NFL

Why the Dallas Cowboys Won’t Win the Super Bowl

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After winning the NFC East with a 12-4 record during the 2014 campaign, many were expecting the Dallas Cowboys to improve upon their success in 2015.

However, a flurry of injuries hindered the Cowboys ability to make another trip to the postseason, especially when their top two players (Tony Romo and Dez Bryant) went down.

As the Cowboys prepare to have a much better 2016 campaign, there are still multiple obstacles standing in the way.

Highly coveted pass rusher, Randy Gregory, is staring a four-game suspension in the face and it could end up being more than that. The latest is a violation of the NFL’s Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.

According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, Gregory’s suspension could be extended to 10 games.

As you may know, this wasn’t Gregory’s first failed drug test, which is why he’s seeking help to control this troubling addiction. 

“Well, of course he is having care right as we speak – we’re well aware of that,” Cowboys owner Jery Jones stressed. “It’s very disappointing. But again, it does point out the difficulty you have with addiction. There’s no question that he needs the kind of help and care that he’s getting right now. That is disappointing, and we’ll see what the days bring with him.”

Jones wasn’t finished.

“We are, first and foremost, interested in how he can basically address his addiction and get to where he can function in society first,” Jones said. “And then we’ll look at him as a football player second.”

Not only is Gregory’s NFL future in jeopardy, Greg Hardy’s is as well.

The troubled pass rusher is still on the open market and there doesn’t seem to be any indication of Dallas bringing him back.

While it’s understandable why Jones wants to clean up the image of the Cowboys, losing Hardy and having Gregory miss time only hurts their already weak pass rush.

Not to mention, linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will also miss time due to suspension.

In 2015, Dallas ranked 25th in the league with only 31 sacks.

Also, the Cowboys were near the bottom of the league against the run, as they finished 22nd in total rushing yards allowed.

To put things in perspective, Dallas’ best pass rusher for the first four weeks of the season will be defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford, who only has a total of eight career sacks.

Considering the little amount of pass rush generated, it doesn’t come as much surprise to know Dallas finished dead last in takeaways a season ago with 11.

The heavily scrutinized Brandon Carr is hopeful the secondary can flip the script. 

“We’ve been harping on it for many a moons, but it just comes down to effort – 11 guys running to the ball, expecting to come out every single play,” Carr stated. “It comes down to situational awareness, trying to get a bead on the offense – trying to get that extra advantage of when we can get the jump on the ball and kind of anticipating throws.”

With so many question marks on the defensive side of the ball, it’s hard to imagine this unit’s chemistry fully coming together to make a legit Super Bowl run, but if they’re able to stay healthy on the offensive side of the ball, they’ll be in just about every game.

Let’s not forget that Dallas averaged nearly 30 points per game two seasons ago with a healthy Romo and Bryant. Now, you throw the dynamic Ezekiel Elliott in the mix and you may have something very special brewing.

Nonetheless, as the old saying goes, ‘defense wins championships’ and Dallas doesn’t have enough on that side of the ball to get it done when it matters most.


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.