It’s perfect, and the proof is there. While the 2022 offense wasn’t as good as 2021, the defense definitely was, or some would even say better.
The defense was great in 2021, but they were never the main reason why the Cowboys would win games. In 2022, there were multiple games where the defense took over and won the game themselves with almost no help from the offense.
The defense during the early and middle games of last season was unstoppable, but all of the sudden something occurred that would throw a wrench into Dan Quinn’s plan.
During the Jacksonville Jaguars game in mid-December, the Cowboy’s defense let up 40 points in the loss. This was terrible news for the Cowboys fanbase, as Quinn’s coaching skills seemed to be exposed by the Jags.
For the next few games, the defense looked tired and defeated. With Quinn’s secret to his defense exposed, how will the defense function the way it used to?
This would only be a temporary problem though because as soon as the playoffs started, the elite defense we all know was back.
The Cowboys allowed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to score 14 points in the wild-card game and the San Francisco 49ers to score only 19. Allowing under 20 points for two very good offenses like those was a big win for Quinn and the defense.
Former St. Louis Rams head coach recently 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM] to discuss Cowboys Dak Prescott.
Q: Dak Prescott has spectacular flashes, but do you think it’s possible for the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl on his right arm?
Mike Martz: I don’t think there’s any question not. I think he could be a great player, but I just think there’s been so many moving parts around him. And I know Kellen Moore, his philosophy is a little bit more wants to throw up quite a bit. And if you’re not real good on the offensive line, it’s gonna be very difficult. You know, I think the fact that they’re going to run the ball very well, and I’m sure they will, I think just does so many things for Dak in the passing game. There’s just been too many moving parts around him. And there’s a lot of really good quarterbacks out there that have been through this. You know, you look at Steve Young, he goes from Tampa Bay, he’s the worst-rated quarterback in the league. He goes to San Francisco and becomes a Hall of Famer. So much of it has to do with getting things tight around the quarterback and when that happens then, you know, he can realize his full potential. I’m a big, big Dak fan so you’re probably asking the wrong guy.
Entering a pivotal year in his young career, is it possible Simi Fehoko can help fill the void left by Noah Brown?
Who is Simi Fehoko?
Drafted in the fifth round of the 2021 draft, Fehoko is entering a critical season in Dallas. The 6-foot-3, 220 pound receiver from Stanford has only caught three balls for 24 yards in the past two seasons as a pro. Even last season, when Dallas was starved for pass-catching talent, Fehoko couldn’t break through.
In the first five weeks of the season, he logged just 36 offensive snaps. Fehoko entered the NFL as an exciting prospect. He came with length, speed, and deep-play ability. He wasn’t an every-down player and didn’t have much refinement to his game (hence his availability in the fifth round) but he had traits that can’t be taught.
Pathway to the active roster
Fehoko has struggled to see the field in his first two seasons and desperately needs to break through one way or the other. With CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, Michael Gallup, KaVontae Turpin (and likely a rookie) blocking the “one way,” Fehoko may need to aim at “the other.”
It’s important to point out, Brown didn’t lock down a top-4 role for so many years because he was the fourth best pass-catcher. He did so because he served a vital role as a blocker. If Fehoko can claim that blocking specialist role, he could sneak his way onto the active roster each week, much like Brown used to.
He’s already shown he has the ability to block in more ways than one. Built similarly to Brown, Fehoko has flashed in practice and in games. He has the size to block both playside or backside at the line, chip in pass protection, and he even shows hustle downfield.
After saying so long to tight end Dalton Schultz, the Cowboys seem far from leaving the position untouched in Schultz’s absence. Here’s a look at the top prospects the Dallas Cowboys could have their eyes on.
Top 2023 Prospects:
Michael Mayer, Notre Dame —
Go ahead and pencil in Mayer as arguably the most refined tight end in the 2023 class, but that doesn’t instantly mean he’ll be out of range for the Cowboys. I sincerely doubt there will be a run on tight ends in the top 20 picks, and that means there’s a chance Mayer will fall to the bottom half of the first round (post-16th). There’s nothing Mayer truly does bad, either. Some label him the best blocker in this year’s class but he is also a nuclear weapon in the passing game, from route-running to catch radius to how he inhales receptions, he’s a TE1 right out of the package.
Dalton Kincaid, Utah —
Assuming there is, in fact, no unexpected run on tight ends before the Cowboys go on the clock at No. 26, they’ll have their pick of the litter if they want to attack this position with a premium pick, and Kincaid should be one in the pack waiting for their decision. The former Ute is as decorated with individual honors as he is with statistics, operating as basically a large receiver who happens to play tight end, and racking up receptions and TDs in the process. The biggest knock to Kincaid is that he struggles in both pass and run blocking, making him less of a fit for what the Cowboys want to do offensively, and when looking at the top two archetypes on the roster currently.
Darnell Washington, Georgia —
You know who doesn’t struggle at blocking? That alien specimen hailing from Athens, that’s who. Washington is a mauler at the line of scrimmage, effortlessly tossing defensive ends and linebackers as if they’re lint on his shirt. He’d be the perfect complement to what Ferguson and Hendershot bring to the table in that regard, but don’t go labeling him as nothing more than an offensive lineman positioned at tight end. Yes, he’s physically imposing at 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, but he gets that mass moving downfield with speed — blazing the NFL Combine with a 4.64s 40-yard dash and when his number is called to make a play downfield, smaller DBs don’t stand a chance at stopping his point of attack on an incoming pass (this makes him unstoppable in the red zone). He’s an Official 30 visit in Dallas for a reason.
Cowboys mock draft: Full 7-round mock that could immediately boost the Dallas offense - Dan Rogers, Blogging the Boys
BTB’s Dan Rogers presents a mock draft that instantly propel the Dallas Cowboys’ offense.
OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee
Sure, it would be nice to have one of the top wide receivers fall in their lap late in the first round, but that is likely wishful thinking. Instead, the Cowboys are able to address their weakest starting spot with their top draft resource. Wright is a powerful blocker who chooses violence with that fiery mentality you want in an offensive lineman. He possesses raw power and brings good fundamentals that make him ready to go. His footwork is decent and his hands are powerful. He’s a college tackle so he has shown he can handle the edge, but sliding him inside could immediately resolve the team’s ongoing problem at left guard.
WR Marvin Mims Jr., Oklahoma
The Cowboys suffered immensely in their ability to create separation, so we are all expecting to see them snag one of the better wide receivers in this draft class. There is plenty of talent to choose from, but taking an absolute burner like Mims Jr. can help bring back some big-play ability to this offense. He comes with a college résumé that includes seven plays last season of 40+ yards, and he averaged 19.5 yards per catch over his entire college career. That’s amazing. Mims Jr. is a small guy at 5’10” and 183 pounds, but his 4.38 speed will complement this offense well as he stretches the field.
RB DeAndre Miller, TCU
If we had to put our eggs in any draft basket this year, it would be that the Cowboys will draft themselves a running back in the fourth round. The options are plentiful and there’s bound to be a player the team likes when it gets to this part of the draft. Miller is a balanced player so he fits well whether or not Tony Pollard is part of the team’s future. The Horned Frog has nice patience, but he makes decisions quickly and finds the hole fast. He shows a good burst and has very nice lateral agility. And while he’s not a blazer or a power runner, he’s pretty good in both of those areas and will fight for extra yards.
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