The expectations for the 2020 Dallas Cowboys are high. They should be. New Head Coach Mike McCarthy should be able to take a very talented roster to the next level of playoff success. With a Super Bowl ring in his resumé, the former Packers coach should flip the script for a team that hasn't made the trip to the NFC Championship Game since 1996.
This is true now more than ever after the Cowboys put together one of the best rookie classes in the 2020 NFL Draft. Headlined by CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys draft class is expected to contribute right away. Nationally, it's graded as one of the best rookie classes of the year.
However, even with Alabama Cornerback Trevon Diggs being drafted by Dallas with their second-round pick, the team's defensive backfield appears to be the team's weak spot.
Last year, many issues arose for the Cowboys that caused the team to miss the playoffs. At times it was game-planning and coaching. But when it comes to players, a few positions come to mind.
The team took a huge step backward on defense after a dominant 2018 campaign. Despite finding success in the pass rush department with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn, the Cowboys struggled in the trenches with a poor defensive tackle position.
That has since been addressed by signing veterans Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. The Cowboys also drafted DT Neville Gallimore from Oklahoma, who should be in the rotation as a rookie.
This should not only help the defensive line itself but the linebacker position that seemingly regressed in 2019 as well. However, when you take a look at where the linebackers struggled, it was mainly due to poor defensive line play upfront.
I expect the Cowboys front seven to drastically improve in 2020.
On offense, the Cowboys seem completely ready. They committed to developing Blake Jarwin by signing him to a multi-year deal. As far as wide receiver, well… the team drafted CeeDee Lamb to complement Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. The offensive center position might still be a question mark, but the team has at least three viable options in Joe Looney, Connor McGovern, and Tyler Biadasz.
As we get closer to the NFL announcing its schedule next week, the one position that should still concern the Cowboys is the defensive backfield. Trevon Diggs is promising, sure, but can he start right away?
Anthony Brown, Chidobe Awuzie, and Jourdan Lewis have shown flashes, but none has truly stepped up to become the team's number one guy. At best, this is a cornerback room that has a bunch of contributors but not a clear-cut number one.
At the safety position, Xavier Woods will be paired up with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. At best, an average unit. The Cowboys are even evaluating the possibility of turning Awuzie into a safety.
The Dallas Cowboys are a legit Super Bowl contending team and while they have many strengths, particularly on offense, they will likely struggle with a weak secondary. Hopefully, someone steps up at corner to solidify the team's defense. Or, hopefully they simply outscore teams with a powerful offensive attack.