The Dallas Cowboys haven’t reached the Tremendous Bowl.
It is a assertion that applies to 30 NFL groups in any given 12 months. However that is been true of the Cowboys for 27 consecutive seasons, a interval throughout which 21 league franchises have performed on Tremendous Sunday and 13 have lifted the Lombardi Trophy no less than as soon as.
and cowboy it isn’t any specific privilege.
No different membership – in any league – is named “Workforce America”. No group in skilled soccer instructions or calls for the extent of curiosity Dallas has. Champions or not, the Cowboys are the NFL’s flagships – the Yankees, Lakers, Duke and Alabama can solely dream of shining a highlight like this.
Guess on the large recreation: Tremendous Bowl 57 Stats, Odds & Extra
However the draw back to proprietor Jerry Jones & Co. – it is a draw back, is not it? – is the examination and guide inspection that comes with an annual post-mortem.
In order we dive into what’s left of the undefeated Cowboys 2022, listed below are seven points they have to tackle going into the 2023 season:
Clear the quilt area
for each OvertheCapDallas has nothing in its coffers at no cost brokers this 12 months. This is a matter on a number of ranges, a couple of of which might be explored in additional element shortly. This previous March, the Cowboys restructured the contracts of QB Dak Prescott and G Zack Martin to unlock about $22 million. Do they return to Martin and/or Prescott, who owe a mixed $65 million over the subsequent two years, and convert base salaries into signing bonuses that may be amortized sooner or later? Or do you hope different vets like WR Michael Gallup and DeMarcus Lawrence will retool their compacts equally?
And it is time to take a more in-depth have a look at the contracts of mainstays like RB Ezekiel Elliott and OT Tyron Smith. Releasing Smith, who endured one other injury-shortened marketing campaign, from the ultimate season of his deal would unlock almost $10 million — and that appears doable given the emergence of rookie Tyler Smith in 2022. Elliott’s ensures are excessive, however he owes $52.9 million in base wage in the course of the subsequent 4 seasons. His launch will save him near $5 million in 2023, but it surely’s most likely for the most effective in the long term. And in keeping with the Dallas Morning Information, Zeke, who’s coming off the least productive season of his seven-year profession, seems to be seeing the writing on the wall and is open to a pay reduce.
Re-sign Tony Pollard
For the primary time, the fourth-year tailback was a spark for the Dallas offense and was a way more harmful risk than two-year-old Elliott. Pollard simply accomplished his first 1,000-yard dashing season, completed second to WR CeeDee Lamb for the workforce lead in yards from scrimmage (1,378) and matched Elliott’s 12 TDs, regardless of Zeke getting quick yard alternatives. 5 of Pollard’s scores got here from over 30 yards whereas solely 5 of Elliott’s scores had been over 1 yard (the longest was 14 yards). Pollard’s 5.9 yards per landing was 2 yards higher than Elliott’s.
Whereas the leg damage he sustained on Sunday is an apparent concern, assuming there’s nothing terribly worrisome about his prognosis, it is laborious to think about the Cowboys would not no less than give Pollard the franchise resulting from his potential to open up area for others after they aren’t. Rips parts of yardage and/or places the ball into the tip zone. It did not present indicators of backing down in 2022, when the one-year bid worth was $9.57 million. However negotiations with Pollard are certain to be tough given the record-breaking, six-year, $90 million extension (with greater than $50 million assured) that Elliott obtained in 2019.
Dan Walken:NFL greed ought to depart the AFC and NFC Championship video games alone
5 heroic tales to observe:Just like the 49ers, Bengals, Chiefs and Eagles eye Tremendous Bowl
32 issues we discovered:Divisional spherical alerts change from NFL guard to QB
Maintain Dan Quinn
For the second 12 months in a row, Dallas defensive coordinator is up for an additional time period as head coach, three years after his divorce with the Atlanta Falcons. Jones has to do (nearly) all the things he can to maintain Quinn on the payroll. He is completed an important job growing his scheme, which generates prolific stress — thanks, Micah Parsons — and has produced a +24 turnover margin over the previous two seasons, greatest within the NFL. Can the Cowboys cease the run extra successfully? Undoubtedly. However impacting the quarterback and pulling the ball huge are most likely crucial elements of a championship-caliber defence. There isn’t a cause to mess with a profitable method right here.
Make clever free agent decisions
bollard the precedence and will require the usage of a tag. In any other case, as a lot as Jones may wish to maintain his roster intact, his cap dictates in any other case. Among the many issues:
► Donovan Wilson: A sixth rounder in 2019, he has been stable in his two seasons as a starter (2020, 22). Be good to re-signing him — which might probably imply one other 12 months of backline security with Wilson and Jairon Kerse, who will each be free brokers in 2024. However that is not a should since Malik has already signed the Hooker in 2023.
► T Dalton Schultz: Good participant, however he ought to be grateful that he made almost $11 million in franchise tag in 2022. The Cowboys ought to be fantastic transferring ahead with Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot, rookies in 2022.
► LB Leighton Vander Esch: The previous first baseman had most likely his greatest season since his rookie 12 months in 2018. If he is able to play for near $2 million once more, it is price conserving him.
► J Connor McGovern: He has began 29 video games over the previous three seasons however ought to solely keep on the Dallas worth level.
► Okay. Brett Maher: An excellent common season, when he tied for third within the league with 137 factors, making an attempt 29 of his 32 discipline targets whereas being 50 for 53 further factors. However the effort was marred by a (skillful?) disastrous playoff displaying, which clearly affected Dallas’ technique in a divisional spherical loss to the San Francisco 49ers. Kicker is not essentially able to restrict himself financially, however overinvesting in Maher looks as if a transparent danger.
► QB Cooper Rush: He may very well be the second hottest free agent in Dallas. Clearly, if one other workforce breaks out and needs to present Rush the possibility to begin whereas paying him accordingly, the Cowboys should give you alternate plans for his or her depth chart. However few folks will neglect that Rush saved this workforce afloat early within the season, successful 4 of his 5 begins whereas Prescott recovered from thumb surgical procedure. Clearly, it could be a good suggestion to increase an insurance coverage coverage that you simply belief.
Moved from OBJ
Jones advised USA TODAY Sports activities in December that free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr. “He’ll be part of us.” It by no means occurred. proper Now? In all probability should not. Will the OBJ, assuming his surgically repaired knee is wholesome, add one other dimension to this offense? After all. However the Cowboys are basically tied to Gallup financially for no less than one other 12 months and will begin engaged on an extension for Lamb, a two-time Professional Bowler. It is laborious to see how Beckham, 30, matches into these wage constraints – particularly when Jones might actually convey again WR TY Hilton, who has been a stable contributor on and off the sphere after becoming a member of the workforce late within the season, at an typically extra affordable worth.
Discuss to Sean Payton
Jones indicated after Sunday’s loss to San Francisco that head coach Mike McCarthy’s job is protected, which is not an sudden sentiment on condition that Dallas has proven regular progress in his three seasons — together with its first playoff victory in 4 years. However would not Jones be remiss to no less than dine with Payton, who has been often related to the job within the years since he served on the Dallas offensive workforce underneath Invoice Parcells from 2003-2005? If nothing else, perhaps Jones will get some priceless exterior perception for his workforce from somebody with an incredible offensive thoughts and nice management qualities. But when there’s a likelihood for extra?
Let’s be trustworthy, if McCarthy wasn’t right here in 2023, this job would immediately turn out to be probably the most coveted job within the NFL. And if Parcells can determine learn how to get together with Jones, even when just for 4 years, then certainly Payton, 59, can discover frequent floor – if Jones desires to vary gears and is able to hand over the twenty seventh choose from this 12 months’s draft to the New Orleans Saints. Anyway, reservations for 9pm, Jerry?
Duck Prescott Restore
Must be a staple on the Dallas agenda. And sure, Prescott was solely every week away from enjoying what was extensively hailed as the most effective recreation of his profession, when he fed a 31-14 wild card runaway from Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, turning into Prescott the fourth participant within the Tremendous Bowl period ( since 1966) to throw no less than 4 TDs and no less than one run in a playoff recreation.
However Sunday marked a comeback to his largely disappointing season, together with two extra interceptions after he tied for the common season lead (15) regardless of lacking these 5 video games. And perhaps we’re not conversant in the Cowboys’ playbook — to be clear, we’re not — but it surely’s merely laborious to grasp what he is when he is allowed to fly a few of these ill-advised throws. Whether or not the issue is bodily, psychological, mechanical, philosophical, or some mixture thereof, Prescott has to do the most effective he can — his 3.8% interception price in 2022 is double his profession common (2.0%).
Prescott has flashed the potential to be an elite midfielder and is unquestionably compensated as one. However his efficiency in 2022 means that if he is a quarterback within the prime ten, he is tenth at this level — and far nearer to the Carr/Cousins/Garoppolo finish of the elite-class Allen/Buro/Mahomes spectrum.
If Prescott is not higher in 2023, neither will the Cowboys.
Observe USA TODAY Sports activities’ Nate Davis on Twitter @tweet.