Will A Full Year Of Amari Cooper Help The Passing Game?
Amari Cooper came in midway through the year and produced at a level unlike what we have seen from him. Dallas has been searching for a WR1 since Dez Bryant's departure, and Cooper likely fills that void. While we shouldn't see huge improvements, the passing game averaged 221 yards per game, which was good for 23rd in the league. Prescott had 526 attempts and completed 67% of his passes. His production fits in line with the boring offense that is being played out in Dallas. Because of the low risk offense, it is tough to see the offense taking a massive step forward. This is still Ezekiel Elliot's team and the Cowboys are going to be more run oriented. The only positive is that there is now a dynamic wideout can hopefully diversify the play calling a bit.
Can Dallas Do Better Than 21.2 Points Per Game?
With teams putting up monster points at a record rate these days, can the Cowboys really get over the hump averaging 21 points per game? This was only good for 22nd last season. This was on par with the 49ers who had lost their starting quarterback to an ACL injury just a few games in. Averaging 122 rushing yards per game is great, and the Cowboys want to lengthen drives and keep defenses on the field. Sometimes it can work, but the offense is going to need to pick things up at times when the defense lets them down. Dallas has a good receiving core now, and have solidified all skill positions outside of tight end on the offensive side. They just lack the playcalling and urgency to generate more points. With the same coaching staff, it is hard to see that changing.
Will Dallas' Defense Limit Opposing Offenses Again?
One of the reasons why the offense didn't need to force themselves was the defense. They ranked 7th in points per game allowed. The front seven looked good, while the secondary did have some shaky moments at times. They were +3 in turnover ratio and had 39 sacks on the year. Some early draft picks have begun to pay off, although the Cowboys didn't make any significant moves of late to improve the defense. Overall this group should be able to be at least above league average, but top eight is a tough ask again.