Not exactly the most surprising news to report but the Dallas Cowboys roster is widely considered a good one. After gathering 12-wins in back-to-back seasons, a high ranking is fairly expected. Especially since they only got better in the offseason.
Dallas retained all their top players on team-friendly deals and added two high-level players at high-value positions to bolster both sides of the passing game. Stephon Gilmore is the new starting CB and Brandin Cooks is the new starting WR. Most will agree these two players are considerable upgrades over Anthony Brown and Noah Brown (the players they effectively replace in the starting lineup).
If anything, the Dallas Cowboys roster is ranked too low in this 2023 preseason roster ranking.
Pro Football Focus, always the happy critic, has recently released their roster rankings. After slotting in Philadelphia and San Francisco in the top two slots, they finally got to Dallas at No. 6.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to predict the Dallas Cowboys to finish no better than sixth in the NFL (their final team standing notoriously fails to meet their talent levels year after year) to think they are just the sixth rated roster is a little hard to understand.
In PFF’s breakdown they also call the QB play the biggest weakness which seems to undermine their credibility significantly. Even people who hate Dak Prescott and/or are victims of recency bias (2022 was a down year for Prescott) will be hard-pressed to call him the biggest weakness on the Cowboys roster.
For years Prescott has carried the Cowboys offense and for years he’s rated as one of the best in the NFL. The Cowboys offense has been elite as well and the falloff in offensive performance has been significant without Prescott.
Cooper Rush, a mid level QB2, proved he can hold down the fort in a jam so his place on the team shouldn’t be negatively impacting the Cowboys QB position here either. Not to mention, Mike McCarthy is regarded as a QB guru, so to call the QB position the biggest weakness is slighting each level of the Dallas Cowboys hierarchy.
The biggest factor working against the Dallas Cowboys in 2023 is their schedule. They play a murders’ row of playoff teams and could very well see a slippage in wins despite noticeably being a better team than a season before.
But even that shouldn’t impact their roster rating. This is a talent assessment not a prediction of success. Just another curious situation to digest before the season starts. As always, it’s up to the players themselves to prove the world wrong.
…And even then it will be doubtful anyone will admit their slights.