The 2017 season was no doubt disappointing for the Dallas Cowboys but it was also a massive success in many ways
The Dallas Cowboys entered the 2017 season with legitimate Super Bowl aspirations. Fresh off a 13-3 season where it took an Aaron Rodgers miracle play to oust them, Dallas knew they’d be a favorite in Year Two of the Dak and Zeke era.
Even after an offseason seemingly ruled my Murphy’s Law, optimism remained. Super Bowl or bust was the thinking because THAT’s how good this team was. I don’t have to tell you how that all played out as we enter the third week of our offseason while four other teams are still battling in the playoffs.
Consecutive winning seasons
But despite the undeniable disappointment of this past season, there are also undeniable successes. One of which, is simply having back to back winning seasons.
For the first time in eight years the Dallas Cowboys had consecutive winning seasons. Not since the Cowboys followed up their 2009 9-7 campaign with an 11-5 campaign, have the Cowboys strung together success.
The ups and downs that we’ve painfully grown accustomed to are beginning to stabilize, and with any luck they can build on it and provide fans a more stable horse to hitch our cart to.
Tough Lessons Learned
Whether you’re talking about the off-the-field lessons learned (suspensions) from Ezekiel Elliott and David Irving. Or the on-the-field lessons learned from the adversity faced by Dak Prescott and Jaylon Smith, you have to walk away impressed with how they all responded.
Adversity can bring on one of two responses: it can make you dig in and try harder or it can make you give up and fall apart. Every one of these players dug in and fought.
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Perhaps the most successful element to this offseason was the overhaul to the Dallas Cowboys’ secondary. The Cowboys grew discontent with the standard quo in the secondary and decided to let their overpriced veterans walk. In all they sent three starters, one significant role player, and over 2,000 total snaps packing. They essentially replaced them with a handful of rookies.
It was pretty obvious there would be growing plains with an overhaul of this magnitude. But to get to where the Cowboys wanted it eventual get to, the growing pains needed to be endured eventually, so why not now? They bit the bullet and suffered through and now they are better off for it.
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Offensive line overhaul
The offensive line had its own overhaul to overcome. They needed to replace 40% of their unit without even the benefit of draft picks. The pain felt here was more than expected but really shouldn’t have been surprising. Cohesiveness is key to an offensive line, especially one that runs so many zone and trap blocking plays.
While questions still surround the left guard position, La’el Collins seems to have answered the bell at right tackle. The growing pains felt on the offensive line were unavoidable and overcoming them better sets the team up for success next year.
The 2017 season was disappointing to say the least. But considering all of the things they overcame, all of the necessary evil that accompanies on-the-job training, and the tough lessons learned, a 9-7 record isn’t that bad.
All of those things make the Cowboys a better team next season and position them to build on their back-to-back winning seasons.