As the calendar turned to August 1 on Sunday, the start of the 2021 NFL season seems to be just around the corner. With teams ramping up their training camps and depth charts beginning to take shape, it’s almost prediction time.
The Dallas Cowboys will head into this upcoming year expecting a major turnaround from last year’s injury-ridden campaign. Dak Prescott will be back at quarterback, despite a minor shoulder injury in camp, and the team’s offense projects to be one of the most dynamic in the league. However, some questions about the defense might hold the Cowboys back from competing with the top team in the NFL.
Bleacher Report NFL analyst Kristopher Knox weighed Dallas’s high-powered offense with their seemingly average defense and came up with a prediction of what their record will be in 2021: 9-8. He suggested that the Cowboys might be able to come out on top of the NFC East, but could struggle against more well-rounded teams in the conference.
“With weapons such as CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott and Michael Gallup at Prescott’s disposal, the Cowboys could have one of the NFL’s most potent offenses in 2021,” Knox wrote. “However, their defense, which ranked 28th in points allowed, is a concern. Additions like Keanu Neal and rookie first-round pick Micah Parsons can help the unit, but Dallas isn’t likely to have an elite D.
“Dallas should rebound this season and might win the NFC East. However, the Cowboys aren’t likely to be among the conference’s top contenders.”
A 9-8 record would be a drastic improvement for the Cowboys after a 2020 season that saw them limp, both literally and figuratively, to the finish line. Dallas ended the campaign 6-10 and in third place in the underperforming NFC East.
It’s still a bit early to project how NFL teams will finish this year. With over a month to go in the preseason, injuries or other factors could come into play and shake-up rosters before Week 1. As of right now, the Cowboys seems to be headed for a much-improved performance, but time will tell if they can live up to the hype.
Dallas will begin the 2021 regular season on Sept. 9 against the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
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