The 2019 NFL season was one to forget for the Dallas Cowboys. Sadly, the team battled injuries, inconsistent play, and contract distraction all season long. The team end the season 9-7 and missing the playoffs despite leading the NFC East division for most of the year. The team made several changes this offseason and hope the changes lead to their return to the playoffs. With that said, here are my Cowboy team award predictions.
Make sure to check out all of our other team award predictions here.
MVP: Ezekiel Elliott
The Cowboys are at their best when Elliott is dominating the run game and extending their time of possession. Elliott has had three 1,000 yard rushing seasons in his four years in the NFL and has totaled over 1,600 receiving yards in his four-year stint in Dallas. If Elliott can rush for at least 1,250 yards and 10 touchdowns, this will allow for the incredible wide receiving corps in Dallas to be freed up with matchups against linebackers and safeties that are not qualified to cover them. Although Elliott’s stats may not inherently make him the Cowboys MVP, his overall impact on the success of the offense and keeping the defense as fresh as possible is all that makes him their team MVP.
Offensive Player: Dak Prescott
Contract negotiations and drama aside, Prescott will be the man under center making it happen for the Cowboys offense in 2020. Without star wideouts Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup along with rookie CeeDee Lamb and starting tight end Blake Jarwin, Prescott will have no shortage of weapons to utilize this season. After almost hitting the 5,000-yard passing mark in 2019, look for Prescott to surpass that mark in 2020 and set some NFL and Cowboy records.
Defensive Player: Jaylon Smith
Although Smith had a rough start to his NFL career, Smith was a star at middle linebacker for the Cowboys last season. With 142 total tackles, Smith took over as the leader of the defense as Sean Lee faded into the background in Dallas. If Smith can get back to a four or five sack performance along with being top five in the NFL in tackles, this will be very good news for the Dallas defense that may be getting pass-rush help from Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith.
Offensive Rookie: CeeDee Lamb
Did the Cowboys really need Lamb? No. Can it hurt? Not really. The Cowboys may have already had star wideouts in Cooper and Gallup, but bringing in the speedy receiver from Oklahoma will boost the Cowboys offense to unseen levels. Look for Lamb to at least have 750 receiving yards, five touchdowns, and make a huge impact with his 4.5 speed and 6’2″ height.
Defensive Rookie: Trevon Diggs
A top corner coming out of Alabama, Diggs will likely slide into a starting spot immediately for the Cowboys in 2020. Diggs had 37 tackles, three interceptions, and eight passes defended in 12 games for Alabama last season. With the Cowboys moving towards an overall defense unit and after losing Byron Jones to the Miami Dolphins, Diggs and his ability to defend the number one receivers will be key to the Cowboys’ success.
Biggest Surprise: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Always looking for the big play, Clinton-Dix will have to be a leader for the Cowboys in 2020. Clinton-Dix is a durable ballhawk who always looks for the big play even if that means giving up the big play. In order for the tenured safety to stick in Dallas, he will need to play slightly more conservative, down in the box, and will need to do his best to show the young secondary how to read and react to NFL offenses. In a new place for the third straight year, Clinton-Dix will bounce back and make a name for himself again in Dallas.
Biggest Disappointment: Michael Gallup
To be clear, this is not to say that Gallup will be a disappointment overall. But compared to the amount of targets Gallup had in 2019 (113), he will not be able to match that level of production in 2020. With the addition of Lamb, it will be much harder for Gallup to reach 1,100 receiving yards again. Having Lamb as a third option will open up more space for Gallup, but his targets will decrease even if his dynamic playmaking is still there.
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