Record Prediction: How Will The Dallas Cowboys Fare in 2021?

The NFL's full regular-season schedule is out. Can the Cowboys rebound from a disastrous 2020?
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The Dallas Cowboys are set to kick off the 2021 season on September 9 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as they look to rebound from a brutal 2020 campaign in which they finished 6-10, and missed out on the postseason yet again. 

Health permitting, things should turn around for Dallas. However, there are also a variety of other factors that will play into the team's success.

So how will the Cowboys fare in 2021? The CowboyMaven staff discusses:

Mike Fisher

Cowboys Record: 9-8

The NFL is ‘a 500 league,’ as we say so often. The Dallas Cowboys can take advantage of mediocrity. If they go 9-8, they will likely run away with the NFC East. That is within the Dallas capabilities and now, coach Mike McCarthy - who as Troy Aikman told me last year deserved a "mulligan,'' does not deserve two.

READ MORE: Cowboys Rookie LB Micah Parsons Reveals Dallas ‘Starting’ Plan’

Matt Galatzan

Cowboys Record: 10-7

Much like the 2020 season, injuries will determine the success of the Cowboys in 2021. The offensive line should be returning to full strength, and if they can stay healthy, the offense should be incredibly dangerous. On defense, however, I am not sold. The health of both Leighton Vander Esch and Trysten Hill are a concern. As is the play of Jaylon Smith, the safety situation, and the depth at cornerback. Not to mention, there is also a lack of depth along the defensive line, where three rookies figure to get significant reps. If they can stay healthy, and the young players can progress, Dallas should take a weak NFC East. If they can't they could be looking at another rough season. 

Matthew Postins

Cowboys Record: 9-8

The return of Dak Prescott will make this offense much better in 2021. But I'm not sold that Tyron Smith will make it through the whole season at left tackle. I'm not sold that the defense will be good enough to make that much of a difference. So, a winning record? Sure. Much more than that? I'm not all-in on that just yet. 

Cole Thompson 

Cowboys Record: 9-8 

When talking about the Dallas Cowboys, you have to mention the defense. Dan Quinn seems to be the right guy to fix the floors that were there in 2020. Did the Cowboys do enough though in free agency and the draft to expand those needs? Names like Micah Parsons and Kelvin Joseph should start, but others are more projects. If the offensive line can stay healthy, Dallas at least should be a playoff contender.

Tomer Barazani 

Cowboys record: 13-4

The Dallas Cowboys’ upcoming schedule will feature intense quarterback battles and spaced-out division games, including what could be an opening upset win over the NFL’s defending champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With quarterback Dak Prescott locked in for four more years, the Cowboys are primed for a deep run in the playoffs. 

READ MORE: Why The Dallas Cowboys Will Lose At Bucs, Why Dez Bryant Wins Over Tim Tebow

Anthony Wood

Cowboys record: 10-7

Assuming Dak Prescott can pick up where he left off prior to his injury, there is no reason to suggest this offense can’t be dominant from the word go. The big question mark is, yet again, the defense. Taking over as D.C., Dan Quinn has already made his mark on this roster and overhauled the defense. As such, there is room to be optimistic, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and there will surely be growing pains. The schedule is relatively favorable, but there are a number of close calls such as Minnesota and the Chargers.

Richie Whitt

Cowboys record: 10-7

It’s preposterous to make a season prediction before any rookie takes a minicamp rep or the first training-camp injury. So … give me 10-7 for the Cowboys. IF Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and La’el Collins hold up, the offense will be good enough to carry this team to the playoffs. If not, duck Dak goose eggs. Again.

Bri Amaranthus

Cowboys record: 10-7

The Cowboys have the second easiest schedule in the NFL, based on 2020 win percentages. Add that with a healthy and motivated Dak Prescott plus a defense that seems to be revitalized by new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn... The Cowboys should be able to find success in those late-division games... Which will be enough to send the Cowboys to the playoffs.