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Why Dallas returns to the Playoffs in 2020

by Adam Schultz
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The Dallas Cowboys greatly underachieved last season. Going 8-8 after many expected them to fly through the season and make the playoffs. The year started off well before doing a famous Dallas dive and they ultimately missed the playoffs which cost Jason Garrett his job. Here is why the Cowboys will make a return to the playoffs in 2020.

Dak Prescott.

Say what you want about Dak, the guy can play football. Now is he a top 5 QB? No, but he is in the mix of the next tier of quarterbacks. Personally, I have him between 11-15 in the list of top QB’s of the NFL. It’s not great but not bad either. The biggest knock on Prescott is that he requires everything around him to go right. Zeke needs to be running effectively, Amari Cooper needs to be making highlight plays and the list goes on. Dak had great moments last year, the Minnesota game for example. His arm was on fire during the last drive, yet the coaching decision was made to take the ball out of his hands which to this day I am still trying to figure out why. Six out of the Cowboys eight losses last season were one-possession game and, in those losses, missed field goals were crucial. So Dak was keeping his team in most games but at crucial times mistakes were made either by him or defensively or as was the case on multiple occasions the coaching was horrendous and Dak could not get them over the line. With another weapon in receiver Ceedee Lamb, Dak will be expected to take America’s team to the playoffs and with a fresh face in Mike McCarthy on the sideline, the Cowboys offence could get even better than the historical one in 2019 and Prescott could go to new heights in 2020 and if he does then just imagine the kind of cheque Jerry will have to write to keep Dak in Dallas.

The loaded offence.

Last season the Dallas Cowboys offence put up some serious numbers. They ranked first in total yards with 6,904, they ranked second in passing yards per game with 296.9, fifth in total rush yards with 2152 averaging 134.6 per game, along with the sixth-highest points per game average in the league with 27.1. Many described Zeke Elliott has having a down year, which in some respects he did yet he still managed 1,357 rushing yards along with 12 TD’s so statistically, his year was not all bad. Cowboy receivers in Amari Cooper and young stud Michael Gallup both had great years despite Dallas going 8-8. Cooper went over 1000 yards for the fourth time in his five NFL seasons with 1,189 and 8 TD’s and young Gallup racked up 1,107 yards and 6 TD’s and many could argue that he nearly overtook Cooper as the Cowboys number 1 receiver due to how easy it was at times to take Cooper out of the game. Now add to that the Cowboys pick 17 from the 2020 draft in young receiver Ceedee Lamb from Oklahoma who is already turning heads in training camp and this already potent offence has the potential to be a lot better.

The Defence is improving.

Many may laugh at this, but the defence is Dallas will be a lot different than previous years. With Mike Nolan as new defensive co-ordinator and Jim Tomsula as the new defensive line coach, this defence could cause teams some serious problems. Aldon Smith is by all reports is dominating training camp, add to that the additions in Tyrone Crawford who is back from injury, safety Haha Clinton Dix, new signing defensive end Everson Griffen and young draftee in Trevon Diggs the defence could be a lot more dangerous than last year, even with losing sack machine Robert Quinn and cornerback Byron Jones. There are many changes going on, but for me, they are the right ones, but they need to prove it on the field.

Finally a new coach.

While many were expecting a flashy Hollywood appointment of Urban Meyer or Lincoln Riley, the hire of ex packer head coach Mike McCarthy did not exactly set the world on fire, but it did not need to. McCarthy comes to Dallas with a pedigree as being a veteran play-caller who has all the experience necessary needed to take Dallas back where it needs to be, having won a Super Bowl back in 2010 and been apart of 18 playoff games, winning 10 of them, it was a non-spectacular hire which is probably what the Cowboys needed. If nothing else just by simply having a new coach and fresh ideas to bounce around could be the difference in Dallas this year, a circuit breaker if you will, someone new to come in and mix it up after many seasons under “coach clap” in  Jason Garrett.

The jury is still out on the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. On paper, they have immense talent everywhere but as every football fan knows, simply having talent alone does not win you games of football and that was shown out last year. With a new head coach, multiple changes on the defensive side, and adding another monster at receiver Dallas have all the tools they need to make it to the playoffs, now they just have to go out and do it on the field.

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