Dallas Cowboys look to best 6,904 yards in 2020. But is it possible?
The 2020 Dallas Cowboys somehow potentially got better on offense even after posting almost 7,000 yards in 2019. The offense will be the catalyst that could put the Cowboys in rare air for themselves these past 25-years, in an NFC championship game. Would 7,000 yards guarantee the 2020 season is one of the best in Dallas Cowboys history?
I’m not even going to act like I have the answer to the question posed, so instead I’m going to take a fun approach to the question and breakdown the chances the Cowboys repeat a great offensive season. Even though the answer in my opinion is yes it would be one of the best in the franchise’s long history, but other factors need to fall in place also.
So instead let’s look at this question, is it even possible for America’s Team to expand on their yard total from 2019? Let’s look at the year after results for the top 5 offenses of the past decade by total yards in a season.
2013 Denver Broncos: 7,317 yards 2014: 6,446 yards
2011 New Orleans Saints: 7,474 yards 2012: 6,574 yards
2019 Dallas Cowboys: 6,904 yards 2020: ??
2011 New England Patriots: 6,848 yards 2012: 6,846 yards
2012 New England Patriots: 6,846 yards 2013: 6,152 yards
What does that trend show? The greatest offenses of the past decade by yardage were not able to expand on yardage the following year. Already stacking the cards against the 2020 Dallas Cowboys. But the Cowboys have something that these offenses luckily lacked in the year following their success. Uncertainty.
The 2020 team will bring in a quarterback Dak Prescott who is still trying to earn his long term extension. Giving more motivation for Prescott to try and accomplish both statistical records and team success, luckily the two work hand in hand.
Dallas welcomes a new playmaker in wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and also might be able to rejuvenate the tight end position with Blake Jarwin. The two have to surpass 1,357 yards combined to fill the void left by long time mainstay tight end Jason Witten and slot receiver Randall Cobb from last season. That seems very doable, Witten and Cobb underperformed in 2019 for their standards from earlier in their careers.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott is still trying to prove he is the top running back in the NFL after finishing more than 600 yards behind Carolina Panthers Running Back Christian McCaffery in yards from scrimmage for 2019. Elliott has never come close again to his 108.7 rushing yards per game his rookie season in 2016. With that stat falling to 84.8 rushing yards per game in 2019.
How many of the Dallas Cowboys’ cards need to fall right?
The above section outlined the uncertainty of an offense that is coming off a 6,904-yard season. The Cowboys somehow have room for improvement on top of what they did last season. But they also have room for improvement to do on the scoreboard as well, following an 8-8 campaign.
So, how many things have to go the Cowboys way to hypothetically win 11 or 12-games while gaining over 7,000 yards? The logical answer would be a lot. The real answer though seems to be not much at all.
Prescott threw for over 4,900 yards and ran for a career-low 277 yards in 2019. Many Cowboys fans believe that Prescott’s legs are the factor that is holding the offense back from what it could potentially be. The good news though is after working with Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a long time, Cowboy’s head coach Mike McCarthy might be able to share some wisdom.
Rodgers is known for extending plays and scrambling for yardage when a pocket collapses, a nightmare for Cowboys fans in many matchups the past decade-plus. McCarthy should share that wisdom with Prescott, who seems to be at his best when his legs are also an option in the offense.
Just for fun, using an almost fantasy football approach, how much would it take from individuals to reach 7,000 yards in 2020? Now introducing wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup to the equation. Also, second-year running back Tony Pollard.
Prescott: 4,800 passing yards and 400 rushing yards
Elliott: 1,500 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving
Pollard: 400 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving
Cooper: 1,200 yards receiving
Gallup: 900 yards receiving
Others: 1,800 yards receiving (Lamb, Jarwin, etc.)
Those statistics above would bring the Cowboys to 7,100 total yards. It does not seem that far-fetched with the skill players the Cowboys have to accomplish those numbers in 2020. This was all for fun though and it really doesn’t matter how many yards the team gets. Sadly, I do not have the formula to turn yards into wins, the stat that does matter in 2020.