I’m not a Dallas Cowboys fan. Still, I have been consistent in my belief the Cowboys will repeat this year as NFC East Champions with a 12-5 record. As training camp reaches the midway point of week two, I’m starting to waver on that opinion.
Wide Receiver James Washington fractured his foot in Monday’s practice and won’t be back for 6 to 10 weeks. The Cowboys signed him as a free agent in the offseason. Meantime, it’s unknown when Michael Gallup will return from the ACL injury he suffered in Week 17 last season.
At this point, CeeDee Lamb is the *only Cowboys receiver on the active roster with a touchdown scored in his career. The only one. True, the Cowboys have Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard and Dalton Schultz on the roster, but is that enough firepower to make a Super Bowl run?
At this point, I wonder if the Cowboys have enough weapons to even have a winning record. This topic came up on “Halftime” earlier today when a listener tweeted at me, “Aside from the Rams, who in the NFC has more weapons than Dallas?”
My immediate response: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles. Upon further review, several other NFC teams might have more offensive weapons compared to Dallas. I define “weapon” as an offensive skill-player that is not a quarterback, unless that quarterback rushes for significant yardage.
Look at what the Cowboys are up against:
L.A. Rams’ skill players: Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr., Cooper Kupp, Allen Robinson, Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee
Tampa Bay’s skill players: Leonard Fournette, Rashaad White, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, Scotty Miller, Russell Gage, Cameron Brate, and Kyle Rudolph.
Philadelphia’s skill players: Jalen Hurts, Miles Sanders, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, Dallas Goedert.
Arizona’s skill players: Kyler Murray, James Conner, DeAndre Hopkins (suspended), Marquise Brown, A.J. Green, Zach Ertz
Minnesota’s skill players: Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, K.J. Osborn, Irv Smith, Alexander Mattison
New Orleans’ skill players: Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, Marquez Calloway, Chris Olave, Taysom Hill
San Francisco’s skill players: Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Kyle Juszcyk
I know what you’re thinking. The Cowboys have a better quarterback compared to most of those teams. That is true. Dak Prescott is going to need to carry this Cowboys team if they are going to make a playoff run.
Here is what Dak has to play with at the start the season: Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Dalton Schultz, CeeDee Lamb, Jalen Tolbert, Noah Brown.
Cowboys fans, you excited about this? You confident in those skill players?
Dak is going to need to overcome a lot this season. This may include injuries to the offensive line and a shaky, new kicker. As James Pledger reminded me on Halftime today, the last time the Cowboys entered a season with this few established weapons, they traded a first round draft pick midseason for Amari Cooper.
What do you think? Do the Cowboys have enough weapons to make a run at the Super Bowl? Reach out to Michael on Twitter @MikeESPNSA. You can listen to Michael on Halftime, weekdays from Noon to 2 p.m. on 94.1 FM.