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Mailbag: Has Window Closed on Cowboys?


Do you think the Cowboys' window of opportunity has closed? I think they are on the verge of GREAT things to come. If we have another great draft, along with the right free-agent signings, this is still a Super Bowl-contending team. I fully expect them to be an even better team in 2023. Why so much negativity? – Collin Clark/Plano, TX

Patrik: No, it has not closed. I'd venture to say it's still wide open, which is commensurate with how wide open the NFC has become. The Cowboys have phenomenal youth as a foundation for their roster and that means their return to the playoffs for a third straight season will depend upon how successful they can again be in free agency, a category they massively improved upon over previous seasons. Mike McCarthy has shown he's moving the team forward and the retention of Dan Quinn cannot be overstated in its importance. Time will tell how they piece things together for 2023, but there's nothing to indicate a teardown is needed or that the organization is in rebuild mode, and they're not in purgatory either with 24 regular season wins and a trip to the NFC Divisional Round over the past two years. Be not misled, though, because if they fail to reach their goal again in 2023, we'll be having a much different conversation.

Kurt: I've always found it hard to determine when a team's window is open or closed because each year up to a third of the roster can turn over. Just look at the Eagles. Their window seemed firmly shut only two seasons ago, but now they're in the Super Bowl. For the Cowboys, I think they have enough talent in place that as long as players like Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons and CeeDee Lamb are healthy, they're a playoff-caliber team. But that's where the negativity from fans comes in. We've been there, done that. Does this window include a Super Bowl? As we sit here in February, I'm not so sure. Is there any position group you feel rock solid about? Drafted players definitely help, but usually don't push a team over the top, and this organization hasn't shown any recent interest in spending big on outside free agents, preferring to re-sign their own. So is Dallas going to be able to keep up with Philadelphia and San Francisco? Those two aren't going anywhere. How about the Giants, Lions and Seahawks, three NFC teams seemingly on the rise? Just like every offseason, there are pieces needed up and down the Cowboys lineup and turnover will come. Let's just hope they make the right moves to open that window wide.

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