The Dallas Cowboys have had a pretty good offseason in 2023, but two of their moves have flown under the radar and are not being talked about enough. The team had a stellar offseason. They re-signed most of their core, in-house free agents and were yet again able to retail Dan Quinn as their defensive coordinator.
Perhaps the biggest move was parting ways with Kellen Moore and installing Brian Schottenheimer as the new offensive coordinator, but head coach Mike McCarthy is the one who is calling plays for Dallas. They feature and offense that might be the most talented in the entire NFL and a nasty defense that forces a ton of turnovers and sacks the QB quite a bit.
They are in a great position to compete heavily in the NFC, especially if Dak Prescott can avoid throwing 15 interceptions again. If the 2021 version of Dak Prescott returns, this team is going to be dangerous. Two big additions that I do not think are being talked about enough are the additions of Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore.
Let’s start with Brandin Cooks. The veteran receiver turns 30 in September and is in his 10th year in the NFL. Cooks has six seasons of at least 1,000 receiving yards and averages 1,110 yards and six touchdowns over a 17-game season. Cooks averaged 53.8 yards last year for the Houston Texans, which comes out to 915 yards. So even though he didn’t light up the stat sheet in 2022, he was still very productive.
He’s primarily caught passes from Davis Mills over the past couple of seasons, but somehow has managed to put up solid numbers. Going from Mills to Dak Prescott, who is a very good quarterback, could see Cooks hit 1,000 yards again, especially when you look at the Cowboys already having CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup.
Brandin Cooks might fly under the radar a bit if opposing defenses are focused on Lamb and Gallup, who are both very talented. The veteran receiver is going to play extremely well for Dallas in 2023, and they were somehow able to land Cooks for a fifth and sixth-round pick in 2023 and 2024.
Their other big addition was Stephon Gilmore, who won the Defensive Player of the Year award back in 2019 with the New England Patriots. Gilmore is 32 years old but did have a very solid year for the Indianapolis Colts in 2022.
He put up two interceptions, 11 passes defended, and 66 total tackles for the team in 16 games. The Colts traded Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys for a measly fifth-round pick in 2023. Being that Gilmore is going to be playing in a defense with excellent pass rushers and other very talented defensive backs, there is reason to believe Gilmore can return to his 2019 form.
He’s going to play across from Trevon Diggs, one of the best CBs in the NFL, and also gets to perhaps take advantage of QBs that come under pressure from Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence.
The Dallas Cowboys now have two CB1 talents in the secondary along with a very good boost at wide receiver.
The two additions of Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore have not been talked about enough in 2023. Watch out for the Dallas Cowboys.