Think about it. The Dallas Cowboys had reeled off 16 consecutive victories in their own building and by a combined score of 566-285. Many of the results were lopsided, although there were some close calls in recent weeks against the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions. Still, who could have imagined that the wild card Green Bay Packers would come in to AT&T Stadium and hand Mike McCarthy’s team a stunning 48-32 setback?
The Cowboys own a combined 36-15 record these last three seasons (12-5 each year). They have a 1-3 playoff record (2 of those losses at home) over that span. The frustration continues to Jerry Jones’ team, which hasn’t even been back to the NFC Championship Game since 1995. That was the last season in which the club won its last Super Bowl.
What’s Next for the Dallas Cowboys?
Despite a lot of speculation, there will be no change at head coach. McCarthy is staying put despite the recent playoff followings. In 2023, the team scored an NFL-high 509 points, and quarterback Dak Prescott led the league in touchdown passes (36).
To be fair, postseason failures have been the norm for this franchise for nearly three decades. The Cowboys are a dismal 4-13 in their last 17 playoff contests dating back to the 1996 divisional round when the Carolina Panthers dethroned the then-defending Super Bowl champions.
While the Dallas’ defense was humbled by Jordan Love and company in the wild card playoffs, highly-regarded coordinator Dan Quinn (the one-time sideline leader of the Atlanta Falcons) could be headed elsewhere with so many head coaching openings around the league. Meanwhile, a closer look at this unit raises some question.
Biggest Offseason Concern?
Under the guidance of Quinn, the defense has put up some impressive numbers. However, are these the right numbers when it comes to winning a championship? In both 2021 and ’22, the Cowboys led the NFL in takeaways. They came up with a respectable 26 takeaways this season.
Led by Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence, Quinn’s unit has totaled 41, 54, and 46 sacks, respectively, in these last three seasons.
However, what about the run defense, which has been mediocre at best (16th in 2021, 22nd in 2022, and 16th in 2023). Teams with stout running games have been able to hammer the Cowboys on the ground, and opposing quarterbacks have benefitted from the balance. Dallas’ defensive front needs to be a lot stouter.