Before eyes start rolling and the Cowboys’ haters overlook this, let’s take some time to realize that the Dallas Cowboys are arguably the best they’ve been since the last time they won the Super Bowl in 1996.
Firstly, let’s take a look back at this summer. It seemed as if this offseason would never end, primarily because of the holdout with Ezekiel Elliot wanting a contract extension.
Despite being tied down with Dallas for two more seasons, Elliot chose to remain absent from the team. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones even appeared to think that this holdout would go into the regular season.
“I’m operating as though right now he’s going to miss regular-season games,” Jones said after the team’s final preseason game.
Despite struggling negotiations and frustrations for both parties, Sept. 4, Elliot and the Cowboys finally agreed to a six-year, $90 million contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys. This keeps him in Dallas until the 2026-27 season.
That means eight more years with America’s team. Securing a running back who’s led the NFL in rushing yards two out of his first three years playing professionally is an enormous feat.
With Elliot locked away, the Cowboys also extended contracts to key players including Defensive End Demarcus Lawrence (five-year, 105 million extension) and offensive tackle La’el Collins (five-year, 50 million extension).
Lawrence, since 2017, is tied for fourth in the NFL (25) and eighth in tackles for a loss (29). He also has the third-most sacks in the first five seasons in team history.
Collins, on the other hand, struggled early in his NFL career but has shown a significant rise in talent. With this extension, the Cowboys’ offensive line, arguably the most dominant in the league, is set through the 2024 season.
Another key piece of the defense is linebacker Jaylon Smith (five-year, 64 million extension). Smith was a projected top-five draft pick in 2016, but injured his knee, tearing two ligaments and suffering nerve damage.
Despite the devastating injury, the Cowboys took Smith with the No. 34 overall pick, and it’s turned out to be a huge plus to their defense. The 24-year old Smith started every game last season, recording 121 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles.
So needless to say, Dallas has been busy spending during the offseason. Last Sunday, the hard offseason work finally showed.
The Cowboys blew over the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium, 35-17. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns in the convincing win.
So here we are. Dallas is coming off a season where they were knocked out of the playoffs by the Super Bowl runner-up. They’re a young team with key players set to stay with the Cowboys for the next five years minimum. They also fully showed their capability to pass the ball, something that has often been a weakness of theirs.
Prescott is the last key player that needs a new contract. And according to Jones, that new contract is “imminent.”
So with all that being said, the Cowboys have placed themselves in a solid position to be Super Bowl contenders for the next few years. They are off and running on offense and have key factors on defense that makes any opposing quarterback look twice before throwing.
While no team is guaranteed a Super Bowl victory, the Cowboys are surely in the mix for the next few years. The Lombardi trophy is heading back to Dallas soon.