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NFC East Preview | 2016

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Dallas Cowboys

Last Seasons Record: 4-12

Additions: DE Cedric Thornton, RB Alfred Morris, OLB Benson Mayowa, C Joe Looney, RB Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State), ILB Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame)

Re-signings: LB Rolando McClain, RB Lance Dunbar, G Ronald Leary, CB Josh Thomas, TE James Hanna, OT Charles Brown, S Jeff Heath, LB Kyle Wilber, DT Jack Crawford, CB Morris Claiborne

Losses: G Mackenzy Bernadeau, QB Matt Cassel, DE Greg Hardy, DE Jeremy Mincey, S Danny McCray, FB Tyler Clutts, DT Nick Hayden, WR Donte Foster

Off-season

You would think that Jerry Jones would go crazy in the off-season after his team finishes 4-12. Instead the Dallas Cowboys owner laid low for once after the season. Realizing that his team’s record had more to do with the injury to Tony Romo than the talent on the roster.

The Cowboys didn’t sign many free agents during the off-season. Dallas did add some much needed help in the middle of their D-line with their signing of Cedric Thornton. The new Cowboy defensive tackle should fit nicely in their 4-3 scheme, with the ability to play in either gap.

The Cowboys biggest issues on defense was their secondary and lack of a pass rush. Those issues will not be made better by the suspension of three of their key defensive players. Dallas lost Rolando McClain, Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence to suspensions this off-season. After letting go of headache Greg Hardy, the Cowboys lost Lawrence and Gregory, who were presumably going to replace the void of Hardy’s pass rush.

Rumors are also swirling that the Cowboys defensive signal caller Rolando McClain that he might never play again in the NFL. The Cowboys did draft linebacker Jaylon Smith out of Notre Dame. As talented as Smith is, he is coming off of a terrible knee injury and there is no telling when he will return.

After not addressing their secondary this off-season, Dallas will once again be without a pass rush to help their porous defensive backs. It might be another long season for the Cowboy’s defense.

With their first draft pick the Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliott out of Ohio State. Elliott can do it all and big things are expected of him behind the terrific Cowboy offensive line. Problem is that Elliott has been accused of battery and his future, like so many other Cowboys, is in jeopardy. Dallas does have newly acquired Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden in case Elliot isn’t eligible to play.

The Cowboys also drafted quarterback Dak Prescott out of Mississippi State in the fourth round. A raw talent who Dallas hopes doesn’t see the field anytime soon. Unfortunately, Kellen Moore went down with an injury early in training camp. Dallas is currently searching for a quality, veteran backup quarterback.

Jerry Jones might have done the right thing by standing pat this off-seasons, but the unforeseen suspensions have put a damper on his plan. The inability to upgrade the secondary was surprising. Dallas’ hopes are once again pinned to Tony Romo and his supporting offensive cast.

Predictions

The Cowboys hopes this season lands squarely with Tony Romo. If healthy, Romo and the Dallas Offense will put up lots of points this season. Their defense is going to have issues, especially in the passing game. The most they can hope for is to slow the opposing teams down.

The offense is going to have to outscore opposing teams in 2016. If Romo stays healthy they should be able to compete for the NFC East or a wildcard. Don’t look for them to get very far if they do reach the playoffs. It should be an exciting year in Dallas, now that their quarterback is healthy.

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About Vince Corcoran

Vincent played four varsity sports in high school instilling in him a respect for all sports and the athletes who play them. Vince was born and lived in his youth, overseas giving him a well rounded knowledge of many world wide sports. If you made him choose he would say that his biggest love would be college basketball but he is knowledgeable and maintains an interest in a variety sports.

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