Dallas Cowboys All-Pro edge rusher, Micah Parsons said the Cowboys are the top team in the NFC. They have the talent and are more than capable of being the best in the NFC. Here’s why the Cowboys can be the top dog in the NFC.
What Could Make The Cowboys the Top Team in the NFC
The team goes as Dak Prescott goes and as long as he’s behind center, the Cowboys are a threat. As a starter, Prescott has never had a losing season and he’s underappreciated. He’s faced an abundance of criticism based on last season but a new season is upon us and the interception talk is getting old. Last year isn’t a reflection of Prescott’s career, he’s actually been an efficient boost for the Cowboys offense.
In his best season (2021), he was fully healthy and put together an MVP-like season. Only two years removed from 2021, he didn’t forget how to play football. Being the quarterback of the Cowboys, the bad will outweigh the good but he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league, regardless of how the media portrays him. He gets the heat for the playoff shortcomings but playoff wins are a team accomplishment and he’s the reason why they get there.
The Cowboys were a playmaker away from the NFC Championship, in what is considered Prescott’s “worst” year and they lacked consistent weapons outside of CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard. Prescott will be in a new system with surrounding weapons that are very good. He will have an MVP-caliber season and the chance to silence critics.
The Cowboys Defense
Led by Parsons, the defense was already scary and will be even better this upcoming season. As a unit, they forced 33 turnovers which led the NFL. They added some size in the middle by drafting Mazi Smith to complement Johnathan Hankins and the interior. Clearly, Dan Quinn is a headache for offensive coordinators. They decided to spice up the defense this offseason, which gives Quinn more versatility.
There’s a no-fly zone in Dallas and their secondary is menacing. They traded for former DPOY Stephon Gilmore, extended their star cornerback Trevon Diggs, and Daron Bland emerged last season. The three-headed monster consisting of Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, and Donovan Wilson at the safety positions will bring physicality and athleticism. This defense is going to be a problem for opposing offenses and the X-factor for success.
The Outside Weapons
Trading away Amari Cooper really hurt the Cowboys offense, which showed in the postseason. This offseason, they addressed the wide receiver issue and acquired Brandin Cooks. Last season they had 27 passing plays that went for more than 25 yards, which ranked them 20th in the league.
Throughout training camp, the Prescott to Cooks connection has been special and they’re starting to build chemistry fairly quickly. Cooks, who’s surpassed 1,000 yards receiving six times in his career can spread the field and gives Prescott the downfield threat the offense lacked. Lamb exploded last season, finishing with career-highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns all while Prescott missed five games. Michael Gallup is getting back to his pre-injury form and will be a huge red zone threat.
The Running Back Room
Pollard showed why he’s one of the most versatile backs in the league. He had 1,378 all-purpose yards and 12 total touchdowns. This year he steps into the role of top running back. He didn’t put the ball on the ground once last season which is huge considering his amount of touches. Deuce Vaughn will be last year’s version of Pollard and greatly impact the offense.
Vaughn was an all-purpose yard merchant while at Kansas State. He has the ability to be a threat out of the backfield as a pass catcher. His athleticism adds an element to the Cowboys offense they’ve been missing, the screen game. With his small frame behind those big offensive linemen, this will play a huge role in getting his play-making ability in the open field.
What Stands in The Cowboys Way?
It’s simple: inconsistency. Regular season and playoff losses shouldn’t always come down on the shoulders of Prescott, it’s the team as a whole. This team has shown moments where they looked nearly unstoppable like Christmas Eve against the Philadelphia Eagles and against the Minnesota Vikings. They’ve also had moments they’ve looked flat and unprepared, such as Week 18 against the Washington Commanders.
It’ll come down to the team being efficient as a unit. They need their playmakers to show up in big moments, their coaches to make the right decisions, and not play down to their competition.
This Cowboys team is just as dominant as the other two in the NFC. If they can remain healthy and consistent throughout the regular season and postseason, they can get over the hump and be the NFC’s top team.