Dallas Cowboys Midseason Report Card

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By Campbell Keating November 17, 2020 0 Comment
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The Dallas Cowboys have reached week 10, their bye week, sitting at a dismal 2-7. With many injuries and lineup changes through the season, what position groups have been at fault? Have there been any diamonds hidden in the mud?

The Cowboys were off to a bad start before Dak Prescott went down with a season-ending injury in week 5. They are 0-4 since and have been hampered by other injuries. The defense has allowed an astonishing 32.56 points per game but has started to improve in recent weeks. But a couple of players have stood out such as Zack Martin and Demarcus Lawrence, both of whom have been graded as midseason All-Pros by Pro Football Focus.

Quarterback: D

Ever since Dak went down with his leg injury, the quarterback play has been subpar at best. Andy Dalton performed decently in the rest of the Giants game, but he went down with a concussion the next week. Both Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert are far below the talent level for a starting quarterback in the NFL. As the roster stands right now, the Cowboys are sorely lacking at the most important position.

Running Back: C

Ezekiel Elliott has not had the year that Cowboys fans had hoped for. He is on track for a career-high in fumbles and fumbles lost at 5 and 3 respectively this season. His previous highs were 6 fumbles, 5 of which were lost during his rookie season. Elliott is also averaging less than 4 yards a carry and has not had a game of over 100 rushing yards this season. Tony Pollard has done well with his few carries, but when given a large share of the touches, he does not do as well.

Offensive Line: C-

The Dallas offensive line is in shambles. La’el Collins never played a game, Tyron Smith played 2 games before heading to the injured reserve, and Joe Looney got 6 games under his belt before joining Smith and Collins. So, the Cowboys’ offensive line is now Connor Williams and Zack Martin at guard with 2 undrafted players manning the tackles and Tyler Biadasz, a rookie, at center. Given the injuries, the offensive line has played relatively well, but with 3 starters on IR, the unit isn’t great.

Wide Receiver: A-

Perhaps one of the few bright spots for the Cowboys this year, the wide receivers have done well. Amari Cooper is still good, despite what some may say, Michael Gallup continues to improve and impress, and Ceedee Lamb is everything Dallas thought he’d be and more.

Tight End: B-

After Blake Jarwin tore his ACL, Dalton Schultz was named the starter. Though he has not been a standout in any game this season, Schultz has filled Jarwin’s role quite well and is managing to put together good games even with the current state of the quarterback position.

Defensive Line: B-

The season started poorly for the defensive line. They couldn’t stop the run and the pass rush seemed to be nonexistent at times. But in recent weeks, the defensive line has improved greatly. Demarcus Lawrence has been the Cowboys’ best defensive player this season by a wide margin. The comebacks of Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory are both well underway with both players performing well on the field. Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore are showing promise in the middle, but are not a good enough pair to hold it down alone.

Linebacker: F

Many were hoping that 2020 would be a bounce-back year for Jaylon Smith. Unfortunately, it has been the exact opposite. He has been slow both to recognize the play and to make a tackle. He chooses terrible angles of pursuit and is always late to the play. Leighton Vander Esch may be a Sean Lee in the making. This is his 3rd season in the league and his 2nd major injury. With Vander Esch on IR and Smith’s regression, linebacker may be a position of need for the Cowboys in this coming draft.

Cornerback: F

The secondary of the Cowboys was playing far subpar before. Now, with Chidobe Awuzie and Trevon Diggs likely out for the remainder of the season, the roster does not look too good. The personnel was severely lacking in talent even with Awuzie and Diggs, but now that they are done, the outlook for the rest of the season is dismal.

Safety: D-

Safety has been a position of need for the Cowboys for years. Xavier Woods has shown promise in the past, but he has not progressed as much as the Cowboys would have liked over the last few years. Donovan Wilson has improved over the last few weeks and is a reason for Cowboys fans to be excited about the future. Though there is some promise, the duo is far below the average safety group in the NFL.

Dallas will undoubtedly find themselves with a high pick in the coming draft, and fans can only hope that next year is better than this one.

 

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I cover, report, and write about the Dallas Cowboys. I am an undergraduate at Washington University in St. Louis studying on the premed track with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Anthropology.

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