Cowboys Are Facing NFL’s Biggest Make-or-Break Season in 2022

The Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2022 NFL season as the slight favorite to win the NFC East for the second straight year, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. If they fall short of that and miss the playoffs entirely, seismic changes could be forthcoming next offseason.

The Cowboys went 12-5 last year, but they lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card Round. They proceeded to lose several major contributors in free agency this offseason, and they traded wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick and a sixth-round pick swap.

The Cowboys’ best chance to win a Super Bowl with this core now may already be over. They’re slated to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans this season, although they host three of their first four games, including the ones against Tampa Bay and Cincinnati.

But no other team has the mixture of drama and stakes as the 2022 Cowboys do.

 

Coaching Conundrum

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy nearly lost both offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to other head coaching jobs this offseason. Dallas could cut ties with McCarthy and promote one of its prized coordinators in 2023 if team owner Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones feel as though he’s holding the team back from its potential.

McCarthy and Moore faced heat after the Cowboys lost to the Niners in the Wild Card Round. Dallas held San Francisco to only seven points in the second half, but the Cowboys’ high-powered offense came to a screeching halt for most of the game. They scored 10 of their 17 points in the fourth quarter and couldn’t complete the comeback attempt.

The efficiency and balance that helped the Cowboys offense soar in the regular season was missing against the Niners. Prescott completed only 23 of his 43 pass attempts. Ezekiel Elliott mustered only 31 yards on 12 carries. CeeDee Lamb had one catch for 21 yards.

It’s hard to win when your offensive stars play nowhere near their usual levels. While the players deserve blame for that, the coaching staff does as well. McCarthy and Moore can’t afford for their offense to sputter in the playoffs again and expect to be back in 2023.

Author: Lucy Green