The 2020 NFL season for the Dallas Cowboys was a disaster. After many had thought that a new coaching staff and scheme would change the culture in Dallas after one year, they were wrong. As soon as the Dallas Cowboys playoff hopes ended in week 17 the team was busy at work.
They made significant changes to their staff on the defensive side of the ball by relieving Mike Nolan and Jim Tomsula of their duties. The Dallas Cowboys turned their attention to the recently released head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, Dan Quinn.
In an offseason full of change in the coaching staff and with the salary cap up in the air due to the COVID-19 impacted 2020 season, I expect the 2021 NFL Draft to be where the Dallas Cowboys look to boost their team. In this article, we examine the many needs as the Dallas Cowboys approach the 2021 NFL Draft.
Dallas Cowboys 2021 NFL Draft needs: Defensive Tackle
The Dallas Cowboys’ run defense in 2020 was abysmal. They ranked 31st in the league in stopping the run leading into short-yardage situations on defense all season. This put them in bad situations where they could not get off the field on critical downs. There have been multiple times where the Dallas Cowboys had to get a stop to get off the field and were just gashed up the middle.
There have been two games in which the Cowboys have allowed 290+ rushing yards in a game this season. They allowed the Cleveland Browns to run for 300+ yards in a game, the highest yardage allowed by a Cowboys defense in over 50 years. This all starts with having big defensive tackles clogging the middle.
The Cowboys didn’t have good fortune this season when Gerald McCoy, their big free-agent signing, got hurt and was out for the season before week one. Along with McCoy getting hurt, their other free agent signing, Dontari Poe, was an extreme let down as he was not the same player they anticipated. The Dallas Cowboys did see improved play from Trysten Hill, the former second-round pick before he got hurt and was out for the season.
As the 2021 season approaches, the Dallas Cowboys are in the process of transitioning into a cover 3 scheme where they are simplifying all player’s responsibilities on defense. Neville Gallimore was a bright spot and they expect him to make big contributions next season.
The Cowboys expect big things from those two players next year but this unit needs more talent. I fully expect this to be an emphasis for the Dallas Cowboys this offseason to help add talent here with maybe more than one early draft pick.