With the Dallas Cowboys finally giving quarterback Dak Prescott the payday he deserves, the franchisee must give him the offensive line and defense he needs to win. In return, Prescott needs to cut down on the late-game turnovers. What he did last season before his season-ending injury is well documented so is what his defense didn’t do.
The Cowboys ranked as the league’s 28th best defense according to pro-football-reference.com, allowing 473 points or 29.5 points per game. Only four other teams allowed more. Opposing teams racked up over 385 yards a game making them look more like a Big 12 defense than an NFL defense. Through the air, the unit allowed a whopping 34 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and on the ground allowed equally staggering numbers of 20 touchdowns and five yards a carry. While a new coordinator should help the unit as whole needs retooling.
As much as I like safety Xavier Woods can’t stay healthy and probably needs to be replaced. Corners Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, and Chidobe Awuzie are too inconsistent and injury-prone to depend on as well. Safety Donovan Wilson proved to be solid in limited snaps but questions abound if he could do the same in a bigger role. Upfront All-Pro end Demarcus Lawrence needs help badly. Aldon Smith started hot but flammed out down the stretch with nobody stepping up to the plate. With both him and longtime Cowboy Tyrone Crawford free agents upgrades are needed.
Likewise upfront offensively is a problem for the first time in years. A season full of injuries exposed how thin the depth is and the need to fix it. Tackle Tyron Smith is on his last legs while veterans Joe Looney and Cam Erving are stopgaps at best. The best of the bunch youth wise is center Tyler Biadsz and tackle La’el Collins two solid building blocks moving forward. For Prescott to remain upright and healthy and for star running back Ezekiel Elliott to return to form the unit must be better. Last season they allowed 44 sacks and opened holes for a combined 1,788 yards and 14 touchdowns.
With the Dallas Cowboys finally giving quarterback Dak Prescott the payday he deserves, the franchisee must give him the offensive line and defense he needs to win. In return, Prescott needs to cut down on the late-game turnovers. For that to happen Jerry Jones and Co. have a lot to improve with a short budget. The difference between 8-8 and a playoff run depends on it.