Cowboys have a middle of the pack roster amongst 32 teams per PFF

Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

It seems like because of the notoriety, the Dallas Cowboys tend to be a franchise that always gets high praise heading into any given season. Most analysts put the Cowboys towards the top of their power rankings because they believe that year could finally be the year the organization turns things around.

That wasn’t necessarily the case for Pro Football Focus. While these weren’t traditional power rankings, PFF did release a 32-team ranking of the best overall rosters in the NFL. The top three teams were the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Chargers. And while (usually) the Cowboys would land somewhere in the top 12, that didn’t happen.

America’s Team landed right smack in the middle at No. 16. Much to the dismay of Cowboys fans, PFF believed the team’s overall rosters were worse than franchises like the Browns, Eagles, Dolphins, Saints, and Broncos. That seems a bit harsh. Dallas may not have a roster worthy of a top ten spot, but to say their roster is worse than the Dolphins and Saints is a bit of a stretch.

To be fair, PFF didn’t make this opinionated, so to speak. They combined the 2021 PFF grades of every player to rank the teams. Players like Trevon Diggs, Osa Odighizuwa, Neville Gallimore, LVE, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Terence Steele, and many others who all had grades below 64.0 likely brought the team average down.

PFF ranks the Dallas Cowboys as the No. 16 overall roster in the NFL

The site also included each team’s biggest strength, weakness, and X-factor heading into 2022. None of these come as that much of a surprise.

Micah Parsons was listed as the team’s biggest strength. The former rookie was PFF’s highest-graded off-ball linebacker and was one of the most effective pass-rushers in 2021. He was also incredibly versatile and will play a big role in helping fill the gap left by Randy Gregory. There are few players in the league right now, at any age, doing what Parsons is.

On a roster with a ton of positional question marks, PFF listed the defensive line as the biggest weakness. Without Gregory, the Cowboys will have to rely on younger and less experienced players to carry a lot of weight in 2022. Despite Lawrence’s dominance, the DTs combined for a dismal 33.1 PFF run-defense grade, which made them the third-worst in the league.

The X-factor was Trevon Diggs. PFF is one site that loves to point out how often Diggs blew coverage yards last season. It’s why he got a poor 58.5 PFF grade last year. However, you cannot ignore his ball-hawking abilities and league-leading interception numbers. If the cornerback can replicate those takeaways, he will be a huge factor in the Dallas defense. But if he ends up being a one-hit wonder, it could really hurt the defense’s chances of dominating once again this year.

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