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3 Questions that Shouldn’t Be Questions About the 2021 Dallas Cowboys

Every team at this stage of the has questions about the roster. A month out from , with a few months still to the start of the regular season, the Dallas Cowboys look content with where they're at heading into training camp in July. They'll make some adjustments to the roster as they make their cuts to 53 and sign players released by other NFL teams. Still, with a month off until the Cowboys open training camp in , California, certain questions are floating around the team that shouldn't really be questions.

1. The Coaching Staff

For a that's won a , a that has run the league's top , and an offensive coordinator that's run a top , the Dallas Cowboys has been under scrutiny this offseason. Bleacher 's Kristopher Knox believes that the Dallas Cowboys' biggest question mark heading into 2021 is the coaching staff.

Mike McCarthy is the favorite to get fired first at several betting sites, which is strange for a head coach entering his second season. Most notably coming off one that was as -plagued as you'll see in the NFL.

Things didn't go perfectly from a coaching perspective in 2020 for McCarthy. He was at times a tad overaggressive. He made mistakes. However, when the defense is as bad as the Dallas Cowboys defense was in 2020, you have to look for ways to compensate. Like fake punts and going for it on fourth down.

Arguably, McCarthy's biggest mistake was bringing in to run the defense. Changing the defensive scheme during COVID, when teams were required to meet more virtually, and OTAs and minicamp were nonexistent, was a mistake. In a year with so much uncertainty, the Cowboys needed something on the defensive side to remain stable. Their defense wasn't perfect in 2019 and at times had become predictable, but that stability would have helped in a year when there was very little stability.

McCarthy is a good head coach. Despite the results last year and the poor calls, he's a good head coach who will win many games in 2021 and beyond. You don't get to a Super Bowl or four Championship games just because of your quarterback. To have sustained success in the NFL, it takes both good quarterback play and good coaching. Mike McCarthy was a part of that equation in Green Bay and he'll be a part of that equation in Dallas.

2. The Safety Position

Damontae Kazee is coming off an injury, and Donovan Wilson's first year as a starter had some up and down moments. Still, the Dallas Cowboys' safety spot looks pretty solid heading into 2021.

Both Kazee and Wilson have shown a penchant for creating turnovers in their NFL careers. Kazee had seven interceptions back in 2018 and three more in 2019. Wilson had 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two interceptions.

Kazee's biggest question surrounds the injury. He was a full participant at OTAs and minicamp, and the team doesn't seem to have any lingering questions about him moving forward. His experience with 's defense will help solidify the secondary that is experiencing some turnover and may have to play a rookie at in 2021.

If you were looking for a position group on defense to be more concerned about, it's the cornerback spot.

Trevon Diggs was solid in his rookie season but still has room to grow. looks to be leading the way to start opposite Diggs, and we've seen Brown have both good and bad play throughout his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys. Everyone's favorite slot corner, , may get an opportunity to play significant snaps in 2021, but like Brown, his career has been a roller coaster of turnovers and poor coverage.

3. Player's Health

looks to be back and ready to go in 2021. and are healthy and will be ready to go when the Cowboys line up to play the in week one of the regular season. is healthy again, and is coming off of his ACL injury.

To win a Super Bowl, it takes a lot of luck. On the field and in the training room, teams have to have things go their way. In 2020, very little went the Cowboys' direction on the injury front. That's just the way things go sometimes.

Dak Prescott has emphatically stated that he's ready to go, and he's ready to “bury the injury.” Tyron Smith had neck surgery to correct an issue with stingers he's been dealing with for a long time. Collins has dropped weight, which will help his hips and provide him with more quickness and agility at the right tackle spot.

There's no way the Dallas Cowboys will lose as many games to injury from as many important spots as they did last year.

Right?

According to Football Outsiders' Adjusted Games Lostthe Dallas Cowboys had the third most games lost, which is weighted toward expected performance from its starters. As it notes, the Cowboys lost games were concentrated along the and at quarterback where Smith, Collins, and even missed time for the Cowboys. At tackle, the Cowboys were down to playing their fifth option, , after 2020 Cam Erving suffered an injury as well.

Only two teams lost more games to injury in 2020 than the Dallas Cowboys, the , and the . While injuries are a part of football, and teams have to figure out a way to adjust, the Cowboys were absolutely decimated by injuries, and there shouldn't be a repeat of that in 2021.

The Cowboys won't likely skate through 2021 injury-free. No team does. However, the Cowboys should return to the mean of adjusted games lost and won't have the same injury bad luck they had at their most important positions.

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What questions still remain for you surrounding the Dallas Cowboys as they get ready for training camp in July?

What do you think?

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Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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10 Comments

  1. Good point John, i will say it was the NFC East(or LEAST) division he kept us in contention in, but still though to do that with your QB hurt, O-Line hurt, and D awful is a pretty good job, we’ll see what happens

  2. Reading the comments I don’t see why any you would expect us to trade for any cb especially Gillmore or Howard who both want new contracts and pay raises. We wouldn’t pay our own grown shut down corner why would we pay someone else’s. The days of trading for and signing players like Charles Haley and deion sanders to make great contributions to our team are long gone with Stephen running things we need to get real and realize we were lucky to get Neal and kazee imo. Stephen just seems to wanna run a good business not a competitive football team. Once Jerry’s gone there goes Any ambition to win a championship imo but liked the article we as fans need to be more realistic tho. I’d love Jerry to bust out checkbook n sign a great player for r trade for one but ain’t happening

  3. Yeah I agree with Don, i do believe all these questions are valid for next season

    McCarthy, better watch it, as long as Dak stays healthy, if they don’t start winning, he could be taken out as HC next year, we’re seeing that Rodgers has success with LaFleur, maybe even better, everyone thought A Rod was on a downward spiral the last year or 2 with McCarthy, now he’s a MVP

    You couple that with the fact that DQ is our DC who seemed to have his name stamped all over this draft this year with those picks, as well as FAs Neal and Kazee, it seems DQ has more pull rn than McCarthy, and DQ has went to a SB as a HC as well so yes I do think McCarthy could lose his job this year

    Safety is all good ? No really disagree here, even Wilson is still questionable cuz after all, it was one year, X Woods also had one good year, and we saw what happened
    Player health should absolutely be a question, whether it’s Dak coming back sure he may be good physically, but as we saw with Wentz after his Knee injury, you have to worry about Dak MENTALLY, does he get gun shy ?

    Or whether it’s the O-Line, T Smith can’t stay healthy, the most important part of your O-Line at LT can’t stay healthy, and Collins was out all of last year at RT, Martin had some problems with injuries who’s our RG,

    Our team goes as our O-Line goes, so yes health is a big issue

    Overall i respectfully disagree with everything you said in this article John

    • You make some great points, but I don’t see all the doubt with Mike McCarthy. Given all of the injuries on offense and how poor the defense was, about the only thing we can judge him on is his hiring of Mike Nolan. The Cowboys stayed in contention for the division until late in the season despite all of the injuries and poor play on defense. If that isn’t a decent job done by a new coaching staff during a season where they had much less prep time, then I don’t know what is.

      I don’t see any reason why this team won’t win. Dak will be healthy. Dak and the offense were still productive despite injuries to Smith and Collins. Obviously, he was under much more pressure, but the offense was moving the ball and they were scoring points.

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