Brief Roster Evaluation – Offense

QB – Setting money aside, Dak is easily a top 10 QB in the NFL, and has been consistently so throughout his career. Buy he’s not elite. Mahomes is the only current elite QB in the NFL right now. Others have a chance to become elite. Dak isn’t one of them. But he can win with the right players around him. He needs a strong running game. The Cowboys have a competent backup and a developmental player. Ignoring the money, they are not in a weak position compared to other NFL teams. But it would also not be unreasonable for the Cowboys to play out the string this year with Dak. It could be better, but it could also be a lot worse.

RB – the Cowboys have a couple of undrafted players (Dowdle annd Davis) and a recent 6th round pick (Vaughn) who hardly saw the field as a rookie and is way undersized. This is a genuine weakness for the team. Luepke had a decent 1st season at fullback, but made some costly mistakes.

TE – a position of strength for the Cowboys who have two solid starting caliber players in Ferguson and Schoonmaker. Both can block and receive. Backing them up, the Cowboys are three deep with Hendershot, Stephen’s and McKeon.

WR – two 1st round picks as starters, one an All-Pro, and another talented speedy veteran. They have a recent 3rd round pick to fill the role at 3rd receiver who had a solid 2nd season last year in Tolbert. Turpin is lightning quick, and adds a dimension to the offense. Their 5th receiver was a surprise draft pick a year ago who I think outperformed his expectations – which were admittedly low. The Cowboys will bring in competition, but the 5-man deep roster of Lamb, Cooks, Tolbert, Turpin and Brooks isn’t terrible, and might be quite good. No drop off expected from losing Gallup.

Offensive line – the Cowboys have two established young starters with Smith and Steele. The hope is Steele, who struggled last season after coming off an injury, will bounce back in 2024. The Cowboys options in the draft may determine in Smith starts at guard as he did in 2023, or at tackle as he did in 2022. He’s getting older , but Zach Martin remains one of the top Guards in the NFL. The Cowboys also have three recent mid round picks in Ball, Waletzko and Richards. They have two undrafted linemen (Bass and Hoffman) who started multiple games for them in 2023 as injury replacements. The Cowboys need two starters to replace Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz. They either have more faith in recently drafted players and undrafted players than we realize, or they need to find replacements in the draft. It isn’t totally unreasonable for the Cowboys to expect at least one of those starting positions to be filled by a player already on the roster, but do we know who that might be?

Bottom line: RB and offensive line are the weaknesses on offense. The Cowboys are solid at all of the other skill positions.

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