The Dallas Cowboys had an excellent 2016 season. It was so nice that they entered the 2016 offseason as favorites to win the NFC East. What happened? Their top offensive player, RB Ezekiel Elliott, had to sit out 6 games.
That derailed the Boys’ chances of winning the NFC East. Now, the Cowboys believe they have what it takes to derail Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia in the division. That’s the first step to reclaiming the glory that once belonged to the most popular football franchise in the U.S.
In 2018, will the Dallas Cowboys bounce back?
Will the Dallas Cowboys Bounce Back?
Who are the top 🔟 fastest #DallasCowboys players on the team?
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) June 19, 2018
I’ve broken it down into reasons why the Dallas Cowboys will bounce back and reasons why the Boys won’t bounce back.
Reasons for a Cowboys Bounce Back
Ezekiel Elliott will play an entire 16 game season
Elliott missed 6 games last season. That had a big effect on the Cowboys chances of winning the NFC East. Dallas’ offensive game plan revolves around Elliott rushing the football. Bouncing off Elliott, the Boys like to open things up to their tight-end and wide receivers.
With Elliott playing all 16 regular season games, the Cowboys have a shot to return to NFC East prominence.
Round 1 pick Leighton Vander Esch leads an improved defense
Vander Esch was one of the more highly rated linebackers in this year’s draft. Because he played for underrated football factory Boise State, Vander Esch showed excellent technique and a motor that never quits while in college. He’ll spearhead Dallas’ second line on their defense.
If Vander Esch is everything he’s cracked up to be, Dallas’ defense will mightily improve. That could help the Boys close the gap with the Eagles in the division.
Reasons the Cowboys Won’t Bounce Back
Tight-end and wide receiver positions are up in the air
The Boys decided to allow former Dallas great WR Dez Bryant to look for greener pastures. In other words, they didn’t resign Dez. Bryant had been the Cowboys’ top wide receiver for years. Former Jacksonville WR Allen Hurns is expected to start while Terrance Williams gets the nod, at least for now, over Julian Edelman clone Cole Beasley.
Tight-end could be an issue. Jason Witten, arguably one of the best tight-ends to ever play in the NFL, retired this past offseason. Witten’s impossible to replace. 24-year-old Geoff Swaim, whom will do his best, caught 2 passes for 25 yards last season.
Vander Esch should be great, but…
Dallas could have a great linebacking corps led by weakside linebacker Sean Lee and Vander Esch. The problem might be in the secondary. If great DE DeMarcus Lawrence doesn’t pressure opposing quarterbacks, Lee and Vander Esch must pick up the slack or the Boys’ secondary will get burned.
So, what’s the answer? Will the Cowboys bounce back in 2018? It’s hard to say. The Dallas Cowboys benefited from an easy schedule in 2016. The schedule was significantly harder in 2017. The 2018 schedule is tough for all NFC East Division squads.
I do like how they drafted Vander Esch, but not having Witten is a problem. It’s tough to sign off on the Dallas Cowboys significantly closing the gap on the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys should be better in 2018, but they won’t challenge Philly for the NFC East Division.