The Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2017 NFL season as a widely viewed favorite in the NFC. After finishing the regular season with the best record in the league last year, the Cowboys are expecting to take another step forward this season. Jerry Jones and company have rebuilt the franchise the right way, and it is paying off for them.
Last season, the rookie tandem of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott made the Dallas offense dangerous once again. Dallas didn’t have an amazing defense, but they had enough talent to get by.
Looking ahead to the 2017 season, the Cowboys are hoping that their defense can take another step forward. They made a few additions on the defensive side of the football, but are banking on young talent being able to help them take the leap. If the defense doesn’t make any major improvements, it will be up to the offense to carry the burden all season long once again.
Thankfully for the Cowboys, the offense is capable of handling the majority of the load. Jason Garrett has a very talented roster to work with this season, and the Cowboys should have a good chance of competing for a Super Bowl appearance. That being said, they will have to go through some very tough NFC teams like the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons.
What five questions must the Dallas Cowboys answer heading into 2017 NFL training camp?
Scott Linehan: Dak took advantage of every opportunity. "I'll always use the Dak Prescott story" with rookie players https://t.co/ZurPpy8ddM— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 15, 2017
Is Jaylon Smith Ready to Play?
One major upgrade that the Dallas defense could have is seeing Jaylon Smith come back healthy. After being the Cowboys’ second-round pick last season, Smith missed the whole 2016 NFL season due to a gruesome knee injury that he suffered in college. He has been confident that he will return this season and make a major impact and will have a chance to prove it in training camp.
Has Dak Prescott Taken the Next Step?
Dallas has to be excited about the future with Dak Prescott under center. That being the case, they still need to see Prescott take the next step. He has to figure out how to make more advanced NFL passes and when he does that, his game will be taken to an all new level.
Can the Rookies Improve the Secondary?
Perhaps the biggest issue for the Cowboys’ defense has been the poor play in the secondary. Dallas tried to address that issue by drafting two cornerbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft. Whether or not Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis can help improve the secondary enough is a question that must be answered.
Will the Pash Rush Step Up Even More?
Last season, the Cowboys needed to find more pass rushing from their defense. Opposing quarterbacks were able to stand in the pocket all day and shred the Dallas secondary. That cannot happen this season and pass rushers need to step up during training camp and preseason action.
Who’s the Backup Quarterback?
Tony Romo may not have played a lot last season, but having him as a safety net behind Prescott was a comfort for the Cowboys. Now, the Cowboys need to figure out who their primary backup will be in 2017. Kellen Moore appears to be the favorite but will battle it out with Jameill Showers for the job.
Expect to see the Cowboys live up to the hype this season. They have a lot of talent on their roster and a lot of young players who will improve from last season. Dallas is going to be a contender for many years to come, and fans should be excited for the start of training camp and preseason action.
Do you think the Dallas Cowboys are a serious Super Bowl contender this season? Would you add any other questions to the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Featured Image by Ron Jenkins/AP Images]