Offensive Line Health
Coming in second in the poll was Tyron Smith’s back. We might as well as group Zack Martin in here as well since both are related to the offensive line’s production (the backbone of this offense). The common narrative says Dak’s performance is related to Zeke’s presence but the reality is Dak is most recently 4-0 without Zeke. It’s Tyron Smith that’s key to Dak’s success.
For as comforting it is to have the capable Cam Fleming at swing tackle, Tyron Smith is the best tackle in the NFL and the falloff in talent behind him is considerable. Tyron allows Dak to stand in the pocket longer and produce bigger plays downfield. Without the trusted Tyron playing, check-downs increase and production decreases. The offensive line’s health is a big concern.
Concern Level: 6/10
Dak’s Ballooning Contract
Dak’s ever-expanding contract demands have sent shockwaves through Cowboys Nation this season. When the offseason began many fans were braced for a contract up to $25 million per season (which was still more than Sportac estimated).
Now it appears the annual compensation will fall somewhere between $32-$35 million. The possible trickle-down effects are causing even some of Dak’s biggest supporters to panic. Conventional wisdom says if the Cowboys overspend on Dak, they’ll need to make sacrifices elsewhere. While there is merit to that, the salary cap is not exactly a black and white issue.
As I explained here – The Salary Cap is Fake News: Dallas Can Re-sign Everyone. The salary cap is easy to manipulate and the Dallas Cowboys should be able to afford everyone as long as they keep positively contributing. Teams get in trouble when players under-perform and/or are hampered with injury that prevents them from contributing.
The cost to re-sign Dak is probably the least of my concerns and the poll reflects Cowboys Nation holds similar feelings.
Concern level: 2/10