As we know, Dallas has more than just three things they can clean up to make them a better football team, but I wanted to highlight some I took away from last season that could help them improve.
First, the most obvious need for improvement is penalties. Cowboys sat atop of the league last year in total flags.
According to NFL penalties, Dallas was flagged 168 times a season ago.
I am sure many would agree that this was the most frustrating thing to watch last season. The number of times opposing teams had a drive extended because of them became remarkable.
Dallas overcame most of those penalties throughout the regular season, but we saw a few of these that changed the outcome of the playoff matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.
The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, the two teams featured in this past Super bowl, were only flagged 218 times combined. Top to bottom, Dallas needs to be more disciplined and stop giving away free yards.
Jon Machota on Twitter: “Mike McCarthy on Cowboys’ top offseason priorities:1. Clean up penalties2. Being better at handling adversity / Twitter”
Secondly, according to team rankings, Dallas finished 20th in rushing defense a season ago. They surrendered 115.9 yards on the ground per game. The NFL is a passing league. Letting teams gash you running the football is not ideal.
If Dallas has one person I trust to make changes going into next year to slow some of these teams down, it is Dan Quinn.
Lastly, find a rhythm that works. The Cowboys are going to have to fill the production of Amari Cooper. By rhythm, I mean having an identity. I am going to point to Kellen Moore for this one.
It felt like Moore went away from certain things that brought success on a game-by-game basis. Maybe because they saw something on film, but everyone knows the makeup of this football team. They have two very productive running backs waiting to open up the playbook. Both need to be involved every week.