Dallas Cowboys strengths and weaknesses for 2022 and beyond

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /
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dallas cowboys
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys needs assessment: Defense

On defense, the needs are a little easier to see, but also have more overall questions for the future. The pass rush is better than I think anyone thought, but that’s because moving Micah to a more prominent role at the edge has helped tremendously.

Yes, he has also played linebacker, but he has taken more snaps at defensive end, and some (not the Dallas Cowboys website) have included him as a defensive end for rankings and stats this year for that reason.

However, the middle of the line is still one of those positions we are watching carefully. The Cowboys saw they needed help against the run and smartly went out and acquired Johnathan Hankins. But the Cowboys could still use more help in the middle of the line. The defense is so good, that the run defense has held up well enough, but I suspect it is something they will look at if the trend continues through the rest of the season.

Dallas Cowboys needs assessment: LB position

Linebacker depth, especially if they move Micah to more edge moving forward, has been a small concern. Damone Clark has played one game and played well. However, Anthony Barr has been some of the issues against the run, and the depth behind the top four is ridiculously thin.

Leighton Vander Esch has been good this season, but if he should get hurt there isn’t much behind him to feel great about. I think they have their starters, but depth couldn’t hurt.

Dallas Cowboys needs assessment: The secondary

The secondary is a much larger question beyond this season. Anthony Brown has played decently, but many feel he isn’t quite enough. There aren’t a lot of options the Cowboys feel great about with Kelvin Joseph still not playing there much, Nahshon Wright also hasn’t seen much of the field, and with Jourdan Lewis out, camp standout Daron Bland is manning the slot. For corner, the Cowboys should be fine with the current pass rush, but might need help moving forward.

Safety has seen its fair share of injuries and while they have delivered some big hits, the coverage isn’t always as sharp as they would always want. This has been a need for a long time, and it might be time for Dan Quinn to inject some young, top-tier, talent into the position. With the run of injuries, age, and the need for more coverage, it could be a need, and they will have to figure out the rotation for the rest of this season.

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It may be early to look ahead, but looking at it also helps see where they need to develop for this season. It is still early for names or guesses who gets signed, released or traded later. What we know is the Cowboys have an excellent defense and an offense that has not been electric. Dak Prescott being back will help, but will it be enough with this cast of receivers? That remains to be seen, but he gives you a chance.