The Dallas Cowboys have proven capable of building a Super Bowl contending football team over the last few years. They have a talented, young roster that has been mainly built through the NFL Draft by both Stephen Jones and Will McClay. On offense and defense, the Cowboys have plenty of talented players that make this team special. But where does that talent rank among other teams in the NFL?
Gil Brandt decided to rank the Top 10 most talented teams for NFL.com on the league and some of the rankings were surprising. In Brandt's ranking, the NFC East headlined the league with the Philadelphia Eagles at #1 and the Cowboys at #2.
Here's how Brandt's top 5 looks like:
First off, the first surprise might be seeing the Eagles at #1. Last year, Gil Brandt also listed them as the most talented team in the game. As we know, the Cowboys and Eagles will headline the battle for the NFC East in the upcoming season and they both have great football teams. In terms of talent, they're close to each other.
Both teams have great offensive lines and capable quarterbacks, which is essential to winning in a league such as the NFL. Weapons in the passing game are also similar in level, with the Eagles having an edge at tight end thanks to Zach Ertz. As far as the running game is concerned, Ezekiel Elliott gives the Cowboys one of the best ground attacks in the league.
The list is a good reminder of how good the Cowboys' division rival is and how we should not take the NFC East title for granted. It'll be quite a challenge to win it for the second consecutive year.
Do they deserve such a high place on the list? It's difficult to agree in ranking them above the L.A. Rams who fell to #4. That's a team filled with superstars that made the Super Bowl last year and didn't suffer any major losses in the offseason. Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald lead a team that has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball.
As far as the Cowboys are concerned, although I was shocked to see them at #2 at first, I believe there's an argument to be made for them. As mentioned before, the offense has one of the best offensive lines in the game (if healthy, which might be a big if), an elite running back, a franchise QB in Dak Prescott and a solid receiving core led by Amari Cooper.
On defense, their defensive line shines with one of the best pass rushers in the NFL, DeMarcus Lawrence. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch should be as successful as last year, running from sideline to sideline and making impressive plays.
The secondary isn't as good. However, Byron Jones was a second-team All-Pro in 2018 and the other cornerbacks are at least above average. At safety, Xavier Woods is a promising player who is due for a breakout year.
So maybe the Cowboys' spot on Gil Brandt's ranking is accurate after all. Of course, talent isn't enough to win in the NFL. It's also worth mentioning that last season, six out of ten teams in Brandt's rankings didn't make the postseason, including three from the top 5. So get excited, but not too much.