Are the Dallas Cowboys a Year Away From Major Personnel Changes?

    While our focus right now is on the 2019 and games still to come this year, it's hard not to look ahead to 2020. The majority of the current roster is either playing on expiring contracts or are just signed for one year, and even Jason Garrett is in the final year of his deal.

    Could the Jones family be looking at 2020 as a potential reset button for the franchise?

    The decision not to extend Garrett's deal beyond this season makes sense. While he has done an admirable job of keeping the team competitive since 2011, too many years have ended with disappointing misses or early exits.

    There have been rumors that Jerry is eyeing the Saints' , a former Cowboys offensive coordinator, as a potential Garrett replacement and upgrade. Payton's deal with New Orleans also ends after this season.

    Could the current handling of the roster, leaving just around 30 players currently signed beyond 2019, speak to a potential change at head coach? Are the Jones leaving things open so that a new coach, especially one with a profile like Sean Payton's, can come in and reshape the roster to his liking?

    Even the position may indicate this thinking. is entering the final year of his deal and the Jones have expressed their intention to get a long-term contract done. But if they're in wait-and-see mode on Garrett, could Prescott ultimately get the same treatment?

    Dallas Cowboys Still Plagued by Red Zone Struggles
    Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and RB

    No player position dictates the personality of an more than quarterback. If you bring in an offensive guru like Payton, he's going to have very specific likes and dislikes for that player.

    Dak Prescott isn't , either in style or skill. Would Payton be happy with Dak as his QB for the long haul?

    What about Ezekiel Elliott? Dallas should eventually pick up his fifth-year option for 2020, but what if they bring in a coach with a more pass-focused approach? Will it then make sense to tie up a lot of cap space in any ?

    Just look at how bare bones the roster is after 2019. You can see where a complete scheme overhaul is being made possible.

    RB Jordan Chunn
    WR Devin Smith
    WR Reggie Davis
    TE Dalton Schultz
    TE Codey McElroy
    G Zack Martin
    G Connor Williams
    G Cody Wichmann
    G Jacob Campos
    DL Tyrone Crawford
    DT Azziz Shittu
    LB Leighton Vander Esch
    LB Kyle Queiro
    CB Jourdan Lewis
    CB Donovan Olumna
    S Treston Decoud


    The Cowboys still have a few moves not reflected here, such as Zeke's fifth-year option or that will only be a restricted in 2020. But you get the idea.

    Also not included here are their 2019 rookies, of which at least 4-5 should make the team this season. You get a sense of just how important this draft class may be, what with so many player hitting next year.

    Of course, this could all be circumstantial evidence. Between now and next March, Dallas might reach new deals with Prescott, Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones, and many others. And if the season goes well enough, that Jason Garrett is likely to follow.

    But right now, looking across the organization, the table is set for a potential major shift in personnel both in the locker room and the staff. Jerry and Stephen may be looking at 2019 as more than just another season; perhaps the chance to blow things up if they're not satisfied with the results.

    Some fans might be willing to sacrifice this year for a sweeping change. Others would love to see Garrett and Prescott prove their doubters wrong, and probably nobody more than Jerry and Stephen.

    Still, only time will tell what the Jones family is really thinking about the future of the Dallas Cowboys.

    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!


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    The Sean Payton rumor is just that! Nothing else. Writers need something to write about and that is all it is. Kind of reminds me of the ET hysteria,

    Jess Haynie

    Payton was used more to illustrate a point here than anything. You could replace his name with any potential coaching hire the team might make next year.


    I wouldn’t mind seeing them go to the college ranks and grab Chris Petersen of UW. He’s the dude that took a Boise team who was a joke and turned them into a possible contender (of course without the talent one can acquire down South like Bama and LSU do). Then he took my college team, who had struggled since Don James retired when I was still young, and turned them into an aggressive, swarm-to-the-ball team who have stocked NFL rosters with great talent. I don’t think it’s going to happen but he’s a fairly young, aggressive HC who could get this team over the conservative hump they’ve been stuck on. But, I’ll be just as happy to keep him in my home State. It’s just fun to dream this time of year. I know everyone else has their own choices and I can’t argue with that. I’d just like the Boys to go off script for the first time since Jimmy. The time to hire Payton was when he was our OC and he asked Jerry’s opinion about taking the Saints job. When Jones said yes, Payton’s only question was, “Can I take Romo with me?” Then WE would have added a SB to the case instead of N.O. But Jerry put his faith in Parcels, who quit on him shortly after that. And it didn’t surprise me at all.

    Hector Espindola

    Great analysis and I feel the same looking at the one year rentals, the huge cap space for 2020, the contracts to be done to renew key players and coaches. Moreover, next year might also be the year when SJ take full control of the team. 2020 seems a new era, indeed.

    Jess Haynie

    Thanks Hector. We might look back on this one and laugh a year from now, but you can’t deny the signs.

    Chuck Dart Sr.

    Remedy for the team is to figure out any way to get the very first choice of the 2020 draft and then take the quarterback from Clemson Lawrence and rebuild another dynasty in Dallas. Hey we can dream can’t we?

    Jess Haynie

    Yep, you’re definitely dreaming. :)


    Yes but dreaming is soooo much fun!

    Chuck Wright

    Barring an NFC title appearance, JG likely gone. But Dallas would be foolish to bail on the young talent they have. If Sean Payton isn’t available, why not promote Kris Richards who the players love and hire a top flight OC. . . who knows, maybe Moore is that guy.

    It’s not broke but they do need something to get them over the hump. Of course they beat the Rams if they didn’t ignore DT.


    Agree Richard would be a good coach to take a chance on.

    1969 Bird

    I posted this on Fanpost at BTB on Jan 30,2019
    And boy did I get roasted.

    For your enjoyment.

    Just spit balling here. But, what if the Cowboys did something like this:

    Sign B. Jones, Cooper, and L. Collins. Tag Lawrence, keep Crawford, and see what Dak does up to trade deadline. Let Lee go or renegotiate contract.

    Then Lawrence does not sign tag, like K. Mack, trade him for 2019 first and 2020 second, or 2019 second and 2020 first. Look at needs and cap space of teams, Cleveland and Jets come to mind. Insert Taco at LDE his most productive side at Michigan, pair with Gregory and also have Armstrong and probably Crawford to mix and match.

    If the idea that going to Cleveland does not suit Lawrence, which gets colder in October than Boise St. in November, then negotiate, if not then ship out to best bid.

    As for the Dak haters here on BTB, then wait till trade deadline to extend him or trade to QB, hungry team for a first and more. This can possibly give the “Boys 3 first round picks in 2020 where the QB class is target rich!

    Now with no QB, if this plays out, it will be essentially a “Tank” season where they get a top 10 selection with the other assets. Also, an additional benefit by not extending Garret, we can a new HC and possibly OC for 2020. In addition we will have nice surplus of cap space needed to sign our own key 2020 free agents and others outside as needed. If this is not appealing to HC’s, possibly Lincoln Riley, or other veteran HC, hello Sean Payton, then I do not know what would be. Just sayin…

    Tony are you hearing this!

    I know, wild and crazy.


    I think Tony’s Listening…. #82 was and no one else but him knew it.

    Mike jones

    Yeah. You deserved to get roasted.

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