The Dallas Cowboys have an easy schedule, a strong offense, and a questionable defense this season. What is the best case scenario for them this season?
The 2016 NFL season for the Dallas Cowboys could be super, there I said it, but it could also be just another season. The biggest question mark is the defense, and the biggest excitement is rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot.
The offense looks to be stronger than the last few seasons, and with a little luck, some hard work, and coaching adjustments, the defense could be just fine.
First, the offense looks like it will be a powerhouse in the NFC and NFL. A healthy Tony Romo and a healthy Dez Bryant with the addition of Elliot should be the new version of the immortal triplets. With the Cowboys’ questions on defense this season, it is assumed that the offense will have to carry the team. Either way, the offense should be able to put up points in bunches which will help the defense.
The idea is that the Cowboys will be a pick your poison type team. If you want to stack the box to stop Elliot, Darren McFadden, and Alfred Morris, then the Cowboys will pass to Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Jason Witten (or even Lance Dunbar).
If opponents opt to stop the pass by dropping more players into coverage, then it will be the running backs who chew up yardage. The idea will be to put up points early and grind the game down.
The defense, however, will have to rely on a secondary that is, at best, mediocre. In order for the defense to exceed expectations, they will have to generate a pass rush without Randy Gregory, Demarcus Lawrence, or Greg Hardy.
Players will have to step up and produce career seasons if the Cowboys hope to be serviceable in the pass-rush department. David Irving, if he takes a step forward, could be a huge piece of the much maligned pass rush.
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The linebackers just got a little better with the resigning of Justin Durant to replace suspended Rolando McClain. There is still enough athleticism in the linebacking corps to be a force, and if injured rookie Jaylon Smith recovers this season, then all the better.
The coaching staff will have to be both creative and predictable.
They must rely heavily on their key players if they hope to make this season memorable. Jason Garrett will have to build that killer instinct. Rod Marinelli will have to find ways to get pressure on the quarterback. And the special teams will have to continue to be special.
If the Cowboys can overcome some of the shortcomings on defense and be a little more creative than they have been on offense, they could easily walk into the playoffs with the NFC East title. Once in the playoffs, the run game and defense will have to step up once more. This really could be a super season for the Cowboys.
It all starts soon with training camp right around the corner. If some players make a step forward, a little luck with health happens, and the coaches use what they have correctly, the Cowboys could make a very deep run into the playoffs this season.
If injuries creep in again and the Cowboys play the same game they played last season, it could be another mediocre campaign. Now we all hope for the best case scenario.