Dallas Cowboys: Can the Cowboys close the gap on the Philadelphia Eagles?

ARLINGTON, TX – NOVEMBER 19: The Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys at AT
ARLINGTON, TX – NOVEMBER 19: The Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys at AT /

The Dallas Cowboys are looking to make a better impression in 2018. But just how far off are they from the Philadelphia Eagles?

The Dallas Cowboys will be taking a hard look at their roster in the coming months as they attempt to figure out what kept this team from making a Super Bowl appearance. Divisional rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, will take on the New England Patriots in this years annual Super Bowl contest.

If the Eagles win, they will take home their first-ever Super Bowl Championship; if the Patriots win they will officially have more titles than Dallas. Regardless of the outcome, the Cowboys will likely play second fiddle to the Eagles in terms of 2018 predictions. But really, are the Cowboys that far off from Philadelphia?

Well, that is tough to answer seemingly because we have no idea how the Eagles even got this far in the first place. The elimination of the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams, two of the most dominant teams of the 2017 regular season likely contributed to the Eagles success.

The Minnesota Vikings fell victim to their own hype, unfortunately. If they had a three-down back capable of controlling the clock, or a defense that showed up against Philadelphia the NFC East’s three other teams would not be caught in such a predicament.

The Eagles are seemingly doing most of their winning based off coaching adjustments and grit, which is a tough combination. As far as injuries go, the Eagles were one of the hardest hit teams in the NFL.

They lost their franchise quarterback, their best linebacker, and their best offensive lineman, and still have made the Super Bowl. The Dallas Cowboys lost star running back, Ezekiel Elliott for six games and the team got derailed.

Injuries to Sean Lee and Tyron Smith only made the issue worse as the Cowboys could barely compete while those two were gone. Lack of growth amongst the youngest players along the offensive line and a defense that has been rebuilding from the ground up are not all that comparable to the Eagles roster.

The Eagles offensive line has been steady for the last four seasons and their defensive line has been dominant for a couple of years now. The Cowboys are just getting around to fixing those aspects of their roster. The offensive line has a new coach and should have some new players by the time training camp rolls around.

The defensive line has a star in Demarcus Lawrence but will continue to add productive and disruptive players during the offseason. A big signing and a couple of draft selections could solidify the Dallas Cowboys defense in a way we have not seen over the last ten years.

As far as offense goes, the Eagles have a number of capable backs that could play the role of a starter. The Cowboys only have Elliott, sure Rod Smith and Alfred Morris filled in admirably but even with better run blocking, I doubt there is some hidden plateau of production we have not seen from the two backups.

The Saints saw their offense completely change with the addition of one player, specifically a running back. Alvin Kamara changed the Saints offensive dynamics as he is a dangerous receiver as well as a speedy home run threat on the ground.

If the Dallas Cowboys can find players that can be productive in other areas at the running back position (receiving, route running, etc), it will only help this offense continue to grow. As far as the wide receiving corps is concerned, the Eagles have the Cowboys beat no doubt about it.

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The leaders of the Philadelphia receiving corps have to be Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor. They both made Dallas Cowboy receivers look bad as Jeffery scored 9 times, while Agholor got into the end zone on eight different occasions.

None of the Cowboys receivers got even close to nine touchdowns, at the most, Dez Bryant scored six times (which is pretty unusual). Even young players like Mack Hollins got into the end zone for the Eagles whereas players like Terrance Williams managed to miss the end zone in every game for Dallas.

Williams also just got a contract extension from the club (which was clearly a mistake). If the Dallas Cowboys want to be an offensive force again, they will need new offensive weapons besides just Dak and Zeke.

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While Prescott did have some bad throws this season he is an elite player who had an average season, thanks mostly to bad play calls and a lack of productivity from all of his receivers. The Dallas Cowboys are closer to the Eagles than most people expect and if the right offseason moves are made, the team could surpass them in 2018.