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Football News

[Preview 2023] Dallas Cowboys: Now or never for Dak Prescott

The season is approaching. The editorial staff of DNA of Sports invites you to take stock of the strengths and weaknesses of the 32 franchises. Today, the Dallas Cowboys 2023. You can find all the presentations by clicking on this link.

Stars on all floors and a team that is peaking. This is how we could sum up the Dallas Cowboys for two seasons. The regular seasons are going well, then the playoffs much less.

To avoid further disappointment in January, Mike McCarthy’s men will have to rely on what has worked well for several months, but above all take a step forward.

Last season: 12 wins – 5 losses, 2nd in NFC East.

Movements in the off-season

Notable arrivals: Brandin Cooks (WR), Stephon Gilmore (CB), Trey Lance (QB), Ronald Jones II (RB), Ben Banogu (DL), Trent Sieg (LS), Chuma Edoga (RT)…
Re-signings: Trevon Diggs (CB), Zack Martin (RG), Tony Pollard (RB), Donovan Wilson (S), Malik Hooker (S), Tyron Smith (LT), Terence Steele (LT), Leighton Vander Esch ( LB), Dante Fowler Jr. (EDGE), Cooper Rush (QB), Johnathan Hankins (DL), CJ Goodwin (CB)…
Draft: Mazi Smith (DT), Luke Schoonmaker (TE), DeMarvion Overshown (LB), Viliami Fehoko (EDGE), Asim Richards (OT), Eric Scott Jr. (CB), Deuce Vaughn (RB), WR Jalen Brooks ( WR).
Notable Losses: Ezekiel Elliott (RB), Dalton Schultz (TE), Noah Brown (WR), Luke Gifford (LB), Carlos Watkins (DL), Brett Maher (K), Conor McGovern (RG), Aviante Collins (LG) , Anthony Brown (CB), TY Hilton (WR), Anthony Barr (LB), Jason Peters (LT), Matt Overton (LS)…

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As often in the NFL, the Cowboys’ offseason did not go unnoticed. Once again, the Texan leaders attempted blows. Bets that seem rather smart. First, they picked up two players via trades. Brandin Cooks on offense and Stephon Gilmore on defense. Two newcomers who should not be number 1 options at their position, but who bring a new dimension to the group of receiver and cornerback respectively.

Then, it was necessary to make choices in the re-signatures. The Cowboys had plenty of free agents, but not enough money to sign them all. Dalton Schultz, for example, left for Houston for a big check. Players like Conor McGovern, Luke Gifford and Anthony Brown have also left the franchise. Regarding Ezekiel Elliott, who left for the Patriots, the choice is more sporting than financial with the desire to make Tony Pollard their real number 1.

The running back is also part of a relatively long list of players who have extended. Trevon Diggs, for example, signed a big check and will always be the leader of these back lines. Like the defensive back, Dallas has decided to continue to trust players like Donovan Wilson, Leighton Vander Esch, Dante Fowler Jr or Malik Hooker in defense, but also Cooper Rush or Tyron Smith in attack.

With this waltz of departures/arrivals, the draft served to plug the holes. The choices of Mazi Smith (DT), Luke Schoonmaker (TE) and DeMarvion Overshown (LB) intervene on positions lacking depth.

The strong points)

Mike McCarthy said he doesn’t want a team that scores a lot of points. With the departure of Kellen Moore from the side of the Chargers, it is he who will take control of the call of the offensive plays. It’s a safe bet that the ground game is overused.

That’s good, it’s a real strong point of this team. First, because this offensive line is one of the best in the country. It should also find all its vital forces at 100% of their means from the start of the season. The Cowboys will also be able to rely on Zack Martin who is certainly the best guard in the league. Behind this line, Tony Pollard will be able to continue his harvest of yards. The running back is averaging 5.1 units per litter and will be able to keep going.

On the other side of the ball, the strengths of this team are rather in the aerial sector. The pass-rush/secondary combo should once again do some damage. On the front line, the Cowboys will always be led by Micah Parsons. The linebacker is entering his third season and establishing himself year after year as one of the best defenders in the NFL (with why not the title that goes with it in 2023). And if the pass rush lacks a little depth, DeMarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler or Dorance Armstrong will still be able to take advantage of the spaces.

Behind them, the back lines will be solid. The Trevon Diggs-Stephon Gilmore duo combines passion and experience and seems perfectly complementary. Donovan Wilson and Jayron Kearse will form the safety combo that will stabilize the building.

The weak spots)

Last year, Dan Quinn’s defense conceded very few points (20.1/game, 5th in the NFL). However, there is one area that left something to be desired: the run-stop. Each meeting, the Cowboys allowed no less than 129.3 yards to opposing running backs (22nd in the league). A statistic that should not improve much.

There is still a lack of talent in key positions such as the interior of the defense or the line of linebackers. Mazi Smith (1st round) and DeMarvion Overshown (3rd round) have certainly been drafted, but they will have to acclimatize very quickly to have an impact. The depth of the workforce is also a point of concern in some positions. Among running backs or tight ends, for example, the squad is not necessarily the most complete.

X factor: the aerial game

As we said, the defense and the ground game should do the job this season on the Dallas side. It remains to be seen what the aerial game will give. On paper, he can compete with a lot of NFL squads, but he definitely needs to find consistency. For this, Dak Prescott will first have to stay in shape. The quarterback missed 5 games last year, and even if Cooper Rush is a solid substitute, nothing beats the presence of his starting pitcher.

Then, the receivers will have to raise their level of play around CeeDee Lamb. The former Oklahoma once again assumed his status as number 1 last year (1,359 yards and 9 TDs), but he can’t do it all alone. The arrival of Brandin Cooks should help while Michael Gallup will have to bring his stone to the building.

Finally, the offensive line remains very efficient on the ground, but could be improved when it comes to protecting its pitcher. All of these goals are largely achievable for the Cowboys, but they must be over the long term and especially when the playoffs arrive.

Player to watch: Tyron Smith (LT)

No question here of a nugget that should hatch and become THE star of the Cowboys. We will focus instead on a veteran who can be of capital importance. If we have already talked a lot about the strengths and weaknesses of this offensive line, it is worth remembering that it contains at its left end a player who will certainly return to the Hall of Fame : Tyron Smith. Certainly the left tackle is no longer as efficient as it was at its peak, but it remains a stabilizer… when it is on the ground.

That’s the problem with Smith in recent seasons, he’s been injured a lot. In 2022, he had missed a large part of the start of the exercise after a muscle tear. When he returned, he moved to right tackle to replace Terence Steele, also injured. In 2023, we should find the two men in their position and Smith will once again be able to play the luxury bodyguards for the blind side of Dak Prescott. He will therefore have to stay out of the infirmary if this line wants to have a chance of going from “good” to “very good”.

2023 Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule

@Giants, Jets, @Cardinals, Patriots, @49ers, @Chargers, Repos, Rams, @Eagles, Giants, @Panthers, Commanders, Seahawks, Eagles, @Bills, @Dolphins, Lions and @Commanders.

The audio preview of the podcast

In summary

Once again, Dallas has one of the best teams in the league. After two seasons of 12 wins for 5 losses, there is no reason for the soufflé to fall for Prescott and his family. However, we will now have to take the next step: beat the big teams for the title when the playoffs arrive.

On this point, not sure that the Cowboys manage to cross this course which would make them pass from outsiders to favorites.

Prediction: 11 wins – 6 losses

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