Key Additions: Jason Witten, Randall Cobb, Robert Quinn, George Iloka, Christian Covington, Alfred Morris Kerry Hyder, Trysten Hill, Connor McGovern, Tony Pollard
Key Returns: Cameron Fleming, Jamize Olawale, Tavon Austin
Key Departures: Cole Beasley, David Irving, Damien Wilson, Allen Hurns, Terrance Williams, Geoff Swaim
|Week 1||Sept. 8th 4:25 PM ET||vs. New York Giants (FOX)|
|Week 2||Sept. 15th 1:00 PM ET||@ Washington Redskins (FOX)|
|Week 3||Sept. 22nd 1:00 PM ET||vs. Miami Dolphins (FOX)|
|Week 4||Sept. 29th 8:20 PM ET||@ New Orleans Saints (NBC)|
|Week 5||Oct. 6th 4:25 PM ET||vs. Green Bay Packers (FOX)|
|Week 6||Oct. 13th 4:25 PM ET||@ New York Jets (CBS)|
|Week 7||Oct. 20th 8:20 PM ET||vs. Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)|
|Week 8||Bye Week|
|Week 9||Nov. 4th 8:15 PM ET||@ New York Giants (ESPN)|
|Week 10||Nov. 10th 8:20 PM ET||vs. Minnesota Vikings (NBC)|
|Week 11||Nov. 17th 1:00 PM ET||@ Detroit Lions (FOX)|
|Week 12||Nov. 24th 4:05 PM ET||@ New England Patriots (FOX)|
|Week 13||Nov. 28th 4:30 PM ET||vs. Buffalo Bills (CBS)|
|Week 14||Dec. 5th 8:20 PM ET||@ Chicago Bears (FOX)|
|Week 15||Dec. 15th 4:25 PM ET||vs. Los Angeles Rams (FOX)|
|Week 16||Dec. 22nd 4:25 PM ET||@ Philadelphia Eagles (FOX)|
|Week 17||Dec. 29th 1:00 PM ET||vs. Washington Redskins (FOX)|
Many thought the Cowboys were left for dead last season when they lost to the Tennessee Titans in early November and dropped to a 3-5 record. However, talent and big moves paid off for America’s team, as they rattled off some victories and won the division. Yet, after another loss in the Divisional Round, the team is seeking answers to finally reach the NFC championship and beyond. This is an “all chips on the table” year as this growing collection of talent is expected to do great things, especially with time running out for Jason Garrett and his job.
Contracts loom large over the organization, with news about contract negotiations for QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, and WR Amari Cooper all being publicized in the media. It also doesn’t help that Elliott is doing a holdout. Though contracts remain a large focus for the star players, the Cowboys’ sole competition for winning the division is their Northeast rival Philadelphia Eagles. Given Elliott’s scenario, Dallas may have to work out a deal sooner rather than later to take advantage of their weak division. Of course, being in the Wild Card race maybe not be enough, as the Falcons, Panthers, Packers, Vikings, and Seahawks may likely be in it too.
The offense returns largely intact, with Prescott, Elliott, and Cooper headlining the group and remaining poised to make big strides this year. Veteran TE Jason Witten returns to the team after a one-year retirement and hopes to fill the void at tight end as Mr. Reliable. Former Packers WR Randall Cobb joins the team in the late stages of his career and will complement Cooper along with rising sophomore WR Michael Gallup and speedster Tavon Austin. The Cowboys returning a robust offensive line is a huge factor in helping this offense reach the end zone frequently.
The defense comes back strong after a surprising 2018 season. DE DeMarcus Lawrence looks to take this unit to new heights after reaching a 5-year extension in free agency. Due to trading away their first-round pick for Amari Cooper, the Cowboys used their second-round pick on DT Trysten Hill from Central Florida. They also traded for Miami Dolphin DE Robert Quinn, thus adding layers to an already terrific unit. The rest of the DL/LB group will return with some studs, including DE Taco Charlton, DT Maliek Collins, dependable OLB Sean Lee, and rising LBs Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, in which Smith recently signed a lucrative 5- year, 64-million-dollar extension. As for the secondary, former Bengal George Iloka will bolster the safety group, joining Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. The CB group stays solid as they are led by Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie.
The Cowboys can start off with a bang, as their first three contests are against the woebegone Giants, mediocre Redskins, and hapless Dolphins. Though it starts off easy, the Cowboys have a tough road to the playoffs overall. They must prove they can win the division first by beating the Eagles twice. Aside from that, they have matchups against other division rivals New York and Washington, although they should not be much of a test.
It’s in the rest of the Cowboys’ opponents where it may inject a bit of nervousness into fans of the team. There is a matchup against the Saints at the Superdome, and the Saints are surely thinking revenge for the loss at the Cowboys late last season. Another critical contest includes a visit from nightmare creator Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who seem to have the Cowboys’ number. Along with those, America’s team plays crucial games against the Rams, and at the Patriots and Bears, in which a win could prove their worth and ability to compete with the league’s premier clubs.
Make no mistake, this is a make or break year for the Cowboys. To prove they belong in the upper echelon of the league, they must make progress towards reaching the Super Bowl. Fortunately for them, they are talented across the board and should show their true power when clicking on all cylinders. With all the buzz surrounding Jason Garrett’s job, the contracts, and regular media coverage, the Cowboys must keep their focus on the field to reach the big game for the first time since the 1995 season.