It's almost a ritual at this point: a new season approaches and the Dallas Cowboys are picked to win the NFC East division.
We know what happens after that.
However, all of those 8-8 jokes can stay right where they are as the NFL has now approved a new plan to extend the season to 17 games.
But, what if this really is the year for the Cowboys to make some noise and win the division? Marcus Spears seems to be all onboard with the idea and made his feelings on the subject known on Tuesday morning during his segment on ESPN's Get Up.
Now, one has to consider the source, as a) It's guys yelling stuff on TV and b) Spears is a former Cowboy. ... but Spears does make some good points on why Dallas will be such a formidable force this season.
It all starts with one man: quarterback Dak Prescott.
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Spears argues that even without Prescott in 2020 the Cowboys were still competitive, especially in divisional games. (Washington, having pummeled Dallas twice last year, would impolitely disagree.) Meanwhile, the return of La’el Collins and Tyron Smith, and the subsequent shift back to right guard for Zack Martin should help re-solidify the offensive line that ranked 27th in the league last season. That unit will have to step up and ensure that some serious improvement occurs in order to keep franchise quarterback Dak Prescott healthy and productive.
Additionally, Spears believes that coordinator Dan Quinn bringing the 4-3 scheme to the defense will also fix the majority of the issues it has faced over the course of the last few seasons. He claims (accurately) that the majority of the defensive playmakers were drafted to fit into a 4-3 scheme, yet have not been utilized to their full potential. . . until now.
You can watch the entire segment here.
Again, we have heard this before, but it is hard not to believe that returns of key players, coupled with some small tweaks, and combined with the high level of talent already on the team, would signal a return to NFC East throne.
Yet, before a divisional championship can be talked about, Dallas will have to prove themselves against a revamped New York Giants team, a very good Washington Football Team defense, and a wild-card Philadelphia Eagles squad. That is no small feat, but one that second-year head coach Mike McCarthy will be up for.
Does this team has the talent on the roster and the motivation to return to their winning ways and to see this ambitious endeavor out? Marcus Spears believes.