As we do each offseason, we spoke to the good of us over there Football Outsiders about the Dallas Cowboys upcoming season. FO author Rivers McCown answered our questions, so let’s verify in on what he needed to say. You can get the newest Football Outsiders Almanac 2022 from Football Outsiders in digital type, or you should purchase it at Amazon in printed type. It has a ton of data and is effectively value a learn.
Blogging The Boys: How a lot will the lack of Amari Cooper damage the Cowboys offense?
Football Outsiders: Our offensive projection for the Cowboys is a step again, however not a serious one. They completed sixth in offensive DVOA final 12 months, and are nearer to tenth in the run of projections I’m now. (The projections can change pretty usually, so greatest to keep away from a agency rating.) I feel the Cowboys are each proper to think about Cooper as a luxurious piece in a great offense and likewise responsible of misreading the marketplace for his providers as the wideout contracts spiraled uncontrolled this offseason. The well being of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott is extra necessary to me than Cooper, however I count on his absence will probably be felt early on as Michael Gallup misses time.
BTB: Where would you rank Dak Prescott amongst NFL quarterbacks?
(*5*)FO: If you requested me to think about a totally wholesome Dak Prescott in a one-game state of affairs for this train, I’d rank him behind Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Justin Herbert, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady. I can see arguments to rank him behind theoretically-cleared-to-play-football Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, and Joe Burrow. The drawback with Prescott is not his expertise, however the proven fact that he is so usually damage or enjoying damage that he is not dependable in the manner that the better of the greatest are – and that is the place you get to take arguments for guys who I feel are in his identical primary tier of quarterback like Matt Stafford, who aren’t nearly as good at their peak in my view, however have extra examples of enjoying as much as their expertise.
So to the query itself I’d say: Somewhere between sixth and tenth. I’m nonetheless ready for that one dominant season the place Prescott stays wholesome and simply rakes everyone.
BTB: Should the Cowboys consider Micah Parsons as a defensive finish as an alternative of an off-ball linebacker?
FO: I do not suppose so. The extra doubt you may put into the thoughts of an offense’s play callers, the higher. Parsons is not precisely misplaced in protection. I perceive the concept that his go speeding is his most useful trait, however he did not precisely appear to be held again by enjoying linebacker. I feel Dan Quinn deserves numerous credit score for the way he utilized Parsons final season – the hybrid position is not precisely widespread but, and it is one thing that I feel quite a lot of present NFL DCs can be scared to implement.
BTB: Do you count on the Cowboys protection to take a step again in 2022 as a result of they won’t get as many turnovers this season as they did final 12 months?
FO: I feel they will take a step again in the sense that they will not get as many landing returns – one thing that’s nearly fully random from a pure statistical standpoint – however I do not suppose there will probably be a serious regression from the protection . They misplaced Randy Gregory in free company, however there was no assure that he was repeating final season anyway. Most importantly, they maintain a ridiculously straightforward schedule stuffed with NFC North, AFC South, and bottom-of-the NFC East groups.
BTB: What is the most important cause the Cowboys preserve failing in the postseason this previous decade?
F.O: I do not suppose there’s one main lesson to remove from this with out simply admitting outright that you simply’re on Narrative Street. The 2021 Cowboys failed in the playoffs as a result of they could not run the ball and their offensive line faltered in opposition to a tricky entrance. All Jason Garrett groups failed as a result of it’s inconceivable for him to confess that operating the ball is not the perfect consequence. Even regardless of that, they misplaced 4 one-score video games. That’s extra unfortunate than a design flaw.