3 weaknesses the Cowboys had in 2023 that were glossed over all year

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages
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2. The Cowboys never figured out their true linebacking corp.

At the start of the season, the linebackers were highlighted by Micah Parsons. While Parsons is classified as a linebacker, he might as well almost be a defensive lineman due to the amount of times he rushes. Dan Quinn took him out of the box quite a bit, leaving more rushing lanes going back to the run defense issues.

Outside of Parsons, this team had Leighton Vander Esch and Damone Clark. Vander Esch signed a new contract this offseason, but the team could not reap the reward of keeping him around. Vander Esch suffered another serious neck injury in the 49ers game that kept him out for the rest of the season. What is worse is that some believe his career may be in jeopardy which would force Dallas to think about moving on without him.

To fill the massive hole, the defense converted Markquese Bell, a safety to inside backer. While turning him into a hybrid helped patch the hole, teams seemed to be able to throw at will at times over the middle. This proved to be the case against the Packers. Tight end Luke Musgrave averaged 17.3 yards per catch on Sunday. Jordan Love was able to complete short throws that turned into big gains that have burned the Cowboys at times this season.

Damone Clark was nothing special this season. In his first full season, Clark only had three double-digit tackling games. All were losses. He also only had four tackles for loss with three quarterback hits this season. While Quinn's scheme does not always ask much from the linebackers, they have to make plays when the pass rush is not there. In games where Dallas could not generate a pass rush, the linebackers looked on their heels.

Clark will only get better after fully recovering from the injury he had his rookie year, but outside of Parsons, the linebacking corp. needs a makeover. DeMarvion Overshown returning next year from injury will be a boost, but if Vander Esch cannot make a comeback, linebacker might be the way Dallas needs to go in the first round of the draft.