The Cowboys have had a big-time up and down off-season with the Dal Prescott contract issue and the great draft.
On top of that longtime head coach Jason Garrett is gone and longtime Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy takes over. America’s Team has a ton of talent, but can they do what they have not been able to do for a long time in going deep in the playoffs?
Odds to win NFC East: -105
Odds to win NFC: +850
Odds to win Super Bowl: +1400
Key Additions: The big addition was WR CeeDee Lamb falling to the Cowboys with the 17th pick in the draft.
QB Andy Dalton was signed to a one year deal to backup Prescott and the team also added K Greg Zuerlein and DT Gerald McCoy, who has at least five sacks in eight straight seasons.
Key Losses: The big losses were on the defensive side of the ball in DE Robert Quinn and CB Byron Jones. WR Randall Cobb signed with the Texans in the off-season and All-Pro C Travis Frederick had to retire because of an autoimmune disease.
Can the Cowboys get a deal done with Prescott? The QB had the best season of his career last season and while he wants big-time money the team has dragged their feet on giving him a long term deal.
Still, he may play on the franchise tag and many are thinking Dalton was brought into the fold to give Dallas leverage.
Whatever happens with Prescott’s contract he has a slew of weapons with RB Ezekiel Elliot and the WR duo of Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.
Cooper and Gallop each had over 1,000 receiving yards last season and with Lamb, as the #3 guy, the WR corps is stacked.
Elliot rushed for 1,357 yards averaging 4.5 yards per carry and Tony Pollard had an impressive rookie campaign backing him up rushing for 455 yards averaging 5.3 yards per carry.
McCarthy takes over as the head coach and he has the tools, but can he put it together? Last season Dallas was stacked but failed to make the playoffs and they were only 1-6 facing teams that made the playoffs.
Last season the defense for the Cowboys ranked a respectable ninth in the league. The loss of Quinn may hurt, even brining in veteran McCoy, as he led the team with 11.5 sacks and no other player had more than five.
CB Byron Jones was also a big loss in the off-season, but the team still has young talent in the secondary.
Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods combined for 157 tackles last season and the secondary may be key for the defense with the pass rush a question mark.
Getting off to a good start will be important for America’s Team and in their first seven games only have one facing a team that made the playoffs last season.
The good start is even more important with Dallas’ tough ending facing the Ravens, 49ers, and Eagles in three of their last five games.
Prediction: The Cowboys have too much talent to dismiss and I think with a new coach at the helm they will put it together this season. They will take the NFC East and be a force to reckon with in the playoffs.