3 things that Dallas Cowboys fans can be thankful for
By Mitch Larson
Here are three things that Dallas Cowboys fans can still be thankful for
Let’s be honest, the Dallas Cowboys‘ 2020 season hasn’t gone the way that anyone was hoping it would. Heck, 2020 hasn’t gone the way anyone was hoping it would either.
This is usually the time of year when many of us sit and reflect on the things that we are thankful for. While it certainly feels like the rain has been a steady pour on the Cowboys’ star adorned helmets this season, that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to still be grateful for when it comes to America’s Team.
Amidst all the frustration, there’s still been plenty to be encouraged by and excited about. Here are three things that Cowboys fans can still be thankful for this year:
1. The 2020 Draft Class
The Dallas Cowboys have quietly been one of the better drafting teams in the NFL over the last decade. That success is largely a testament to the work that current vice president of player personnel Will McClay has done. However, he might have outdone himself with this year’s rookie draft class.
McClay arrived in Dallas as a pro scouting coordinator in 2009 and since then has steadily ascended the ranks to become the top person in the Cowboys’ front office who doesn’t have the last name Jones. From 2010-2019 the Cowboys have drafted 13 different players who have gone on to be selected to at least one Pro Bowl. A total that is second only to the Kansas City Chiefs. There have been some big hits and some big misses, but by and large, they’ve done a very good job.
It’s admittedly still early, but this draft class has the potential to be one of the most impactful and talented in recent memory. This group of rookies is poised to make noise in Dallas for years to come and should have the fanbase excited for both the present and the future.
You’d need to think a bit before naming a group of Cowboys rookies more immediately impactful than this one. Four of the team’s top-five draft picks have already ascended to the starting lineup. Plus they were even able to use some picks on high-upside role players who with a little bit of development could become key contributors down the road.
What was obvious on draft night has become crystal clear as the season has gone on. Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb was an absolute steal at the 17th overall pick. For a team that has traditionally opted to draft for need rather than the overall talent available, the Cowboys broke tradition when they drafted Lamb as opposed to selecting a player like LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson who went to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 20th overall pick.
Lamb has been tremendous in his first season with the team. His 595 receiving yards are third among all rookies, while his 44 receptions lead them. That is an impressive feat considering how anemic the Cowboys passing attack has been since quarterback Dak Prescott was placed on injured reserve. It seems like almost every week since his debut, CeeDee Lamb has made a play that just leaves you in awe.
Another rookie standout this year has been cornerback Trevon Diggs who prior to going down with a broken foot in week nine, was visibly improving every week. Diggs has had his fair share of ups and downs, but his potential is clear and he seemed to have turned the corner (no pun intended) during week eight’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Interior defensive linemen Neville Gallimore has quietly become a starter and consistently been flashing the ability that could make him the long-term answer at the position. Similarly, center Tyler Biadasz was drafted to replace Travis Frederick (oddly enough another Wisconsin Badger). He became a starter back in week five and has been a clear upgrade over Joe Looney since then.
All of this, and yet the team still managed to grab a couple of players like edge rusher Bradlee Anae and defensive back Reggie Robinson II. Both of whom ooze potential at positions the Cowboys have a need at. Even seventh-round quarterback Ben DiNucci has seen action this year, although his start was due to injuries.
The present might be frustrating, but the future sure seems bright with this crop of rookies. With almost half the draft class already cementing themselves as solid starting contributors, there is a lot to look forward to.