In 2021, Dallas went 12-5 and claimed its fourth NFC East Divsion title over the past eight seasons. But it was all for naught in the postseason as the Cowboys lost at home to the San Francisco 49ers, 23-17, in the Wild Card round. Despite their regular-season success, the ‘Boys have won just two playoff games since 2010.
Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl 57 odds: +1400
One of the biggest developments of Dallas’ season was the emergence of rookie linebacker Micah Parsons, who was one of the best defensive players in the league right away. However, the cast around him will likely look very different in 2022. Linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Keanu Neal, and defensive ends Randy Gregory and Dorance Armstrong are all unrestricted free agents. Defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence may also be a salary-cap casualty for a team that is about $20 million over the cap. Dallas had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2021 and that side of the ball will undoubtedly be the focus of the franchise’s offseason.
However, there are needs to address on offense, too. Wide receiver Michael Gallup is a free agent. So is tight end Dalton Schultz. And Amari Cooper’s future with the club is far from certain. The Cowboys would be well off to use running back Tony Pollard more next season at the expense of Ezekiel Elliott, who, even though he is inked to a big-money deal through 2026, appears to be wearing down as he heads into his age-27 season.
The cupboard is not bare in Dallas, not even close. There is star quality with Parsons and Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb and Zack Martin, etc. But there will be a lot of questions to answers and a lot of holes to fill this spring in Big D.
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