The Dallas Cowboys are building a roster that can compete with any team in the NFL, but is this group still one year away from the Super Bowl?
Prescott will be entering his second season along with running back Ezekiel Elliott. Both coming off Pro Bowl seasons in which they led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record.
With an offensive line that is considered best in the NFL, the Cowboys are on track for a Super Bowl or bust season. But there still lies a few questions that might hinder the team in the 2017 season.
There is absolutely no doubt the Cowboys have an elite offense, as every where you turn there is a Pro Bowl caliber player. But the defense, on the other hand, has struggled in recent years and this season has several new faces.
Defensive end David Irving has been suspended the first four games of the 2017 season for violating the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy. Fellow defensive end Randy Gregory is serving a full 16-game suspension for substance abuse (his third ban).
Linebacker Damien Wilson had been working with the first team defense most of the offseason, but he may be facing suspension as well after an altercation in Frisco, TX escalated quickly, Wilson found himself charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Newly signed Corner Nolan Carroll may also face suspension. After leaving his own welcome party in uptown Dallas, Carroll was pulled over and arrested on DUI charges. The NFL never looks to kindly on those.
Elliott could soon join the suspended group as his problems seem to grow after every passing week. The NFL has been conducting an investigation surrounding an alleged domestic abuse incident dating back to last year. Rumors are Zeke may be facing a one to two game ban, if not more, considering some of his recent incidents.
The Cowboys may be looking for help from their young talent early and often. The defense alone will feature first round rookie defensive end Taco Charlton and defensive tackle Maliek Collins, a second year player, on the defensive line.
Linebacker Jaylon Smith will also be entering his second year. Smith missed the entire 2016 season nursing a knee injury and may need a year to get acclimated to the speed of the NFL.
Corners Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis will both be rookies the Cowboys will depend on this year. Cornerback Anthony Brown surprised many with his performance last year but he too will only be a second-year veteran.
Young talent is hard to find in the NFL but the Cowboys seem to have a recent surplus. In order to win a Super Bowl that talent will need experience. Most fans would hope they can gain that experience sooner than later.
With suspensions looming and inexperience on the defense, the Cowboys may need to look to next season as the year everything comes together.
The culture will change, suspensions will no longer haunt the team and experience will be found. The Cowboys will find themselves in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA February 3, 2019, while former starting quarterback Tony Romo and the CBS crew broadcast the Super Bowl.
I believe the Dallas Cowboys will be Super Bowl LIII Champions.