Cowboys pin turnaround on healthy offense, retooled defense

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

DALLAS COWBOYS (6-10)

New faces: LB Micah Parsons, LB Keanu Neal, DT Osa Odighizuwa, S Damontae Kazee, CB Kelvin Joseph, CB Nahshon Wright, DT Carlos Watkins, S Jayron Kearse, DT Brett Urban.

Key losses: QB Andy Dalton, CB Chidobe Awuzie, S Xavier Woods, LB Sean Lee, DL Tyrone Crawford, C Joe Looney, DE Aldon Smith.

Strengths: The offense, when healthy, has already shown it can be among the best in the NFL with QB Dak Prescott, who just signed a club-record $160 million, four-year deal, RB Ezekiel Elliott and the receiving threesome of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup. The offensive line is back intact with the return from injuries of RG Zack Martin, LT Tyron Smith and RT La'el Collins.

Weaknesses: Last year's defense gave up the most points in franchise history, and coordinator Mike Nolan was replaced by Dan Quinn after just one season. The Cowboys set a club record in the seven-round era with eight defensive draft picks. The first-rounder was LB Micah Parsons, who is lining up all over the place and has shown star potential in training camp. There still isn't a proven playmaker at safety, which could continue to be a trouble spot.

Camp Development: Prescott sat out competitive drills almost the entire preseason after straining his right shoulder warming up for practice July 28. Two weeks before the Sept. 9 opener at Tom Brady and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay, Prescott was finally getting regular work in practice. The Cowboys said all along it was simply a matter of rest, with no concern about his availability for the opener.

Fantasy Player To Watch: Can Elliott become the fantasy darling he was after leading the NFL in rushing twice in his first three seasons? He's fit coming off his first normal offseason and training camp since 2018, when he won the second rushing title. The 2016 All-Pro says the burst from his breakout rookie year is still there, but Elliott has to prove it.

FanDuel Says: Win Super Bowl: 30-1. Over/under wins: 9 1/2.

Expectations: The Cowboys believe they have a roster capable of ending a 26-year run without even getting to the NFC championship since the proud franchise's fifth Super Bowl title. Owner Jerry Jones thinks he found the right coach last year in Mike McCarthy, who capped the 2010 season with a Super Bowl victory in Green Bay. McCarthy's seat will heat up quickly with another slow start, and it won't be easy early because Dallas starts with Brady and the Bucs.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

The Associated Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting