Where do the Dallas Cowboys rank in the top five NFC teams?
By Nathan Jones
4. Chicago Bears
The Bears boasted one of the toughest defenses in the league in 2018. Linebacker Roquan Smith might have been the most underrated players in the league, not to mention he is only entering his second year. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack led the defense so expect him, with a full offseason with the players and coaches, to be that much better.
Their quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, is coming off an impressive sophomore season. With new weapons added in the draft such as running back David Montgomery and receiver Calvin Ridley, he should only get better.
Chicago fans should have high hopes with all these new additions, not to mention head coach Matt Nagy entering his second year with the squad. Last year, Matt Nagy won the 2018-19 NFL coach of the year award.
3. Los Angeles Rams
This might come as a bit of a surprise, but when grading the top three teams in the NFC, you have to split hairs when comparing organizations. The Rams have Super Bowl or bust expectations, and that is usually either too much pressure or just the right amount of motivation to improve.
The Rams barely won in the NFC Championship due to a terrible no-call late in the fourth quarter. Running back Todd Gurley suffered from knee injuries down the stretch last season. Gurley only had 14 carries in the final two postseason matches.
Gurley has suffered from injuries time and time again throughout his college and NFL career. It is unlikely that he will be the same athlete going into his fifth season– this will at least mildly slow down their potent offensive attack.
Their defense is also an area of concern. They drafted safety Taylor Rapp who can be an impact player and force turnovers. But they also let defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh walk (he is still a free agent). Suh was one of the main reasons the Rams beat the Cowboys in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Though he is not a high sack guy like he once was, he still pushes around offensive lineman and stops the run. But nonetheless, the genius of head coach Sean McVay and the dominance of defensive tackle Aaron Donald will allow the Rams to compete in every game. It just might not be enough.