Did the Dallas Cowboys live up to the expectations of them this year? This is a rather complicated question to answer. We would guess that it would depend upon who you were asking! A Redskins fan? Well, they’d probably say no. However, we believe that the Cowboys did, in fact, live up to the hype. Despite an early playoff loss, the Cowboys did fight a good fight. They finished the 2015-16 season with a 4-12 record, and many lost hope for the Dallas Cowboys. With the thought of the 2016-2017 season including a healthy Tony Romo(not for long),the belief for many became that it would be inevitable that the season would be an extreme improvement from the last.
The Cowboys successfully took on the Washington Redskins, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Detroit Lions. The first win of the regular season came on the heels of their long-time rival, The Washington Redskins, in a close four-point win.
The Cowboys even took on the San Francisco 49ers, were down by fourteen and still managed to take the lead, later taking the entire game. Their are just too many good games this season to name them all! The team finished with a 13-3 record, proving in fact to be a drastically better season. This record that the Cowboys finished with ties their previous best season record.They also embarked on an eleven-game winning streak that was the best in their Cowboys franchise history.
Let’s talk specifics:
First, Ezekiel Elliott Was Well Worth The High Draft Pick!
The Dallas Cowboys 2016 fourth overall draft pick, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott, was widely criticized by many experts. “The Cowboys need pass rushers,” “Running backs aren’t that important,” the many experts griped. However, they couldn’t have been more wrong! (Well, we suppose it is possible. Not likely, but possible.) Elliot lead the NFL in rushing this season with 1,631 total rushing yards. The performances by rookie players Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott were especially impressive, playing as though they’d been in the league for years. It seems as though the Cowboys have found a valuable chemistry between Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant and Ezekiel Elliott. This trio is sure to be around for seasons to come!
The Cowboys ranked fifth in the league with their point per game average (26.3), which says a great deal about their offense.
Again, everyone should take time to acknowledge the amazing work done by the rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. Many people, including us, were intrigued by his ability to outperform some of the top quarterbacks in the league during his rookie season. In the wake of yet another (rather early) Romo injury, Prescott was able to lead the team without missing a beat. Prescott’s regular season finished fourth in the NFL with a 67.8 completion percentage, which is impressive. Not to mention his third overall QB rating of 104.9. With the notion that this was most likely Tony Romo’s last season, the Cowboys are left in good hands with Prescott. Ezekiel Elliott was also an offensive leader this season. Check out this video of both Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott highlights from this season!
There is still no doubt that the Cowboys lack in pass rushers. This is especially true with their leading pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence being out for most of the season due to injuries and suspension. The Cowboys defense was able to hold their own and put up an impressive fight. Sean Lee finished as one of the NFL’s top tacklers, as well as defensive tackle Maliek Collins, and defensive end David Irving holding it down with the sacks. The Cowboys finished this season with around 34 sacks, which ranks somewhere in middle for the NFL. However, it is still up from their 31 sacks in the 2015 season.
Now, the Cowboys have some deciding to do. They must decide if they’re going to re-sign Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. Chances are that they won’t resign them all.
Next, are they going to keep Tony Romo? Getting rid of him will prove to be a complicated and pricey task since the Cowboys still owe three years of Romo’s contract to him. The process in general has been a quite messy one. First, the Cowboys were going to release Romo. Then, they were going to trade him. Then, again they were going to keep him. They’ve got to make up their mind for the sake of all Cowboy fans! However, it is certain that Prescott is in the top quarterback spot for good. Where would that leave Romo in the event that the Cowboys don’t trade him?
This brings us to the conclusion that the Cowboys did not MEET expectations this season. They SURPASSED them. With their new team chemistry, they are poised and ready to make another big run at the NFC division title next season. And – who knows? – the Cowboys might strike another gold with their next draft and take it all the way to the playoffs. The chances of getting a pass rusher are fairly slim, being that their draft pick won’t be as high this year; however, this shouldn’t hold them back for an entire season. You know exactly where to get your Dallas Cowboys tickets when the time comes!