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What Would Be A Successful 2020 Season For The Dallas Cowboys?

For decades the success or failure of a Dallas Cowboys season was determined by the Super Bowl. They were constant title contenders, and any lack of playoff success would be looked at as a step back. The standards were high but they performed to them time and time again.

Now, though, things are quite different in Dallas. I mean, some may consider 2020 successful if we even have a season at all. But given there is a full 16 game season this Fall, what would make it a successful one for these Cowboys?

Bleacher Report deemed that a trip to the NFC Championship game is what would make 2020 a success for America’s Team. And, of course, it would certainly be an accomplishment we haven’t seen out of the Cowboys for over two decades.

“The team has far too much high-priced talent to miss the playoffs, but even a short postseason run might not suffice considering what Dallas is paying its stars.”

But is the NFC Championship game the line between success and failure this season?

When you look down the Cowboys roster you see stars. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper – just to name a few. But the vast majority of these stars are on the offensive side of the ball. The Cowboys lost two top defensive contributors this offseason in Byron Jones and Robert Quinn, and despite drafting well on both sides of the ball they will be relying on some unproven (or formerly underperforming) talent to get the job done both in the defensive backfield and opposite DeMarcus Lawrence.

For the Cowboys to reach this successful mark, their defensive stars will need to play to their 2018 levels. Leighton Vander Esch will have to remain healthy, Jaylon Smith will need a bounce back year he is certainly capable of, and DeMarcus Lawrence must continue to play to his dominant form.

All of this can happen of course. But one move would make it a whole lot easier for this defense to perfectly compliment that high powered offense on the other side.

A trade for Jets Safety Jamal Adams.

Given the Cowboys current depth at safety and the question marks which remain at cornerback, Adams is the obvious final piece to a potential championship roster.

It’s true that an NFC Title game appearance may be an achievement which would satisfy fans for the time being in 2020, but adding Jamal Adams would make the Cowboys true Super Bowl contenders.

And considering the dollar amounts being given to players and the win-now moves the front office is looking to make, shouldn’t it be Super Bowl or bust anyway?

What do you think?

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Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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  1. Wow … this article is inappropriately titled … this is really just a clarion call for trading for Adams because he is going to be THE difference for this team. The only way Adams would prove a difference maker is if BOTH the RDE and all the CB spots are solidified and proven … of which they are both currently (big) question marks, despite the potential. I’m not saying Adams doesn’t make the defense better (no doubt he can), but his acquisition does not tremendously impact this team UNLESS both the RFD and CB positions meet their potential.

    There are generally two ways to measure success … growth and/or results. Those can be dependent or independent measurements. For the stats-minded folks (probably the majority), a trip to the NFC title game is probably the marker for success. But based on the last year, I could argue that it should be tiered. First win the division. Secondly earn a home playoff game. Thirdly, advance in the playoffs, Fourth, reach a championship game (either Conference or Super Bowl), Lastly, win a championship game.

    There is no one measurement, unless there is a singular expectation … and we all know that ain’t the case!

    Let Adams go … he’s not the end-all. Had he not been a local product, I doubt folks would be clamoring for him.

  2. Adams is a safety and a strong safety at that. As a strong safety, he is not in a position to alter games. Really, why does anyone think the Jets are not interested in keeping Adams? Adams is very good at a position that is not critical and does not change team success . Paying a strong safety 20 is how to fail to build a defense. If you pay a strong safety 20, are you paying 25 to your top corner because top corners are far, far more valuable than a strong safety?
    Paying more than a position is worth is a sign of a foolish GM.
    Paying good starters as superstars is also foolish and the Boys do that already.
    Lawrence is a solid starter paid as a superstar. Lawrence had two good , not great ,seasons 3 years ago . Lawrence is a career 5-6 sack a year guy who plays hard against the run. All excuses aside, Lawrence gets 5 sacks a year as he did last season .That is who he is. How that got paid 22 million shows why the Boys have not gone far in 20 years.
    So, while this article is really an advertisement to cripple the team by giving picks and 20 million for a strong safety, the answer to the real question of the title is that this season is a success if the coaches can solve right guard, center, and the entire defense. Right now, the defense line, the linebackers and the secondary on defense has to all be rebuilt from free agents, draft picks, injured guys and guys who regressed last season. If all goes perfectly, all the injured players come back , and the coaches pull off a super fast rebuild, the best realistic expectation is to go 11-5 .
    Only Cowboy hype could look at a team totally rebuilding the defense and talk Superbowl.
    Realistically, a great coaching job would be to go 1-3 to start the season and then grow to 9-7 and sneak into the playoffs and get a playoff win. And, that record assumes the coaches can rebuild the offensive line and that Cooper plays more than 10 games and Tyron Smith plays more than 12 games.
    Garrett is gone and I am projecting that the new coaches can actually grow a team and use scheme to hide weakness where Garrett could not. So expect 9-7. Hope for 11-5. Playoffs…let’s get a defense ,then talk playoffs success.

  3. Not sure how this got sidetracked into another Adams discussion.

    My take, move Chido to S (not a big Ha Ha fan, just not sure he’s that good). We have upgraded the D which has largely been the side holding us back.

    NFC title game or bust for this season to be considered “successful”. Granted JJ/SJ have built a 3 year maybe 4 year window of key players under contract and in their prime.

    So by 2025, if we do not have another SB trophy in the case, we are not successful.

    Just one guys’ opinion

  4. I think Lawrence was hampered by a bum shoulder last yr which obviously brought his production down. I think he is talented and is a beast against the run, especially for a pass rusher. However he might not produce even if healthy since the the cowboys lack a pass rusher opposite him, enabling opponents to double team and chip him all day long. There is a reason safeties don’t get drafted high they simply can’t have enuf impact to justify. The only one in recent yrs that was worth it would be Earl Thomas and he was a once in a generation free safety with sublime range, instincts and hands. We do have questions at several positions but so do alot of other teams. Be honest addition by subtraction (Garrett) could be worth a few wins, that and improving upon our atrocious special teams. I would be happy just to make the playoffs this yr and then anything can happen. Next yr our great rookie class has a yr under their belts then who knows what can happen.

    • Fair assessment Gary (as always!), but I’m not ready to give Lawrence a pass just yet. That said, I don’t believe he was bad last year, but then I’m not a guy who measures players by stats, so I get the argument people are making (just don’t put much credence into it, because its usually a wasted debate). I think Lawrence is among the best DE’s, but mostly because his all-around game is well above average, he has no real weakness that can be exploited. He’ll be fine and isn’t too grossly overpaid either (its that whole “market” argument).

      As for Earl Thomas, I think Adams can become his equal. I don’t feel Thomas was generational by any stretch. He’s a damn fine player who played with some other damn fine players and led by a damn fine, defensive-minded staff. When the others bailed from SEA, his played was FAR less impactful. IMO, he does not belong in the Ronnie Lott, Ed Reed, Kenny Houston class of all-time safeties. I wouldn’t even rank him as high as Paumalo. Adams can be Thomas equal, particularly if given Thomas’ teammates.

      Good point about how improved special teams play could literally make at least a 2-game difference all by itself.

  5. Yep I think what sets Lawrence apart is his pass rushing ability coupled with the fact that he is very stout against the run. Many highly regarded ends don’t necessarily play the run well. I would agree Thomas isn’t quite in the class of safeties u mentioned, but who is? those are probably the three best safeties of all time. Much of Adams is potential and projection.. Is he mainly just a box safety? as he only has two picks his first two yrs. just not ready to anoint him yet. He’s only 2yrs into his career, lets see how he impacts the success of his teams moving forward. The before mentioned safeties have already made their marks, including super bowl rings.

  6. To hell with Jamal Adams!! That one player will not take us to the Super Bowl!! He’s good, but he’s not that good!! He mite help our defense, but he won’t be able to put the whole secondary on his back and turn us into a top ranked defense!! I’m tired of hearing about us trading for Jamal Adams…. It’s not gonna happen!! And he’s not worth all the draft capital the jets are asking for!! So drop it!!

  7. First hurdle is the beat The Eagles. There will be no post season play without this first hurdle.
    Now that Dak has signed the one year contract:
    1.Go get Jamal Adams
    2.Go get Stephon Gilmore
    Now the secondary if fixed and the road is clear to beat the Eagles, the Vikings, the 49’s and the Chiefs.

  8. One factor not being discussed much is the potential impact Poe/McCoy couid have on the our line and defense in general. Granted neither of them are in their primes but the push and pressure they can create up the middle could be crucial to our success. Getting into the QBs line of vision and letting him feel the pressure up the gut is underrated, as it’s not all about the edge rushers. Most of our tackles have been pedestrian for several yrs and the team has simply not prioritized this position. Also couid prevent teams from running roughshod over us, which has happened in some key games the last few yrs

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