After an up and down season for the Dallas Cowboys, their season finally comes to an end. In their season finale game against the New York Giants, they couldn’t get much going on offense early. As a result, they dropped their first game in four weeks, ultimately ending their season at 6-10.
The Cowboys have dealt with so many things within their organization in 2020, more than most teams. They dealt with no preseason and a shorten training camp while bringing in a new head coach and defensive coordinator. The Cowboys also lost their starting quarterback as well as three star offensive linemen early on in the season.
The Cowboys once again didn’t live up to expectations after finishing third in the NFC East at 6-10. Let’s take a look at some changes the Cowboys need to make in 2021.
Hire a New Defensive Coordinator
After the 2019 season, the Cowboys wanted change within the entire organization. When Mike McCarthy was brought in to be the head coach, he hired Mike Nolan to become the defensive coordinator. However, with the shorten training camp, Nolan’s defensive scheme was hard to adjust to for Dallas. Through the team’s first six games, they gave up an average of 36.33 points per game. The Cowboys were on pace to break the record for most points given up in an season. Nonetheless, the Dallas defense did improve towards the end of the season only giving up 22.8 points per game in their final five games.
Was this enough for Nolan to keep his job?
No, the Cowboys should still very well hire a new defensive coordinator. Nolan is a solid defensive mind, but his contributions to the Cowboys has run out. The best thing for the Cowboys to do with Nolan is to keep him on the coaching staff. Previously, Nolan spent three seasons (2017-2019) as the Saints linebackers coach. Keeping him on the staff could prove to be ideal for the Cowboys as he would still help the players develop. However, the Cowboys need to hire a different defensive coordinator, especially since this Cowboys defense has the talent and potential to be solid.
Draft 5 Defensive Players
The Dallas Cowboys currently hold the 10th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The 10th pick is the highest the Cowboys will draft since 2016 when they selected Ezekiel Elliott fourth overall. Assuming Dak Prescott returns to the Cowboys on a brand new contract, the Cowboys will have their franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future. That leaves the Cowboys offense looking dangerous once again with Prescott, Elliott, Cooper, Lamb and Gallup.
As a result, the Cowboys should focus on defense in the 2021 draft. As of today barring any trades, the Cowboys own six draft picks in 2021 in every round except the fifth. With the Cowboys locked up at the quarterback, running back, wide receiever and tight end positions, their only need on the offensive side of the ball is linemen.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys defense was one of the worst in the NFL. They finished bottom five in points per game given up (29.6), rush yards given up per game (158.8) and bottom 12th in sacks per game (31). This defense needs all the help that it can get. The Cowboys should be going into this draft drafting as many as five defensive players to bolster that defense for 2021.
Get Tony Pollard More Involved
The Dallas Cowboys have a solid running back duo with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. However, Pollard doesn’t get the playing time that he deserves. The Cowboys should get Pollard more involve and make that change for the 2021 season. When Pollard took over for Elliott in week 15, he averaged 5.75 yards per carry with over 100 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. Pollard has the potential to be an addtional asset for the Dallas Cowboys this upcoming season.
The major change the Cowboys should make to their playbook is getting Elliott and Pollard in the game, in two-back sets together. As a result, this can cause defenses additional troubles trying to not only contain the elite Cowboys receivers but their two backs as well.
Pollard showed that he has the potential to be a solid running back in the NFL. Giving Pollard more opportunities in the running game and passing game can boost the Cowboys offense even more in 2021.
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