One NFL insider believes the Dallas Cowboys have what it takes in the trenches to contend at a high level for the next few years. Is he right?
Whenever the national media talks about the Dallas Cowboys these days, it’s usually about their deficiencies. They give fans all the reasons why the Cowboys aren’t considered contenders this season.
We’ve all heard them. Whether it’s their third-year quarterback in Dak Prescott, their struggling wide receiver corps, the losses of both wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten, the lack of defensive line talent outside of DeMarcus Lawrence, the health of linebacker Sean Lee or this team’s lack of a true free safety,
The reasons as to why the Cowboys will not be playoff contenders this year are plentiful. The biggest of them all being the fact the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles reside in the same conference. How can anyone overcome that juggernaut, right?
But one NFL insider believes the Cowboys recent signing of All-Pro right guard Zack Martin to a six-year extension has solidify this offensive line and thus, making Dallas a perennial conference contender for the next few years.
"“Remember, the last two times the Cowboys won the NFC East and emerged as viable contenders, they featured the NFL’s rushing champ (Elliott in 2016; DeMarco Murray in 2014) running behind the best O-line in football,” wrote former player turned analyst Bucky Brooks for NFL.com. “With [Zack] Martin joining [Tyron] Smith and [Travis] Frederick as long-term players on that front line, you can pencil Dallas in as a threat to win the NFC every year.”"
The Cowboys have secured their trio of talented lineman for the next few years. Right tackle La’el Collins has been earning rave reviews this offseason as he enters his second year at the position. Finally, Dallas drafted Texas’ Connor Williams in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft to start at left guard, giving the Cowboys a starting five that rivals not only any team in the NFL, but maybe in football history.
Dallas will undoubtedly be a run-first team in 2018, a formula that has had tremendous success in Big D as long as their running back position has been stable, present and healthy. After serving a six-game suspension last season for suspected domestic violence, third-year running back Ezekiel Elliott is expected to reclaim his crown as the league’s rushing leader in 2018.
As for both the Cowboys wide receiver and tight end positions, although stalwart names like Bryant and Witten are no longer on the roster, this team is chock full of young talent. Any of whom could step up this summer to become the next big superstar in Dallas.
But honestly, with the Cowboys’ offensive line and elite running back leading the way, this team really only needs role players who do their jobs and step up when their number is called.
Finally, when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys defense, you have to believe they will be a better unit in 2018. These was an inexperienced unit last season that was forced to start several rookies (Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods) in their secondary. Despite that fact, the Cowboys still fielded a top ten defense in 2017. With another offseason program under their collective belts, this very young but very talented Dallas’ “D” should perform even better this year.