Here’s The Game Day’s Dallas Cowboys 2021 Preview: 2020 Recap, Team 2021 Outlook, 2021 Betting Tips, and 2021 Fantasy Football Outlook. Be sure to check out more of our preseason NFL coverage here.
Cowboys 2021 Team Preview
Dallas Cowboys 2020 Recap
- Final record: 6-10 (4-4 Home / 2-6 Away)
- Division regular-season finish: 3rd in NFC East
- Result: Did not qualify for the postseason
Last year was not kind to the Cowboys, who saw their Super Bowl hopes quickly go up in smoke. Between Dak Prescott’s gruesome injury, poor coaching, and a ghastly defense, pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
And yet despite starting the season 3-9, Dallas still nearly made the playoffs, finishing one game shy of the division-winning Washington Football Team. The Cowboys rallied to win three of their final four games, ending the regular season on a positive note and providing some hope for 2021.
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Dallas Cowboys 2021 Offseason Changes
Cowboys 2021 Offseason Departures
- Antwaun Woods, DL, Colts
- Andy Dalton, QB, Bears
- Sean Lee, LB, Retired
- Blake Bell, TE, Chiefs
- Cameron Erving, OT, Panthers
- Aldon Smith, DE, Seahawks
- Tyrone Crawford, DE, Retired
- Joe Thomas, LB, Texans
- L.P. Ladouceur, LS, Unsigned
- Xavier Woods, S, Vikings
- Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Bengals
- Mike Nolan, Defensive Coordinator, Unsigned
Cowboys 2021 Free-Agency/Offseason Additions
- Tarell Basham, DE
- Keanu Neal, S
- Brent Urban, DE
- Ty Nsekhe, OL
- Jayron Kearse, S
- Damontae Kazee, DB
- Jeremy Sprinkle, TE
- Bryan Anger, P
- Malik Hooker, S
- Dan Quinn, Defensive Coordinator
Cowboys 2021 NFL Draft Picks
- Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State (Round 1, Pick 12 Overall)
- Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky (Round 2, Pick 44 Overall)
- Osa Odighizuwa, DT, UCLA (Round 3, Pick 75 Overall)
- Chauncey Golston, DE, Iowa (Round 3, Pick 84 Overall)
- Nahshon Wright, CB, Oregon State (Round 3, Pick 99 Overall)
- Jabril Cox, LB, LSU (Round 4, Pick 115 Overall)
- Josh Ball, OT, Marshall (Round 4, Pick 138 Overall)
- Simi Fehoko, WR, Stanford (Round 5, Pick 179 Overall)
- Quinton Bohanna, DT, Kentucky (Round 6, Pick 192 Overall)
- Israel Mukuamu, CB, South Carolina (Round 6, Pick 227 Overall)
- Matt Farniok, G, Nebraska (Round 7, Pick 238)
Dallas Cowboys 2021 Outlook
The Cowboys’ 2021 outlook is similar to what their 2020 outlook was before all the injuries. While Dallas didn’t make a big splash this offseason, they made several key moves such as securing Dak Prescott to a long-term deal and making a much-needed change at defensive coordinator by bringing in Dan Quinn.
Quinn will look to overhaul a defense that allowed a franchise record 473 points last year. In addition to adding some new defensive players this offseason, Dallas also focused on defense during the draft by using its first six picks on defenders. The Cowboys were wise to use their first pick on Michah Parsons, who was touted as the best defensive player in the draft.
With a healthy offense and a defense on the rise, the 2021 Cowboys appear primed for a bounceback year.
Dallas Cowboys 2021 Fantasy Football Preview
The Cowboys’ fantasy fortunes are much improved with a healthy Dak Prescott back under center. Prescott was putting up MVP-type numbers before getting hurt last year, so he should be one of the top quarterbacks off the board again this year. He has an incredible group of wide receivers in Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup, all of whom will benefit immensely from Prescott’s return.
Ezekiel Elliott also saw his performance decline last year in Prescott’s absence, especially given all the injuries to the offensive line. He should still be considered one of the best tailbacks in the NFL, however, and will be one of the first players chosen in fantasy drafts this year.
Meanwhile, Tony Pollard emerged as a nice complementary option to Elliott late last year. While he won’t get enough carries to make much of a dent in fantasy leagues, he’s worth rostering as a bench option in case Elliott misses time or continues to struggle.
Dalton Schultz also established himself as a mid-range TE2 in Prescott’s absence last year, building solid chemistry with Andy Dalton. If he can develop a similar relationship with Prescott, the increased passing volume would make him a high-end TE2.
Dallas Cowboys 2021 NFL Futures Bet Tips
Cowboys To Win NFC East (+125)
The Cowboys are the clear favorites to emerge victorious atop the NFC East, which projects to be the easiest division in football. Despite all of their issues last year, they still only missed winning the division by one game. When healthy, Dallas is easily the most talented team in the division (especially at quarterback), and should win it fairly easily this year.
Dak Prescott To Win AP NFL MVP (+1400)
As mentioned, Prescott was playing at an MVP level last year before getting hurt and was on pace for a monster season. If he picks up where he left off and leads Dallas to the playoffs, he’ll be a top MVP candidate.
Cowboys To Win NFC Championship (+1500)
The Cowboys’ high-flying offense gives them an incredible ceiling. If they can shore up their holes on the defensive end and stay healthy, they’ll be one of the most dangerous teams in the NFC this year. It’s been a quarter-century since Dallas played in a Super Bowl, but this could be the year they finally end that drought.
Dak Prescott Over 4,795.5 Passing Yards (-115)
In 2019, Prescott threw for 4,902 yards in 16 games, averaging 306.4 passing yards per game. Last season, he averaged a whopping 371.2 passing yards before going down. While that pace is probably impossible to maintain this year, with the extra game on the schedule he just needs to average 282.1 yards per game to hit the over on this prop. That’s certainly doable for Prescott, who will likely clear 5,000 yards through the air this year in the Cowboys’ pass-heavy offense.
Ezekiel Elliott Over 1,100.5 Rushing Yards (-120)
Many are down on Elliott after his disappointing 2020, but he’s still the bell cow in what figures to be one of the NFL’s best offenses. He’s averaged 1,277 rushing yards per season despite missing two games per year on average, so a healthy Zeke should clear this benchmark easily.
Assuming Prescott and the offensive line remains healthy in 2021, Elliott is primed for a bounceback season. He spent the offseason training with RB guru coach Josh Hicks and looks the leanest we’ve seen him as a pro. That should help him regain some of his explosiveness and remain healthy enough to hit the over here.