In order for a team to go as far as they hope, they need second-tier players to step up. Here are the three Dallas Cowboys that need to make the leap.
Rosters in the National Football League are unlike any other sport. With the size of the roster increasing to 55 in 2020, not every player is going to be a top-tier producer. For the Dallas Cowboys, they have typically built their team in a very specific way.
The Cowboys have long been considered a “top-heavy” team with six to eight Pro Bowl level players, few good but not great players, and a lot of guys that would be considered third-tier. The 2020 roster has the potential to be different than years past, however.
Make no mistake, the Dallas Cowboys still have bona fide stars. Quarterback Dak Prescott, receiver Amari Cooper, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, and edge rusher DeMarcus Lawrence are widely considered to be in the top ten at their respective positions. Even though he is starting to get older, left tackle Tyron Smith is still one of the four or five best at a crucial spot along the offensive line.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott and guard Zack Martin are easily both top five players at their positions, arguably both the best in the entire league. The difference in 2020 is that the Dallas Cowboys have added more second-tier players to the roster and reduced the number of third-tier guys.
With some shrewd free-agent signings and possibly, more importantly, choosing to not re-sign a few players who have been around for a while, the overall talent on the team is better. Add to the mix, a potentially top-notch draft class, and the roster looks in pretty good shape.
Still, the Dallas Cowboys will need a few of their second-tier guys to step up and make the leap in 2020. This does not necessarily mean that these players need to become first-tier types (although that would be optimal). Making the leap means that the next three players need to improve their play, make their way towards the top of the second-tier and not regress towards the bottom of the roster.
We will start this list with the lone offensive player that the Cowboys need to play a much bigger role in 2020.