It's time for the Dallas Cowboys to shift their mindset from the present and start focusing more on the future. Forget about the fact they are somehow still in the playoff race or that there are five regular-season games remaining. It's past time to accept 2020 as a wasted season and start preparing for next year and beyond.
I've said it before and I'll continue to say it until it hopefully hits home…the Dallas Cowboys need to use the remainder of the 2020 season as a jumpstart on the self-evaluation process. That means getting some these younger players some much-needed playing time, which directly correlates with today's topic of players Dallas should consider shutting down until next year.
Zack Martin's injury scare last week was all the evidence I needed the Dallas Cowboys should start shutting down important players on the roster. A serious injury this late in the season would put their availability for next year in doubt and that would only create more problems than they already have on the injury front. After all, it's not like really they have anything left to play for this year.
That's why today I thought I'd share with you a handful of players I believe the Dallas Cowboys should shut down until next season. Not only would it allow some younger players to receive some much-needed playing time, but it would also protect the investment the Cowboys have made in all of the players mentioned below. Let's take a look… Shall we!?
WR Amari Cooper
Despite the QB carousel the Dallas Cowboys have had to endure this season Amari Cooper is still living up to his No. 1 WR status. It's good to see him being so productive catching passes from four different QBs this year, but cutting his season short isn't exactly a bad idea. Cooper is known as being somewhat “injury prone”, so in order to protect their $100 million investment and make sure he's available for next year they could just go and shut him down the remainder of the season.
DE DeMarcus Lawrence
You're probably going to start noticing a theme here. Like Amari Cooper, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to consider shutting down DeMarcus Lawrence as well. D-Law is the Cowboys best defensive player and the highest-paid as well. Shutting him down early would allow the Cowboys to protect their investment and get some much-needed playing time for DE Bradlee Anae. He was supposedly a steal in the draft, but as of yet hasn't received a chance to prove himself as such.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
Following the money again here. Ezekiel Elliott is another high-priced player the Dallas Cowboys should consider shutting down the remainder of the season. Like it or not they have too much money invested in him to risk losing him to a serious injury. He may not be producing like the Zeke of old this year, but he still an important piece as far as their future is concerned. Plus, we'd all probably like to see what Tony Pollard can do in an expanded role.
LBs Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch
The Dallas Cowboys already have enough holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball without risking losing either Jaylon Smith for Leighton Vander Esch for next season. That's why I think shutting down both for the remainder of the year would be wise. They already have depth concerns next year at LB, no need to add to those concerns. Let Sean Lee and Joe Thomas finish out their careers in Dallas as the starters before hitting free agency.