Though we are approximately just three months removed from the Kansas City Chiefs victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, the 2023 season isn’t all that far away. And sadly, with the bulk of free agency behind us as well as the 2023 NFL Draft, we are currently in the lull of the offseason with nothing to tide us over except minicamps and Organized Team Activities (OTA’s) until training camp gets underway.
While we wait for offseason practices to get underway, all we can really do is speculate as to what the 2023 Dallas Cowboys will look like. Fortunately, we have a pretty good idea of who the starters will be on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball due to the fact it’s close to identical as last year’s squad. There are a few new faces joining the organization this year, but even they are mostly veterans with proven track records.
Because of all that, we can speculate that the Cowboys should be just as good as they were in 2022. Of course, the new additions who are joining the team via free agency, trade, and the draft could also make them even better. With all of that in mind, we’re going to share a handful of way-too-early bold predictions for the Cowboys this year we think could come to fruition if the cards are dealt just right.
Prediction #1 - Tyron Smith starts every game in 2023
Call it a pipe dream or wishful thinking, but Tyron Smith is way overdue to have a healthy season and why not have it come on what could be his last with the Dallas Cowboys. The 32-year-old, 12-year All-Pro left tackle hasn’t played an entire season since way back in 2015 and has only started a total of 17 games over the last three seasons. It’s hard to imagine him suddenly overcoming all of those injuries that have nagged him for nearly a decade, but I’m predicting he does just that in 2023. A healthy No. 77 would be a huge boost to Dallas’ offensive line this year. With him at LT, Tyler Smith at LG, Tyler Biadasz at OC, Zack Martin at RG, and Terence Steele at RT the Cowboys offensive line should be one of the better units in the entire league. Fingers crossed this bold prediction comes to fruition.
Prediction #2 - Dak Prescott throws single digit INT’s
Protecting the ball was a problem for Dak Prescott last year in 2022. He threw a career-high 15 interceptions and will be looking to cut down that number significantly in 2023. That, of course, is easier said than done considering he’s thrown double-digit INT’s in four of his seven seasons to date in the NFL, but I’m predicting he’ll be able to even out that number this year. With the more timing-based offensive scheme Mike McCarthy and Brian Schottenheimer will be installing this offseason, and the upgraded weapons in the passing game, No. 4 should not only have one of his more productive seasons, but also see his INT numbers take a pretty huge nosedive this year. In fact, I’ll give you a prediction within a prediction and say he only throws four this season like he did in 2016 and 2020.
Prediction #3 - Cowboys have two 1,000+ yard receivers
The Cowboys have one of the best wide receiver trios in the entire NFL in 2023. Acquiring Brandin Cooks via trade from the Houston Texans this offseason changed the entire dynamic of Dallas’ passing game for the better, and we should see production receive a significant boost because of it. To date, Cooks has had six 1,000-yard seasons in his nine-year career in the league. He may not be the No. 1 WR in Dallas like he has been throughout his career, but he is the perfect complement to pair with CeeDee Lamb. As a three level threat with game-breaking speed he demands attention which will help No. 88 surpass the 1,000-yard mark, and the attention Lamb demands will do the same for him. These two could form the best WR duo the Cowboys have had since Michael Irvin and Alvin Harper.
Prediction #4 - Tony Pollard accumulates 2,000 all-purpose yards
How’s this for bold!? I’m predicting Tony Pollard accomplishes something pretty rare in the NFL in 2023. With Ezekiel Elliott out of the picture, and no one else to really push him for playing time/touches, No. 20 should see his production increase significantly this season. So much so, he’s going to surpass the 2,000 all-purpose yard mark this year. Zeke (2,001) was the last Cowboys RB to accomplish this feat back in 2018, averaging a little over 95 rushing yards (95.6) and nearly 40 receiving yards (37.8) a game. For TP to hit the 2,000 all-purpose yard mark as well he will need to average about 90 yards on the ground and 30 through the air per game. That’s approximately 1,530 rushing yards and 510 receiving, a grand total of 2,040 all-purpose yards.
Prediction #5 - Micah Parsons joins the 20+ QB sack club
This lion is hungry! Micah Parsons has been a man on a mission this offseason treating the strength and conditioning program as if he were preparing for battle. He has publicly stated he wanted to add a little more bulk/muscle to his frame in order to better withstand the punishment he takes throughout the 17-game season, and it should pay off in a big way. He won’t break Michael Strahan’s single-season QB sack record (22.5), but he will join the 20+ sack club. The last Cowboys pass rusher to that was DeMarcus Ware (20.0) in 2008 and he came close a second time with 19.5 in 2011. There’s no reason to believe Parsons can’t do the same if he can keep from wearing down in the latter part of the season. The work he’s put in this offseason should help combat that.