By Wade Haugen
The Dallas Cowboys season came to a screeching halt Sunday afternoon at Jerry World against the sizzling hot Green Bay Packers. While anything other than a Super Bowl victory was sure to be a disappointment for this squad that went 13-3 over the regular season, and was the first overall seed, there were many positives to catapult off of for the future.
It would be remiss for me to not start this season review without mentioning the dilemma that began the season when Tony Romo went down with a broken bone in his back week three of the preseason. While Dak Prescott had shined in the preseason, many were skeptical of his ability to orchestrate the offense over the span of a 16-game regular season.
Prescott not only held his own, but flourished during the regular season and lead the Cowboys to a 13-3 record, tied for the best record ever for a rookie quarterback with Ben Roethlisberger. Prescott hung his hat all season on being efficient and taking care of the ball, as he finished the season with only four interceptions and a 104.9 QB rating, which was tops in the league.
While Prescott definitely did his part, he wasn’t the only part of this offense that flourished. The Cowboys offensive attack predicated itself on a power run game lead by the best offensive line in the league, and their MVP caliber rookie running back, Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot squashed any naysayers who criticized the Cowboys pick of him in the draft by rushing for 1,651 yards and scoring 15 touchdowns.
Dallas’ defense had its fair share of question marks entering the season, but Rod Marinelli’s unit performed very well, finishing 12th in the league in total defense, and 5th in the league in rush defense. Sean Lee put together another stellar season, finishing the regular season with 145 tackles and notching another All-Pro selection under his belt.
As the Cowboys look ahead to next year, there should be an immense amount of optimism surrounding this squad. Whether it be Dak Prescott, or Tony Romo leading this team next year, they will still exhibit one of the best offensive units in the league, especially on the ground.
The key for improvement in order to make that next step and become a possible playoff team will be for Jerry Jones and his staff to improve the defense, mainly the secondary and pass rush, through free agency and the draft.
Once those issues are addressed, this Cowboys team will only add to the already stellar team that they have. One thing is for certain: the future of the Dallas Cowboys looks very bright right now.