Fixing the Cowboys


Photo Credit: All-Pro Reels

Dylan Kowalski and Drake Manos

[Note: this article was written when the Cowboys were 2-7.]

The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most beloved sports teams. Five-time champions, they have a decorated history; however, in the past 25 years, the Cowboys have failed to reach an NFC championship game. This season, quarterback Dak Prescott, who led the league in passing yards, suffered a season ending ankle injury. Not only have the Cowboys lost some tough games, but they were also crushed by their divisional rivals. Though 2 – 7 is one of the worst starts they have ever had, there is a solution.

The Cowboys are a complete mess on both sides of the ball. Since Dak’s injury, the Cowboys have already featured three quarterbacks. Except for the wide receivers, the offense has been disappointing. With injuries to the line, Ezekiel Elliot has struggled. The defense has been abysmal with missed tackles, minimal pass rush, and blown coverages. Whether they tank or not, the Cowboys will have one of the worst records in the league, winning less than four games. Missing the playoffs, they will get a top pick in the draft.

The Cowboys have many possibilities in the draft and offseason. They have 27 expiring contracts to address, including that of Dak Prescott. To evaluate Prescott, they should franchise tag him for another year and let him prove his worth. With Dallas’s current woes, his value has gone up. Next, they should trade Ezekiel Elliot to a team that needs a RB like the Arizona Cardinals, who could take on Zeke’s heavy salary and return 1st and 2nd round picks along with a defensive back. This allows for the Cowboys to draft a RB whose rookie salary helps the salary cap. Turning to the coaching staff, Dallas must fire Mike Nolan. His defense prior to this year was ranked at the bottom of the league (2014 Atlanta Falcons). McCarthy only hired him because of their friendship. Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore, who is favored by Dak Prescott, is hard to fire at the moment. His offense has ranked highly every year in his tenure with the Cowboys, but his game plan needs to improve and include more running plays to alleviate Prescott’s burden. Firing McCarthy is unfair as well because of all the roster’s injury set-backs. Jerry Jones himself has stated multiple times that McCarthy will return, so it should be considered set in stone.

In this upcoming draft, the Dallas Cowboys will have a variety of options. The most popular among fans, option one is to select a quarterback like Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. Option two is to trade Ezekiel Elliot for a lineman or linebacker and some picks on draft night. A guard like Quenton Nelson from the Colts or a pick from the Cardinals would be ideal. The most likely one, option three is to trade all assets for multiple first rounders, just as the Raiders did with Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. An ancient but clever route straight from the 90’s (Herschel Walker), the Cowboys could employ the first two options and trade Zeke and the QB we draft (Fields or Lawrence) for a bevy of assets. It would be foolish for Jerry to draft a quarterback and keep him when Prescott will return next season as a seasoned veteran and proven leader. Also, Dallas needs to inject life into its once-great offensive line via the draft to aid the injury-prone Tyron Smith, Zach Martin, and La’el Collins. Lastly, having missed out Jamal Adams this year, they could also reshape the defense with a trade from a top QB pick. In the event that the Cowboys do not draft a top QB, they should select a defensive back in the first 1st round draft pick from the Zeke trade. All in all, both of the authors feel that this plan will help the Dallas Cowboys return into definite playoff contention.