There’s no two ways about it -- the 2019 Cowboys were a train wreck. After a 6-4 start to the season, the Cowboys ended up 8-8 and finally, thankfully, after at least three too many years, Jerry Jones finally cut ties with Jason Garrett.
I think we can all clap for that.
A new era begins right now. An era where the captain of the ship is an actual Super Bowl winner, who is surrounding himself with Super Bowl talent on not just the field but in his coaching staff. The joke is that it’s like the Cowboys have been eating cereal with a fork and McCarthy showed up with a spoon.
The 2020 Cowboys are a very, very different team from top to bottom.
Joe Philbin: O Line Coach from Packers 2018
John Fassel: Special Teams from the Rams
Jim Tomsula: D Line Coach from Washington FB Team
Mike Nolan: D Coordinator from New Orleans Saints
We know that McCarthy is somewhat of a Quarterback whisperer -- whether it was helping on footwork, timing, or his release, McCarthy has been credited as one of the major factors that helped Aaron Rodgers develop into the HOF QB he is today. That is exactly what we’re hoping for with Dak and his progression. Mike Nolan got the Saints to a place where they were no longer one of the worst defenses in the league, especially in the secondary. This being one of the biggest areas for improvement on the Cowboys, Nolan’s arrival is coming just in time and (fingers crossed) he can make a mediocre secondary into something to hang their hat on. But of course, you need the right pieces in place for that to happen as well.
Gerald McCoy (Cut)
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Waived)
Greg Zuerlein (Yay no more Brett Maher)
Two of the splashiest signings of the off season, Gerald McCoy (3 years 18.3MM, 9MM guaranteed) and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (1 year, 3.75MM, 2.25MM guaranteed) never even made the final roster; Clinton-Dix got cut less than a week ago, and of course, McCoy suffered a season ending quad injury and the Cowboys felt it better to cut ties and free up around $3MM in cap space. The biggest pick up came as a surprise with the Cowboys signing Everson Griffin who has been a MONSTER for Minnesota on a one year 6MM deal. After a bunch of injuries to the D Line and a few question marks, I feel alot better as a fan knowing Everson is there as a pass rushing monster. No disrespect to Demarcus Lawrence either.
One more pick up that doesn’t get enough pub. Greg the LEG Zuerlein, former Ram and fantasy god, replaced the STRING of awful kickers this team has had and BOY is that an upgrade. If you’ve watched a few Cowboys games, you know this has been an achilles heel in our special teams. Which is also why grabbing John Fassel from the Rams is incredibly clutch.
Mostly the Cowboys improved through the draft. Let’s just take ONE second to RAVE about the Cowboys 1st and 2nd rounders in CeeDee Lamb and Trevon Diggs (Stefon’s little brother). Lamb is a sexier specimen than Channing Tatum in Magic Mike pick but in terms of need, he’s a cherry on top of an already potent receiving corps. With Blake Jarwin coming into his own, Michael Gallup turning into a legit #2 and already relying on Amari Cooper, CeeDee will be a perfect fit to replace Randall Cobb’s pass dropping ass in the slot. You know he was one of the league leaders with 10 in 2019? Not great. But as we said before, corner was the biggest need in the offseason and even though Diggs is a rookie, it looks like he might contribute and make noise right away. If he plays well this year, that will make a huge difference between missing the playoffs and winning the division.
Byron Jones CB (Dolphins)
Robert Quinn OLB (Bears)
Travis Frederick C (Retirement)
Randall Cobb WR (Texans)
Maliek Collins DT (Raiders)
Jason Witten TE (Raiders)
Cam Fleming OT(Giants)
Honestly, these players were either going to get too expensive to re-sign (like Robert Quinn or Byron Jones) or weren’t contributing enough to be sad about their departure. But, BUT losing Travis Frederick was a massive blow to this offense. This is what I’m scared about most on that side of the ball. On top of that La’el Collins just got placed on IR, and Connor Williams had a ton of penalties last year on the O line, so I’m V skeptical about how all this is going to mesh. Dak says it’s working with new starting Center Joe Looney, but time will tell when the bright lights turn on. Pray for the Boys.
BIGGEST QUESTION MARKS
The Dallas Cowboys have invested massively in the cornerback position this offseason. Not so much at safety. They added veterans Daryl Worley, Maurice Canady, and Saivion Smith in free agency, and added top prospects Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson (moved to safety) in the NFL Draft. Add these five additions to the Cowboys carryovers Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and Chidobe Awuzie, and you have more players than roster spots.
Will Chido Awuzie, who has been dog shit at corner, move back to safety, a position he played in college? It looks like he’s already been jumped on the depth chart by Anthony Brown. How will new starting safety Darian Thompson and new backup Reggie Robinson look out there?
If these two areas aren’t terrible, this team could be REALLY REALLY good. Kind of important question marks, though.
12-4 and NFC East Champions
There. I said it. There will be a game (or two) this team wins that it has no business winning and a random flopper (or two) of a game this team should easily cruise through that after coming back late in the 4th quarter, they somehow take a heartbreaking L. Dak has all the weapons to be great, and every incentive to prove his worth. The defense is shored up to a large degree and they solved their coaching and kicker woes. Now it’s time to watch every fucking Cowboy game in primetime and live and die by the Boys.
Game 1 At the Rams on a Sunday night, I’m already nervous.