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Dallas Cowboys among Teams expected to take huge leap in 2021

We’re roughly a month away from the start of the for the Dallas . They’ll open up against the defending Champion Tampa Bay . And though there are still questions to be answered as the Cowboys progress through and the preseasons, there remains a lot of optimism about this team moving forward.

The Cowboys are expected to improve their 6-10 record a year ago, and a lot of it hinges on how the performed in the early part of 2020. With everyone back on offense, including Prescott, , La’el Collins, and , who were all lost to , the Cowboys should be one of the best teams in the in 2021.

Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling took a look at four teams ready to make a big leap in performance from 2020 to 2021, and the Cowboys were among them.

That’s about as encouraging as it gets after he completed 68 percent of his 222 attempts last year with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. He’ll be a dramatic upgrade over the Andy Dalton-- carousel that held back the offense last year. Flanking Prescott is Ezekiel Elliott and arguably the league’s most dangerous wideout trio: , CeeDee Lamb and . Prescott might have dragged a miserable kicking and screaming to the last year. But Dallas saw it fit to revamp what was a historically bad unit that ended up surrendering 29.6 points per game, the league’s fifth-worst mark. – Roling

Obviously, the offense should be really good. They’ll be even more efficient as the will get a boost from the return of Smith and Collins at . However, the big question remains: can the defense improve enough to make this team a serious contender in the NFC.

In is  Dan Quinn;   and ; and first-round  Micah Parsons, second-round corner and third-round defensive linemen  and . In sum, eight of Dallas’ 11 draft picks went to fixing the defense. A back-to-basics approach on D under a proven coordinator and the return of a top-10 passer should have the Cowboys looking at the upper echelon of contention in 2021. – Roling

They’ve made a ton of additions, most notably the hiring of former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. With Quinn and the plethora of players they’ve brought in to overhaul the defense, the Cowboys should be better. We just don’t know how much better.

For the Cowboys to be serious contenders in the NFC, they’ll have to be in the top half of the league in points allowed per game and takeaways. The offense we know will be good, but the Cowboys need an opportunistic defense to go with it to provide them with some short fields and take the pressure off of Prescott and company to score on every possession.

2021 looks like it will be a good year for the Cowboys, but unless the defense can take a considerable step forward and do so quickly, it could be another rough season for the Dallas Cowboys.

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. We have to be the Greatest Leapiness fan base in human history! By the end of the year we have over leaped so far our heads are stuck deeply in the sand! I hate being reminded of it! No one I know has a leap of faith left in em’! But here we go again…

  2. To Cowboy Fan:. Is that all you got, the new season is 17 games instead of 16? Mediocre Jones will find a way to go 8-8-1. Also speaking of math, I would count 9-7 as a break even season which gives Jason Garrett 5 break Even seasons out of 9. Even when Garrett had a winning season it followed a losing season which gave the cowboys a weak schedule the following season. And they’ve never done well in the playoffs. Jerry doesn’t like strong coaches and wants to interfere with all coaching decisions. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say the cowboys will go 9-8.

  3. Cowboys fan- I don’t necessarily agree with ur delivery…..but u make a good point about all the negativism. Even with the worst teams in the league u can find positives, and the cowboys are far from the worst team in the league. Not familiar with some of the posters u singled out, but I think ur off base about VAM. He generally provides a balanced intelligent assessment about the team and I enjoy reading his posts.

  4. I should first mention that this is the very first time I have written anything regarding the Dallas Cowboys.
    I have been a non-stop fan since 1965 and I support our team every year, whether they win the Super Bowl or fail to make the playoffs. A fan should always support his team. Now I am not suggesting that we become pleased with poor performances or poor records, but speaking poorly of a team we support is of no value. I would also like to say that the response from Cowboys fan was well said. I cannot help but believe that the offense this year will be spectacular. The defense will become better than middle of the pack, but it will take a few games for them to get their feet, find out who really are the best defensive players on the team in an actual game, and for the players to learn to work together. I see no reason why this team will not be in the playoffs and even win a playoff game or two. They are certainly not a Super Bowl team this year, but I would not be surprised to see them there next year. GO COWBOYS!

  5. First off let me say that these so called Cowboys fans I see on this site really make me wonder if they really are Cowboys fans…. I’ve never seen a fan talk so badly about his favorite team!!
    JoeB…. You mite wanna go back to school and learn math, there’s 17 games in this season which means there will be no 8-8 teams…. 8+8=16, not 17!!
    Don Howard…. And I guess this can go for JoeB too…. Since Dak took over in 2016 our team has only went 8-8 one time and that was the last year of Jason Garrett, and last season was our only losing season since 2016, so how are we gonna be mediocre AS USUAL when we’re usually NOT mediocre!?
    CaLEAFornia…. I agree with you 100%, it doesn’t matter if we go undefeated and win a Super Bowl there’s still gonna be these so called fans that will have something negative to say about the team!!
    And Vam…. I have to say, this is one of the very few times I can agree with you!! Your usually one of these people that always have something negative to say about the team, but your comment this time is one I can agree with!! I think our defense will be much improved this season!! I don’t think we’ll be the best since we’ll have so many rookies playing for us, but we should be at least around the middle of the pack, which should get us into the playoffs, if our offense can play all season like they did to start last season!!
    Now as far as the article goes, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I have to agree…. I really think our team will be much improved this season!! I’m thinking we’ll go maybe 11-6, maybe 12-5!! Either way we will be better and I think we will make the playoffs this season!!

  6. The defense should be better with the additions from the draft, which was heavy on the D side, and FA. IF Smith and LVE can rebound somewhat and with Parsons and Cox, the LB position looks to be a more solid unit. The D backfield also looks more promising with good depth from the three draftees and Canady coming back and Hooker, et al, added. Even having hope that the D-line, a real sore spot last year, may be heading in the right direction.

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