Playing without quarterback Dak Prescott for most of the 2020 season, it was still easy to see how high-octane the Cowboys’ offense could be. Backup quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Garrett Gilbert were able to shine in certain moments thanks to the stellar play of the club’s receivers and running backs.
ESPN recently released their rankings for offensive arsenals in 2021, judging the skill positions on offense for every team. Dallas earned the respect of the critics in 2020, being ranked No. 2, only behind the defending champion Buccaneers.
Everybody’s numbers were down after Prescott was replaced by Andy Dalton and the team used backup tackles for virtually the entire season, but rookie wideout CeeDee Lamb looked like a star. We know what Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup can do with a healthy Prescott, and while tight end Blake Jarwin missed most of the year with a torn ACL, Dalton Schultz stepped in and racked up 615 yards with four touchdowns. That’s more receiving yards than Dallas Goedert has produced in any of his three NFL seasons.
In what was considered a down year, running back Ezekiel Elliott put together over 1,300 total yards though he did have issues with five lost fumbles. The most impressive thing about his season was achieving what he did without Prescott and most of the offensive line.
Offensive tackles La’el Collins and Tyron Smith had their season end early while Zack Martin went down later in the season. Both centers Joe Looney and rookie Tyler Biadasz missed time.
His numbers should bounce back some with Prescott & Co. returning to the fold, but the arguments that he was a scheme- or line-transcendent back are firmly in the past. This is a passing team now.
Before the 2020 NFL Draft, Dallas had a strong collection of weapons on offense with wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup to go along with tight end Blake J