Dallas Cowboys Team Overview 2020

Dallas Cowboys Team Overview 2020

Cowboys Team Overview 2020

Dallas Cowboys Team Preview 2020

Owner: 

Jerral “Jerry” Jones.  Jones is the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys.  I am pretty sure that he is the only owner who is also the general manager. 

Jones has owned the Cowboys since 1989.  During his time as owner, he has won 3 superbowls.  He is very vocal every season and loves being the center of attention. 

He loves hearing his own voice and you can tell when he speaks.  Many people don’t know but it was Jones who was responsible for what the NFL’s worth is today.  He is responsible for a hard negotiation with FOX to have the NFC broadcasted on their television station.  During that time the 3 major news networks wanted to roll back pricing but Jones was able to convince FOX not to do that. 

His biggest knock as an owner is that he wants to be credited for everything and is a complete control freak. 

This is why all of the head coaches under him didn’t work out.  The only one that stayed the longest in Jason Garrett, was because Garrett didn’t have a big ego and didn’t mind Jerry controlling everything. 

The Cowboys are yet again in a transitional phase and have now hired Mike McCarthey as the head coach. 

This isn’t a surprising move because McCarthey is sort of a push over too and won’t fight back against Jerry.  We will see what happens in 2020.  It should be very interesting.

GM:  Jerry Jones

Head Coach:  Mike McCarthy.  McCarthy is most notably known for being the Green Bay Packers coach for the better part of the last decade. 

McCarthy only had 3 losing seasons in 13 years.  He was abruptly fired after the Packers lost to the Cardinals at home in December of 2018.  He was criticized for having a vanilla offense that lacked creativity. 

The Packers were really struggling the final 2 seasons of McCarthy’s tenure in Green Bay.  His firing was inevitable but in the matter in which the Green Bay front office did it, was disrespectful. 

Now in 2020, McCarthy has a chance to show everyone his worth.  He is supposed to be able to do what Jason Garrett couldn’t and that is to have a leading voice for this team.  His job is also to have a better offense.  This, as always, will be a fun team to follow in 2020.

Fantasy Outlook for the Cowboys

QB: Dak Prescott

You have to like Prescott this year.  I just broke down the Cowboys defense and they probably aren’t going to be special in 2020. 

This means that there will be a lot of games in which the Cowboys will be trailing or competing in the 4th quarter. 

This means more points and fantasy points.  He won’t be in the down field passing scheme of last year so I don’t think he will get as many passing yards as last year. 

But then again it’s hard any year to get 4,900 passing yards like Prescott did last year.  With Kellen Moore as coordinator once again, this will give Prescott chances to score goal line touchdowns with the zone read. 

Prescott has scored 21 rushing touchdowns in 4 seasons.  Prescott also scrambles for close to 300 rushing yards each season. 

His rushing stats alone will get you an extra 60 points that most other quarterbacks will not.  It’s very likely that McCarthy’s west coast offense is to have more of an influence then the down field passing scheme of last year. 

I actually like this more for Prescott and I think he will get into better grooves during games.  Thus will lead to more touchdown passes in the red zone because timing and feel for the game should be better. 

The biggest thing to like about Prescott is that McCarthy likes to throw the ball.  McCarthy’s offenses have only ever been in the top 10 in rushing attempts twice since he has been a coordinator or head coach in the NFL. 

I think the Cowboys will still likely be in the top 10 in rushes because McCarthy’s never had a running back like Ezekial Elliot but I doubt they will be top 5 like the past couple of seasons.  McCarthy also likes to pass the ball on 1st down. 

This is something the Cowboys never do.  Lastly, Prescott is betting on himself again to prove to the Cowboys and to all of the haters that he is worth a huge contract. 

Everything is there for you to love Prescott as your starting quarterback.  I think he is more consistent this year too with all of the previous mentioned things. 

That was his biggest fantasy problem last year but I think that goes away for the most part in 2020.  Don’t be afraid to draft Dak in the early 5th round or even late 4th round if you really want a reliable QB.

RB: Ezekiel Elliot

Yes Kellen Moore will be the play caller in 2020 but don’t hesitate for a second if you think that Mike McCarthy will not be rolling out his scheme in 2020. 

McCarthy has said that he will keep all of the terminology the same but Moore has said that this year’s offense will be a collaboration of both his and McCarthy’s scheme. 

The Cowboys were also way too predictable last season on first down and when QB Dak Prescott was under center.  During those scenarios they would run Elliot a huge majority of the time. 

McCarthy however, rarely ran the ball on first down and loves passing on obvious run downs.  Since 2001, McCarthy has never been inside of the top 10 in rushing attempts.  His offenses have only finished in the top 10 in rushing yards twice since 2000. 

So what does this mean for Elliot.  Well, I think this honestly means that a decline in rushing attempts and yards for Elliot is inevitable even though Kellen Moore will be calling the plays. 

I don’t think his rushing attempts drop below a crazy number because McCarthy has never had a running back as good as Elliot and Moore does enjoy pounding the rock with Elliot.  The Cowboys offensive line is also still really good so that shouldn’t be a problem either.

  I still firmly believe that Elliot will finish the season as a top 10 rusher and will do this with fewer carries.  I am excited about McCarthy’s west coast offense and how Elliot should get more receptions from Prescott.

  Lastly, I do think that Pollard gets more touches in 2020 to keep Elliot fresh in the 4th quarter and in great health for the long season.  With all of that being said, here are my projections: 255 rushing attempts, 1,208 yards rushing, 62 receptions for 480 yards receiving and 16 total touchdowns. 

This will be good for around 290 fantasy points in half PPR leagues.  These numbers should safely put him as a top 5 fantasy running back in 2020.

WR: Amari Cooper

I think this is the year Cooper finally gets 10 receiving touchdowns.  There is no way a receiver as talented and hard working as Cooper doesn’t get 10 receiving touchdowns in a season his entire career. 

This west coast offense that McCarthy will implement will help Cooper get to 10 touchdowns in 2020.  Cooper is also a lock for 1,000 or more receiving yards and 75 catches as past years have shown. 

Add 10 touchdowns and he becomes a borderline top 5 wide receiver with around 220 fantasy points in half PPR leagues. 

If you don’t have a running back that you love in the early 3rd round or late 2nd round then Cooper will be a safe play.

WR: Ceedee Lamb

Ceedee Lamb is currently being drafted around the 10th round in most fantasy drafts.  I really love the idea of taking him around that time. 

The Packers will be throwing the ball more this season.  They will have more west coast offensive schemes and concepts in this offense. 

This means short and quick passes.  Lamb has probably more reliable hands than Amari Cooper.  Lamb will definitely get you a lot of points off of catches alone.  I think Prescott throws for close to 4,500 yards and 30+ touchdowns. 

If that holds true then Lamb is getting a 1,000 yard season and around 8 touchdowns.  That would be an absolute steal in the 10th round of your fantasy draft. 

Don’t be afraid of Gallup either, Gallup doesn’t have reliable hands.  Prescott knows this, Moore knows this and so does Jerry Jones. 

That’s why Jones took a wide receiver in the 1st round.  Take Lamb and don’t look back.

WR: Michael Gallup

Gallup is very talented but there’s a reason why the Cowboys drafted CeeDee Lamb in the 1st round.  That reason is that Gallup doesn’t have reliable hands. 

Gallup is a super athletic freak and will be open a ton and thus get you some fantasy points sporadically but Lamb will overtake Gallup by the end of the season. 

I wouldn’t draft Gallup at all.

TE: Blake Jarwin

Jarwin outproduced Jason Witten in receiving yards efficiency last season.  Mike McCarthy never really used the tight ends in Green Bay a ton but they were involved in the offense. 

Jarwin isn’t a great run blocking tight end but he has a lot of potential in the receiving game.  Jarwin will be available for you in the 15th round if you want him. 

He is definitely a longer shot but will be Prescott’s tallest receiving option.  I like Jarwin.  If you don’t draft him then definitely be on the lookout to pick him up off of waivers.

Cowboys Offensive Preview 2020

Offensive:  Kellen Moore will be the offensive coordinator and play caller for the 2020 season.  HC Mike McCarthy cleared the air just a couple days after his hiring to say that Moore would be calling plays. 

This is significant because McCarthy rarely ever gave up play calling with the Packers as head coach.  Moore is also 31 years of age. 

But nonetheless, Moore will call the plays this year as this will only be his 2nd year calling plays in his coaching career.  He led the Cowboys to a number of top 5 finishes in offensive categories in 2020 but that didn’t tell the entire story. 

Moore’s offense lacked consistency but when they put it all together they easily scored 30 to 40 points.  Moore’s job is obvious in 2020. 

Make the offensive point production more consistent and develop Dak Prescott into a better passer.  The run game will have no problem with how great both the offensive line and RB Ezekiel Elliot are. 

So now the pressure will be on Prescott’s passing decisions and Moore’s play calling.  Now comes in to play the merging of the 2 offensive schemes between Moore and McCarthy. 

Yes McCarthy says that they will keep the terminology and play caller the same but you wouldn’t be smart to think that McCarthy is not going to implement a lot of his concepts into this offense in 2020. 

Last season the Cowboys had an “Air Coryell” offensive passing game which is based off of a vertical passing game.  Mike McCarthy ironically was first coached under the “Air Coryell” offense that was run by the Chargers in the 1980’s. 

However, McCarthy grew to love the West Coast offense which focuses on shorter passes that help to get first downs and minimize interceptions. 

So the passing game will definitely have new wrinkles and concepts in 2020 but the run game should remain the same.  McCarthy loves to use the zone blocking scheme and Ezekiel Elliot has thrived running the ball in that scheme. 

However, I don’t think Ezekiel will be running the ball as much as he has in the past.  McCarthy doesn’t love pounding the rock like Jason Garrett did. 

Elliot will surely have over 250 carries but expect the Cowboys to call more pass plays on 1st down this season.  One of the problems the Cowboys had last season was their predictability. 

They were very run heavy when Prescott was under center and pass happy when Prescott was in the shotgun. 

McCarthy should help with this problem because he loves to throw on first down.  One criticism of McCarthy in Green Bay is that he lacked passing route diversity.  He relied on the receivers to get open rather than an offensive route scheme.

Moore on the other hand, did a great job of doing pre snap motion and other different route concepts to help get receivers open. 

Another thing Moore did well was that the Cowboys offense had the 2nd highest pace in the NFL last season. 

What Moore struggled to do was to call play action.  For as many times as they ran the ball, Moore’s offense was only 14th in the NFL in calling play action passing plays. 

The perfect marriage between Moore and McCarthy would be this, have Moore’s pace, pre snap motions and route concepts blended in with McCarthy’s west coast passing game, play action pass and less predictability based off of where the QB is lined up pre snap. 

The exciting news for Cowboys fans is that this is what will likely happen.  The unknown thing is how will this offense perform against better competition. 

Yes this blended theme of McCarthy and Moore sounds amazing but the biggest problem last season was that Moore’s offense didn’t perform well against the better defenses. 

This led to an inconsistent offensive season where the Cowboys offense would be amazing versus the bad defenses and not good at all against the good defenses. 

What we should be able to figure out in 2020 is if this is because of Dak Prescott or the play calling.  I think this means we will see if Dak Prescott is the real deal or not because I anticipate the offense to have great play calling and schemes all season long.

Cowboys Defensive Preview 2020

Mike Nolan.  Nolan is the defensive coordinator and play caller for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020.  Nolan hasn’t called plays for a defense since the 2014 season with Atlanta. 

This is definitely a hire that McCarthy didn’t want to take any chances with inexperience.  Although Nolan hasn’t called a play since 2014, he has been a longtime NFL coordinator since 1993. 

He will have a base 4-3 defense but like the rest of the NFL, he will mix in 3 down linemen fronts throughout the course of games. 

There is a ton of data to observe from his long coaching career. 

From what I have looked at, Nolan has had around 5 really good defenses and 5 average defenses.  The rest of his defense have been really bad but those defense were all 4 seasons with the 49ers and his last 2 seasons with the Falcons. 

Still, not the most impressive track record.  And of his really good defenses, he had hall of fame players.  When he didn’t have the talent, his defenses suffered. 

Now you can say, “well you have to have amazing players to have great defenses”.  Yes that is partially true but that can’t be an excuse for having a really really bad defense, which Nolan has had a lot of in his career. 

It appears that Nolan is better at coaching against the pass then the run.  He has only had a handful of good run stopping defenses. 

He has had a lot of defenses that are good at creating turnovers.  This is what he is preaching to the 2020 Cowboys defense already. 

He wants them to constantly be thinking of turnovers.  The previous DC, Rod Marinelli, did a pretty good job with the Cowboys defense. 

The Cowboys had stout run defenses and a little bit above average pass defenses.  The one thing they didn’t do very well was create turnovers. 

Defensive Line

However,  the talent is there.  On the defensive line they have Demarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford at defensive end.  Lawrence has pretty much disappeared since he got his big pay day in 2018. 

He only got 5.5 sacks last season with 53 pressures.  53 pressures might sound like a lot but that wasn’t even in the top 10 of players. 

Lawrence is one of the highest paid defensive players but isn’t playing up to the contract.  However, he is a really good run defender. 

Hopefully Nolan can coach him to have better production.  Crawford is a lifelong Cowboy who has never had more than 5 sacks in a season. 

He is a solid player but not what the Cowboys need from a pass rush standpoint. 

The other pass rushers are newly reinstated, Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory who is currently trying to get off of suspension.  Smith used to be a pass rushing demon but that was 7 seasons ago and he hasn’t been in the NFL for 4 seasons. 

Smith will be 31 years old this season.  Gregory has talent and had 6 sacks in only playing around half of the games.  If he is to come off of suspension than that would be huge for the Cowboys. 

In all honesty, the Cowboys are going to be relying on Demarcus Lawrence for their pass rush.  Nobody knows if Aldon Smith will be a double digit sack guy.

However, Gregory has a lot of potential and if the Cowboys can get him off of suspension than that would be huge news. 

A lot of ifs and uncertainties for a defense that was 19th in the NFL in sacks last season.  The interior linemen have 2 veterans that were added in the offseason from Carolina. 

They are Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy.  McCoy had another good year last season.  He had around his typical numbers and looks to be good to go with the Cowboys in 2020. 

Poe also had a very good season in 2019.  The McCoy and Poe combo should help the Dallas run defense a lot in 2020. 

The other thought to consider with this front is that Poe and McCoy played in a 3-4 last season.  Mike Nolan prefers running the 3-4 defense. 

McCarthy has said that he wants to stick with the 4-3 but this could be a sign, that even with 2 aging veterans, that Nolan will probably be shifting this defense as the season progresses to more of a 3-4 look. 

A lot of experts and critics suggest that you really need the perfect personnel to be able to stop the run in a 3-4 front. 

Nolan has also struggled in stopping the run throughout his career except when he had amazing talent.  This is just something to keep in mind.

All and all, I like this new looked defensive line against the run but they are really depending on Smith and Gregory to produce sacks. 

Not the surest bet going into 2020. 

Linebackers

The linebackers are a strong point for this defense.  They are an aging veteran in Sean Lee and 2 former high draft picks in Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. 

All 3 are really good linebackers but they have all had there deal of injuries.  If they can all play 85% of the season then this defense could take a big leap in 2020. 

This front 7 has all the makings of a top 10 maybe even 5 run defense. 

Safeties

Now let’s look at the secondary.  The safeties are newly acquired Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Xavier Woods. 

Woods is an average safety at best.  He has his moments but also is overmatched by good to top talent. Clinton-Dix is a very good safety that always has interceptions and forced fumbles. 

He is a smart a savvy veteran that is sure to have another good or great season in Dallas.  The backups are not great. 

They also drafted a rookie safety in the 4th round of this years draft in Reggie Robinson II. 

His scouting profile said that he was a cornerback in college but he is 6’1” and apparently has stiffer hips than you want out of a cornerback. 

Cornerbacks

So we will see how that works out.  The one for sure cornerback to start will be Chidobe Awuzie.  Awuzie is a pretty good corner and is still young. 

He could blossom into a really good corner.  The other corners who will play but compete for the 2nd starting spot are Jourdan Lewis, Anthony Brown and 2nd round rookie Trevon Diggs. 

Lewis is more of a slot corner and has really good instincts and is an all around solid football player.  He will definitely start on passing downs to cover the slot wide receivers.  That kind of leaves Anthony Brown versus the rookie Trevon Diggs. 

Most people know, but if you don’t, Diggs is the brother of Stefon Diggs.  I only watched Diggs twice and wasn’t impressed with him at all. 

He played terrible against LSU and I was shocked when I heard he was a projected 1st round selection. 

Apparently he was hurt during last year’s season at Alabama but he also showed a lack of heart and pride in that LSU game that proved to me that I would want no part of Diggs. 

Who knows though, he could prove me wrong.  Brown is liked by the fan base but they don’t rave about him.  He is a worthy starting cornerback in the NFL. 

Nolan said that he is going to mix in a lot of different pass coverages.  He says the key to calling good defenses is to not be predictable. 

Conclusion

So with all of this being said, I don’t think this will be a top 10 defense.  I think this will be a middle of the road defense that kind of stays where they were last season. 

The only thing that could propel them would be if Aldon Smith returns to form and Gregory isn’t suspended.  Both are big question marks. 

Also have Demarcus Lawrence be amazing again.  They have a chance but it’s not a probable chance. 

Fun Facats About Coaches:

Former player Al Harris is a defensive coach.  Jim Tomsula and Joe Philbin are veteran coaches that will help out on both sides of the ball.  Also, veteran Mike Zimmer coach George Edwards will be a defensive consultant.

Depth Chart:

Contract Year Players:

QB: Dak Prescott

DE: Tyrone Crawford

FS: Ha Ha Clinton-dix

CB: Chidobe Awuzie

Cowboys Offensive LIne Preview

This is one of the best lines in the NFL.  They might have the best Tackle duo in the league in La’el Collins and Tyron Smith. 

The right guard, Zack Martin is in debate with Quenton Nelson on who is the best guard in the NFL.  The left guard is Connor Williams. 

He was a highly sought after lineman coming out of the University of Texas but hasn’t quite lived up to his projection yet. 

He is still a good left guard in the National Football League and this will only be his 3rd season in 2020. 

The center is the problem area with the current starter Joe Looney.  Looney is a veteran at 31 years old but struggles in run blocking. 

The Cowboys drafted a center out of Wisconsin in the 5th round.  5th round draft picks are usually not sure things but they sometimes work out. 

Also given the fact that he was a lineman at Wisconsin is definitely something to feel hopeful on. 

Other then the Wisconsin rookie, they only have a swing tackle on the bench.  This is a relatively thin oline bench.  That is something to definitely keep in mind. 

However, this will be a for sure top 10 or 5 offensive line in 2020 if they all stay healthy.

Eric

Thank you for reading my post. Dominique and I hope you find our website helpful. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments!

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