Cowboys Grades at the Break

It’s not even mid-season yet but we are at the break. Only 6 games in with 11 to go, there’s a ton of football left to play and we’re still trying to figure out what this team is. Nevertheless, here are my grades for the most important pieces of the team:

COACHING: Overall Grade: C+

  • Mike McCarthy- C. He has at least brought the ability to bounce back after a loss with his 10-1 record after a loss since ‘21. His revamp of the offense has been a dud so far and his in-game management and stupid penalty numbers are concerning. But he’s way better than Garrett and somehow keeps the Jones boys happy.
  • Dan Quinn- B+. The defense is clearly the team’s strength and Quinn has done a good job of using his people well. The SF game was hopefully an outlier to what has otherwise been an excellent start for the D.

OFFENSE: Overall Grade: C- (clearly a slow and disjointed start. Must improve if we have plans for playoff glory)

  • QB- Dak: C- Has clearly struggled in the new offense. His best game was Mon night vs the Chargers because he seemed to start relying more on what made him more successful early in his career. Running the ball on occasion and passing on the move.
  • RBs- C. Tony Pollard-His injury seems to have hampered his explosiveness somewhat. I like Pollard a lot but I’m concerned he’s not a RB who needs more than 15 touches a game. Dowdell needs more touches but honestly this team is way too light at this position.
  • WRs- C- Cedee Lamb been our best offensive player for sure and warrants a B. But he needs to stop the pouting. Maybe he’s uptight about his contract but we’re going to need him a ton down the stretch. Michael Gallup is an F. He’s nothing like he was before his knee injury. No burst, poor routes. Just sad. Maybe he can rebound. We have to hope so because it’s hard to throw to a guy who’s never open. Brandin Cooks: D. I think Cooks is getting better as evidenced against the chargers. He needs to stretch the field more.
  • TEs. Grade: C-. Jake Ferguson has shown flashes of good but he needs to be more reliable. Schoonmaker is clearly on a rookie learning curve. Hendershot is hurt while Sean McKeon has been reliably average.
  • OL Grade: D. This group has struggled more than expected. Early injuries and little time to work together has hurt. Tyron Smith has been a shadow of his once greatness and Zack Martin has shown less dominance. Pass protection has been well below standard and the run game has been spotty. This group has to improve if we want to compete.

DEFENSE Overall Grade: B+ (would have been an A except for the cards and niners games. Great at times, puzzling on occasion)

  • DL Grade: A- Parsons has been great most of the time, but he needs some maturity added to his game. He’s the clear best player on this team. Worry about him wearing down. D-Law: He’s one of the most underrated defensive players in the league. Best run defender on DL, doesn’t get a lot sacks but he is very disruptive. Osa Odighizhua has been a pleasant surprise while Mazi Smith has been a minor disappointment but he’s still developing.
  • LB Grade: C. LVE is hurt again but he’s been very inconsistent. Has good moments then has a game like Ariz and SF. Damone Clark had a good game in LA and shows some development. This position needs help.
  • Secondary Grade: B+. Even with the loss of Diggs, this group has performed pretty well. Daron Bland has been very good and Stephon Gilmore seems to be getting more comfortable in his role. The safeties have been good not great. The development of Marquese Bell has been encouraging.

SPECIAL TEAMS Overall Grade: A

  • K Grade: A+. Rookie Brandon Aubrey has been the most consistently reliable player on the team. Great find by the Cowboys,
  • P Grade: A- Brain Anger remains one of the better punters in the league.
  • Returns Grade: C+. Turpin has been hurt so there’s not much to show for him. He did have a great punt return called back against Ariz.
  • Coverage Grade: B+. CJ Goodwin is hurt and his great coverage will be missed.

OVERALL TEAM GRADE: B-. Being 4-2 is good but not great. This team has warts. The offense must improve and probably needs some new talent infused through a trade. We need a LB on defense too. The D has carried this team but Big Mac needs to fix the offense and the penalties or this team is just another above average team that doesn’t win much in the playoffs. The FO needs to make some moves!

What are your grades?

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