Dallas Cowboys Have All The Pieces For Super Bowl Glory


ESPN and Pro Football Focus have now only confirmed what many Dallas Cowboys fans have known for years. That’s the fact America’s Team has all the pieces in place to contend for a Super Bowl…right now.

Now, championship level expectations every year can be deemed delusional by non-fans. Then again, these are the Dallas Cowboys we are talking about here. The most hated and loved professional sports team in America.

And although Super Bowl talk is common place between Cowboys’ fans, it has rarely been backed up by non-biased statistics. That is, until now. The number crunchers over at Pro Football Focus partnered with ESPN to determine how many missing players each NFL Team was from making the Super Bowl.

Just how many missing pieces did they determine the Dallas Cowboys needed to make the big game? Zero. That’s right, nothing. In fact, it was hard for them to find anything wrong with this Cowboys’ team in 2014.

"“One of the reasons the Cowboys were so good this year? There wasn’t a whole lot to hate on their roster, “according to Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus. “Top cornerback Brandon Carr continued to struggle, surrendering a 116.6 passer rating when targeted, tied for ninth-worst in the league. Carr and Morris Claiborne allowed nine combined passing touchdowns; no other Dallas CBs gave up any. Amazingly, Claiborne, who played just 151 snaps on the year, accounted for three of those by himself, before going down with a season-ending knee injury.”"

There was certainly a lot to dislike about the Cowboys’ defensive secondary in 2014. But when you think about it, there are plenty of other NFL teams without players like Orlando Scandrick and Sterling Moore on their roster to back up disappointments like Carr and Claiborne.

In fact, the article only listed two players in the Cowboys “bad” category: The aforementioned Carr and defensive tackle Nick Hayden. The veteran cornerback’s issues have been well documented. But Carr actually began playing better late into the season.

As for Hayden, he is a high-effort player whom defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli loves. Despite being the Cowboys’ worst defensive player according to PFF’s rankings for the past two seasons, the Golden Cock probably has a job in Dallas as long as the old ball coach has a say.

Despite having 28 Cowboys’ players ranked elite, good or average, the article did point out three areas or positions that needed improvement in Dallas: Defensive line, cornerback and running back.

With defensive tackle Henry Melton most likely gone, the Cowboys must build their defensive line around his replacement, Tyrone Crawford. 2014 second round draft pick defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is one key piece that will be expected to play a bigger role this year.

Veteran players like defensive ends Jeremy Mincey, Anthony Spencer and George Selvie could also be called upon to help fill-out this line in 2015. Although both Spencer and Selvie are currently free agents.

At cornerback, the fates of both Carr and Claiborne are currently unknown. Although I believe the play of Scandrick and Moore make one or both former starters expendable.

But there’s a better chance Carr takes a massive pay cut this offseason to stay in Dallas. And former first round pick Claiborne most likely plays out the final year of his rookie contract as a Cowboy in 2015.

As for running back as a possible position of need, that is only if All-Pro back DeMarco Murray is not re-signed by Dallas this offseason. If Murray moves on, expect back-up Joseph Randle to be penciled in at starter. But also expect Dallas to make a move either in free agency or via the draft to better secure the position.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: The Linebacker Dilemma of 2015

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