Is a deep playoff run coming? Coach Mike McCarthy has a plan to try and make this happen.
After a very successful 12-5 season and a dominant Wild Card performance, the San Francisco 49ers defense ultimately shut down the team. Dallas was dealing with some injuries (as most teams do) but also suffered from costly turnovers and a lack of success on third downs.
In the Cowboys’ last three playoff losses, they failed to have a third-down conversion percentage higher than 36, with two of them including turnovers. That would rank in the bottom seven in the league during the 2022 regular season. Not getting a new set of downs has killed them.
It’s easier said than done, but avoiding turning the ball over and converting on third down will go a long way. Keeping things simple and playing more efficiently rather than flashy is a step toward achieving that. The team has taken steps in the right direction to ensure that happens this year.
Cowboys must be more efficient offensively to make a deep playoff run
“I don’t desire to be the No. 1 offense in the league. I want to be the No. 1 team in the league with a number of wins and a championship. And if we gotta give up some production and take care of the ball better to get that, then that’s what we’ll do, because we have a really good defense. “
Time to lock up Dak long-term before his price tag skyrockets.
Jerry and Stephen Jones are both known to live by the phrase, “deadlines make deals” but this could be a situation where they can’t afford to reach the hard deadline.
The unavoidable deadline is obviously the start of the 2024 season in March. Since the Cowboys don’t want to be stuck with a nearly $60 million cap charge, they need to work out an extension in advance. They know this and more importantly Prescott’s camp knows this. It’s safe to say the closer they get to that date, the more leverage goes to the player.
If that isn’t reason enough to get something done immediately, there’s an ominous unknown deadlines lurking in the shadows.
Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Trevor Lawrence (fifth year option hasn’t been picked up yet), Tua Tagovailoa and Jared Goff are all set to hit the market at the same time as Prescott (per OTC). Three of them are almost guaranteed to reset the market at QB while the other two could still very realistically surpass Prescott’s present APY of $40 million on their new deals.
With market values for top QBs rising with nearly every signing, it’s in the Cowboys’ best interests to get in front of this windfall of contracts.
NFL approves kickoff rule, emergency quarterback policy, and growth of Global Markets Program at Spring League Meeting - Jazz Monet, Inside The Star
What does this mean for the return game going forward?
On Tuesday, NFL Clubs approved 2023 Playing Rule Proposal 16A. It will change how fair catches on a kickoff are handled.
The proposal changes the language of Rule 10, Section 2, Article 4b of the NFL rulebook.
Previously, the rule dictated that after a fair catch, the ball could be put in play from the spot of the catch.
The approved proposal adds the following language to that rule:
“unless a player on the receiving team makes a fair catch of a free kick behind the receiving team’s 25-yard line, in which case the ball will be put in play at the receiving team’s 25-yard line.”
The rule could potentially remove the excitement of kickoff returns. It could also potentially reward returning teams with a lot of additional yardage they would not receive under the previous rule.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy raves about new Bills OL Connor McGovern - David De Cristofaro, Yahoo Sports
Should the franchise have made a bigger play at retaining him?
He’s done just that, adding talent and depth to the position group to improve competition for starting roles as well as, ultimately, the on-field results.
While the position battles in training camp have yet to unfold, there are some players, like recent free agent signing and new Bills guard Connor McGovern, who come with hopes high. Enough so that Buffalo signed him to a three-year deal at age 25 following a four-year stint with Dallas, as he could be a plug-and-play offensive lineman between C Mitch Morse and OT Dion Dawkins.
Beane noted upon coming to terms with the offensive lineman in free agency that he believed his best play was ahead of him, and he’s not alone in that prediction.
McGovern’s previous head coach has echoed a similar sentiment as well.
“I think he’s definitely on the rise,” said Dallas Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy earlier this year during the NFL’s annual meetings. “Really, Connor’s challenge were his injuries early in his career,” McCarthy said. “His best football is in front of him.”
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