Are The Dallas Cowboys The Least Improved NFL Team?

The Dallas Cowboys are among the most polarizing NFL teams ever. Love or hate... everyone has an opinion. But is Dallas the least improved NFL team this offseason?
Jul 31, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and chief operating officer Stephen Jones (left) during training camp at the Marriott Residence Inn-River Ridge playing fields. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 31, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and chief operating officer Stephen Jones (left) during training camp at the Marriott Residence Inn-River Ridge playing fields. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are among the most polarizing NFL teams ever. Love or hate... everyone has an opinion. But is Dallas the least improved NFL team this offseason?

Dallas' lack of offseason acquisitions and the multiple unorthodox one-year contracts (including coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Dak Prescott) have Sports Illustrated picking the Cowboys among the least improved NFL teams. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings were also pegged as least improved.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and chief operating officer Stephen Jones (left) during training camp
Jul 31, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and chief operating officer Stephen Jones (left) during training camp at the Marriott Residence Inn-River Ridge playing fields. Mandatory Credit: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports / Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

"The most significant additions this offseason have been the re-signing of a long snapper and bringing back Ezekiel Elliott," writes SI's Conor Orr. "They are a real estate company that happens to employ a few dozen football players to wave to the customers. Jerry Jones will try and say with a straight face that he did what he could to help Mike McCarthy or that he wanted to win the Super Bowl this year but the truth is that this team’s behavior is inexplicable."

Dallas was the NFL's lowest-spending team by more than $50 million during NFL Free Agency. Prescott, star wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and linebacker Micah Parsons all await new extensions this offseason.

Recently, the Cowboys' headlines have revolved around Lamb holding out of mandatory mini camp amongst contract negotiations. Parsons also missed the team's organized team activities, which are not mandatory.

"That's always been my style," said the three-time Pro Bowler Parsons. "I have been here [for voluntary workouts] since my rookie season. I don't think it's anything new. I have my own way of doing things."

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy echoed Parsons' sentiment.

"Micah has had some unique travel opportunities," McCarthy said. "He looks great... He is in excellent shape. He’s been having one-on-one meetings. He hasn’t missed anything as far as install."

In a positive update, Prescott, who led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes last season, is getting excellent offseason work in with his receivers - the best offseason program that McCarthy has seen from Prescott since taking over as head coach in 2020.

"There is a job to do. There hasn’t been any blink," McCarthy said. "Dak for example, I think he’s had the best offseason program we've ever had… I’m very impressed with the quality of work… The offensive perimeter and quarterbacks have really excelled, I think they have taken a step."

Externally, the Cowboys are pegged as least improved... Internally, the team is excited about it's advancements.


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Bri Amaranthus

BRI AMARANTHUS

Emmy-Winning Reporter