Even with losses, Dallas Cowboys still legitimate contenders

Everson Griffen (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Everson Griffen (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys lost a key player to injury, but that won’t derail their overall success as a team.

After a disappointing 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys addressed the main issues plaguing the team. Focusing on defense, Dallas drafted and signed free agents at their biggest area of weakness. The headliner of them all was six-time Pro Bowler Gerald McCoy.

Finally, the Cowboys had a legitimate defensive tackle to add to their defensive line. McCoy would join two other former All Pros Aldon Smith Everson Griffen.  With those “War Daddies” and the addition of other young and developing linemen, the Cowboys defensive front was rounding out to be top-5 in the league.

But after McCoy went down with a season-ending quadriceps tendon injury, the critics came out with criticisms that the Dallas Cowboys playoffs aspirations took a turn and now Dallas might not even win the NFC East.

Slow down baby because even though the Cowboys lost a key defensive weapon, they’re still legitimate contenders to contend for a Super Bowl.

In years past, losing a veteran Pro Bowler like McCoy would have been beyond disastrous to a Cowboys team, let alone the psyche of the entire team. But those days are long gone because the Cowboys are deep on the defensive front and can just plug in another player.

Yes, the Cowboys will miss McCoy’s production playing at the 3-tech position, but they have other candidates to replace him like Neville Gallimore, Tyrone Crawford, and former second round pick Trysten Hill. Out of that bunch, Crawford is more than capable of holding his own and playing at a decent level.

The beauty of having depth is that is the untapped potential that’s readily available. Hill had a disappointing rookie season and for whatever reason he was in the coaching staff’s dog house and saw limited action last year.

But with McCoy gone, Hill has an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong and make a strong impression on head coach Mike McCarthy and his coaching staff.

Gallimore is a talented rookie that’s going to make a lot of noise in the NFL. It’s even possible Gallimore could beat out Crawford and Hill as the starting defensive tackle (Gallimore is a beast and never stops working).

Keep in mind Dallas got a steal with Gallimore in the third round. And  one of the best scenarios I can envision is Gallimore and Hill surprising everyone and both start. But regardless of who starts, that’s excellent depth to have at the defensive tackle position.

With Crawford, Hill, Gallimore, and a possible free agent filling in the defensive tackle position, Dallas’ defensive front is set with other players ready to ball out. DeMarcus Lawrence, Smith, Griffen, and Dorance Armstrong are Dallas’ primary edge rushers, backed by Jalen Jelks and Joe Jackson. And don’t forget about Dontari Poe‘s experience as an expected starter.

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By Dallas having a deep defensive front, it allows the veterans to get that much needed rest and have fresh legs in the fourth quarter. I know site expert Reid Hanson is unsure about Hill and Gallimore replacing McCoy at the 3-tech, but those two have the ability to at least collectively do enough to fulfill McCoy’s production.

This defensive has enough firepower to pressure the quarterback and stop the run alike. This defensive front is stout enough to allow the linebacking duo of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to run wild like the headhunters the are, bringing havoc on opposing offenses.

Dallas’ secondary got better with rookies Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson joining Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Donovan Wilson. Expect the secondary to improve in the interception department with more pressure from the front seven leading to errant throws and more opportunities.

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Add a high octane offense with a Super Bowl winning coach, and the Dallas Cowboys are still in position to have a successful season and then some. Having the Real McCoy would have been great but he was the icing on the cake. The rest make up a pretty tasty cake on their own.