It may be tough to have expectations as a Cowboys fan, but you have to set some kind of standard, right?
Will Dak Prescott have another stellar regular season? Will Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard truly split reps? Will CeeDee Lamb finally break out? There are so many questions heading into the 2022 season, especially since this one will again ride on playoff success.
The level of play Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs will play is also intriguing. Both are young players with lots of potential, but it remains to be seen how much they will grow. For both, Parsons especially, they'll be expected to fulfill that.
These statistical predictions aren't my expectations, so to say, but more of my opinion on how I think these players will perform. So, here are my predictions:
Prescott will enter his seventh season as Dallas' quarterback in 2022, and he's coming off one of his best seasons. He set a career-high in completion percentage with 68.8 and broke the Cowboys' single-season record for touchdown passes with 37.
Big expectations will be heaped on Prescott again, but he's proved he can live up to them. Like last season, he'll be one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. His production will reflect that.
Prediction: 4,200 passing yards, 35 touchdowns, 11 interceptions
Whether you believe he's ready for this new role or not, there's no denying his talent. Lamb put up fantastic numbers last season, and those will only go up with his increased targets. Look for Lamb to have a breakout 2022 campaign.
Prediction: 94 catches, 1,400 receiving yards, nine touchdowns
Ezekiel Elliott/Tony Pollard
I'm combining Dallas' running back duo for this one. We don't know how much Dallas will split reps between the two, so predicting their statistical production can be challenging.
Until something happens, I'm assuming both will receive a similar amount of carries to last season. It'll be frustrating, given Pollard's high efficiency, but that's the reality right now. Elliott will get the bulk of the carries and may cross the 1,000-yard mark again. Pollard might not get there, but he'll still be electric with his reps.
Prediction for Elliott: 229 carries, 1,050 rushing yards, eight touchdowns
Prediction for Pollard: 142 carries, 880 rushing yards, three touchdowns
The Cowboys' unicorn is coming off a marvelous 2021 season where he unanimously won Defensive Rookie of the Year. He played like a seasoned veteran, and it was only his first season.
Because it was his first season, there's little reason to believe Parsons won't grow. He may challenge for Defensive Player of the Year again. Whatever happens, Parsons will continue to be the centerpiece of Dallas' defensive gameplan.
Prediction: 95 tackles, 14 sacks, 35 QB hits, one interception, four passes defended
11 interceptions in 2021 were remarkable for Diggs, and it made him the league's best ballhawk. But that's a rare number to reach; one Diggs may not get close to in 2022.
There's a lot of room for Diggs to grow, especially in his coverage skills. His interceptions will remain valuable, and he'll still finish 2022 with a sizeable amount. His potential is exciting, and who knows how good he can become.
Prediction: 60 tackles, five interceptions, 19 passes defended
Say what you want about Lawrence; he's still a valuable member of the Cowboys' defense. He's one of the league's best run defenders off the edge, and he's not bad in pass rushing either, recording seven QB hits in seven games last season.