The Dallas Cowboys have yet again had a very disappointing season. Questionable coaching, a terrible defense, and a slew of injuries all played a part. But I don’t wanna look back and reminisce on the “what could have beens”, I want to look at this offseason and break it down. Here are 5 things the Cowboys need to do in order to have a successful 2021-2022 season.
1. New Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn
Number one and probably the most important thing was to fire Mike Nolan and hire a new defensive coordinator. But, the Cowboys beat me to the punch. Dallas recently hired former Atlanta Falcons head coach, Dan Quinn, to take on the duties and lead this defense from the sidelines. As every coaching change does. This brought some controversy to Cowboys nation. Quinn at first glance seems to be a terrific hire for he was the one behind the feared Legion of Boom defense in Seattle that led them to back to back Superbowls.
But a deeper dive may cause some concern. During the years that Quinn was the head coach in Atlanta, aside from 2017 when they had the 10th ranked defense in the league, the Falcons defense ranked none higher than 16th in 2015 with a low point of 29th this past year in 2020. So, Atlanta defenses haven’t exactly been good with Dan Quinn at the helm. According to Pro Football Reference, the Cowboys had the 28th ranked defense in the league and were by far the worst rushing defensive. For this team to be good, the defense has to at least be serviceable. The Offense is going to put up points; if they can just give up under 20-25 points a game they are going to win a lot of football games
Dan Quinn agrees to terms as #DallasCowboys defensive coordinator
Read more in Breaking News | @lgus → https://t.co/CwB2bQxjry pic.twitter.com/jg5hauQvuW
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) January 12, 2021
2. Dallas Cowboys. Take best defensive playmaker at 10.
Piggybacking off of my last point about the defense, for its the worst unit of this team by a mile. The Dallas Cowboys have the 10th overall pick in this year’s draft, and with it they need to draft the best defensive player available no matter the position. This may sound obvious but as we have seen in the past, the Cowboys love to draft for need and not the best player available. And this defense has too many holes to focus on just one position group. The Cowboys need playmakers and that is what the 10th overall pick can get them. Ideally, I would love to see a cornerback like Patrick Surtain or Caleb Farley available at 10. But if for some reason there is a better player at another position, draft him.
2021 NFL Mock Draft
2. Jets: QB Zach Wilson, BYU
6. Eagles: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama
11. Giants: TE Kyle Pitts, Floridahttps://t.co/ad6L4fnJmm
— PFF (@PFF) January 17, 2021
3) Value the Safety position
For years now, the Dallas Cowboys front office have criminally undervalued the Safety position. And every year, the Dallas secondary is among the worst in the NFL. That needs to change in order for them to be successful.
Whether it is in the draft, free agency, trades or whatever — the Cowboys need to improve their Safety situation. More importantly, the front office needs to start to understand the value of a secondary that can make plays, get interceptions, and turn the ball over. Defense isn’t just about forcing punts, turnovers win games and that is something the Cowboys lacked in 2020. And as a side note, no Earl Thomas is not the answer.
4) Get Younger and healthier on the O-Line
Dallas consistently has a pretty solid offensive line. Guys like Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Travis Frederick and others have held down the line for years and have done a good job of it. But simply put, the core of that line is getting older. Tyron Smith is now 30 and has a proven history of injuries; Travis Frederick, long time center, retired this past year, and Zack Martin is also 30.
They do have some young promise on that line La’el Collins is only 27 and Conner Williams and Tyler Biadasz have both shown sparks. But, what 2020 showed, is this O-line is vulnerable. Injuries to Zack Martin and Tyron Smith can cripple this line. The Cowboys need to get a bit younger and a lot healthier on that line, and yes defense needs to be the focus in the draft. But, in later rounds, if a offensive linemen is there, that would be a good pick up. And who knows, maybe a free agent signing or two could do the trick.
5) Dallas Cowboys. Re-sign Dak Prescott.
This is the big one, re-sign Dak Prescott. He is your finishing quarterback and has proven in the past two years, he is one of the 10 best quarterbacks in the league and that may be cutting him short. In 2019, Dak threw for 4902 yards and 30 touchdowns; that is better than Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and yes more yards than MVP Pat Mahomes. In his 5 games this past year before he suffered that gruesome injury back in October, Prescott averaged 371 yards per game with 8.4 yard per attempt. Yes, the Cowboys were still just 2-3 with Dak as the starter in 2020, but the defense gave up over 30 points in 4 of those.
If you look at the numbers, Dak has been a top 5 quarterback for the past 2 years, that is something you can’t overlook. Dak Prescott has proven that he is a legit franchise quarterback, one you can win a Superbowl with and it’s time to pay him like one.