While the summer season brings much enjoyment to the average person, for an NFL fan, it represents a desolate wasteland where Sundays just aren't quite as vibrant as in the autumn months. However, with each passing day, we inch closer to the beginning of the 2023 NFL season, which officially kicks off on September 8 this year.
Whether you've had your favorite team's tweet notifications turned on all summer or if you've decided to tune out all football news entirely, you'll be able to learn everything you need to know about your team going into the 2022-23 season right here.
In today's article, I'll be discussing the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm working on season guidebooks for all 32 NFL teams, which will all be released within the next few weeks. To check out another team's guidebook, click here:
2021 Season Recap
The Cowboys rode Dak Prescott and the rest of the offense to victory often in 2021, finishing with an impressive 12-5 record and securing first place in the NFC East. Some people believed they would finally make another deep run in the postseason for the first time this century, but those hopes were cut short with a 23-17 loss to San Francisco in the opening round.
Dallas was clearly very good across the board on offense, and they did a pretty good job at limiting points on defense too. However, they were sometimes hit or miss on both sides of the ball. They'll look to find a little more consistency in 2022 with aspirations to succeed in making it to the later stages of the playoffs this time around.
Significant Roster Moves
The Cowboys lost two of their top four receivers from a season ago: Amari Cooper, who they traded to Cleveland, and Cedrick Wilson, who signed with Miami. Other losses from the offense include TE Blake Jarwin and tackles La'el Collins and Connor Williams. The biggest departures from the defense were defensive backs Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal.
Dallas signed James Washington in the offseason to try to fill in for some reps at the receiver position, though he likely won't make as much of an impact as Cooper had in his tenure with the Cowboys. They also signed outside linebackers Anthony Barr and Dante Fowler, Jr., who should make pretty significant impacts immediately, as well as Jayron Kearse, who will take Keanu Neal's position at strong safety.
2022 Draft Class
Dallas had nine selections in the 2022 draft and split them among the offense and defense. The four offensive players taken will see lots of playing time rather quickly, especially Jalen Tolbert and Jake Ferguson, where their position groups were a little more thin than others. Most of the defensive guys will serve as much needed depth in their respective positions to start their NFL careers.
The Cowboys will take on the NFC North and the AFC South to go along with their six divisional games. Their other three opponents are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, and Los Angeles Rams. With an opponent prior season win percentage of .462, Dallas has the 2nd easiest schedule in the NFL.
Dallas' primetime games include one Thursday night game at Tennessee, two Sunday night games at Philadelphia and versus Indianapolis, and one Monday night game at the New York Giants.
The Cowboys return 18 of their 22 starters from a season ago, which is slightly above average among all teams in the league. Talent wise, it appears Dallas is in great shape. Their key to success will be that their most important players stay healthy and that they get good performances from their backups to relieve some of the pressure from the starters.
Mike McCarthy enters his 3rd season as head coach of the Cowboys. Kellen Moore, Dan Quinn, and John Fassel will begin their 4th, 2nd, and 3rd seasons, respectively, in their current positions with Dallas.
Oddsmakers have set the regular season win total for the Cowboys at 10 games. As of right now, they are the most likely team to win the NFC East and the 5th most likely team to win the whole NFC. At +2000 to win the 2023 Super Bowl, they are tied for 9th among all teams in the league.
Bucket Squad Predictions
I expect this season to go about the same as last season did for the Cowboys. I think they have a great chance to win the NFC East, as it seems their biggest competitor to that crown will be the Eagles. Dallas has one of the easiest schedules in the league, so they should be able to take advantage of that and secure plenty of wins in the 2022 campaign.
I'm confident Dallas will make the playoffs again this time around, but I'm not sure how they'll fare in the postseason against the other elite teams in the NFC. Cowboys fans are longing for another Super Bowl trip, and it would be a relatively short trip to Arizona to see their team there in February should they get it done.
What do you think? Will Dallas be better or worse than I'm projecting? What offseason moves made by the Cowboys surprised you the most? Leave a comment down below and be sure to check the "NFL" section of the website for more NFL team guidebooks as I finish them.
Written by Nick Swatson
Expert Nick Swatson discusses all the news, predictions, and outcomes surrounding the NFL.