Before we turn the page completely on this season, let’s go back and recall some of the best moments, players, games and individual plays that made the season so memorable. Let’s also start focusing on the offseason plans and try to see how the Cowboys can take the next step in 2019.
Our 10-part series, Under Review, concludes today with the staff writers debating what the Cowboys must to do to get back to postseason contention.
Nick Eatman: The Cowboys need to get better on offense to be a more balanced team. How does that happen? They have to find ways to pick up third downs better and be more efficient in the red zone. I think a pass-catching tight end would help this team tremendously. Maybe they have that guy in Blake Jarwin or Geoff Swaim, but they’ll need to develop them more. Plus, the play calls have to be better suited for Dak’s ability to run. Defensively, this team is good but more takeaways is also something that can improve. If they score more in the red zone, and increase the turnovers on defense, this can be a better team in 2019. But looking at trips to New England, Chicago, New Orleans, and with the Rams coming to town, the Cowboys might have to be much better just to get back to 10 wins again.
Rob Phillips: Nick said it, and I’ll build on it: The Cowboys simply have to finish more drives. Overall they’ve been a good red zone team in the Ezekiel Elliott era, finishing third and sixth in touchdown percentage in 2016 and 2017, respectively. But their ranking plummeted near the bottom of the league in 2018, and worse, the offense finished last in goal-to-go efficiency. That’s just hard to explain with the leading rusher in football on your team. As well as Joe Looney filled in at center, getting a healthy Travis Frederick back next season should help the offense control the line of scrimmage better in those tighter areas.
Bryan Broaddus: The core of the roster is good, but there are questions about the depth at certain positions. The first thing the front office needs to do is address those areas: offensive/defensive tackle, slot receiver, running back, safety and tight end. All are positions that can use attention. You want to help Jason Garrett and the coaches find as many ways as you can to improve the overall roster. We saw what happen just by adding Amari Cooper to the lineup. The pro/college scouts need to have a productive offseason.