The 2024 offseason has suddenly arrived, perhaps much sooner than the Cowboys were expecting.
Just like that, the focus now shifts towards next year, with free agency beginning in March, followed by the NFL Draft in April.
Before we take a deep dive into the next steps for this team, let's take a look back to the 2023 season, with a monthly recap of what went right and wrong for the Cowboys.
Today, let's begin with the month of September.
Employee of the Month: Micah Parsons resumed his third season exactly where he left off the previous year – wrecking shop on the quarterback. Parsons was an animal in all three of the first games of the season, especially in Week 2 against the Jets, who had no answer for his burst off the edge. In three games, Parsons had 15 pressures and four sacks, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Month.
They Looked Like Contenders When: The first quarter of the first game. With the entire world watching, the Cowboys went into the Meadowlands and were putting a beatdown on the Giants from the very start. A blocked field goal for a touchdown, followed by a Pick 6 by DaRon Bland, and the Cowboys were on their way to an impressive 40-0 blowout. Remember, at that time, the Giants were still coming off a playoff berth from a year ago and an appearance in the Divisional round. So that was a statement by this Cowboys team who dominated on all three phases of the game.
Reaching for the Panic Button When: James Connor went over the 200-yard mark in just one game against them in Week 3. The Cowboys were 2-0 and heavy favorites to beat the struggling Cardinals. But although the offensive line missed three starters – Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Tyler Biadasz – the offense couldn't function, especially in the red zone. Still, the biggest issue was the Cowboys' inability to control the Arizona offense, including Connor, who finished the day with a career-high 222 rushing yards.
Something to Remember: Three days before the game in Arizona, the Cowboys suffered one of their biggest losses of the season – and it happened on a Thursday. But when cornerback Trevon Diggs went down with a torn ACL injury, it proved to a major setback for the defense. And yes, the injury probably paved the way for DaRon Bland, who went on to have five pick-sixes among his league-leading nine interceptions, the Cowboys still had trouble with high-powered offenses such as San Francisco, Miami, Buffalo and Philly (the first game). Diggs should be able to return to form closer to training camp with a chance to be ready for Week 1 of 2024.
Something to Forget: Before being traded from the Cardinals to Minnesota, quarterback Joshua Dobbs had just a 1-7 record in Arizona – with the only win occurring against the Cowboys. Against Dallas that day, Dobbs had season-highs in completion percentage (.816) on 17 of 21 passing and had a 44-yard run, the longest rush from scrimmage for Dobbs, either in Arizona or Minnesota.