Cowboys Starter Predicts Team Will Make Super Bowl Next Season

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, HC Mike McCarthy, owner Jerry Jones

Getty Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, HC Mike McCarthy, owner Jerry Jones

Mike McCarthy will do in his first year with the Dallas Cowboys what Jason Garrett failed to deliver in a decade on the job: a Super Bowl appearance.

This is the opinion of safety Xavier Woods, who laid down his piping-hot prediction during a recent interview on FS1’s Undisputed.

“We’ll be in the Super Bowl,” Woods said Tuesday, per the Cowboys’ official website. “I don’t know where it is [next year], but we’ll be there.”

Let’s help Woods out: Super Bowl 55 will take place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021. And it’s not entirely crazy to believe he’ll be taking part in that game.

The Cowboys have been given the fifth-best odds (16/1) to capture the Lombardi trophy next season, trailing only the Chiefs (7/1), Ravens (8/1), 49ers (8/1), Patriots (12/1) and Saints (14/1), according to BetOnline.ag.

Perhaps not crazy, given the talent level of the roster. But a bit surprising, however, considering that Dallas finished the 2019 campaign with an 8-8 record, prompting an overhaul of the coaching staff. Out went Jason Garrett, whom Woods feels was made the “scapegoat” for issues beyond his control.

“Me, personally, I dropped four [potential interceptions],” he said. ” … We missed tackles. That Chicago game was terrible. You can’t blame that on Coach. That’s on the players.”

In came McCarthy, who won a Super Bowl with the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers and, owner Jerry Jones believes, can return the Cowboys to the sport’s pinnacle.

“One of our primary goals in selecting the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys was to focus on a proven team-builder and winner. Someone who’s got a proven track record of winning not only consistently, but at the highest level,” Jones said during McCarthy’s introductory press conference on Jan. 8, via ESPN.com. “[In] Mike McCarthy, we found a coach who not only checked those boxes, but also has the experience of taking an NFL team to the biggest stage, the Super Bowl, and completing the job.”

As is traditionally the case, optimism reigns supreme in mid-January. Let’s see how the Cowboys look — and what they’re saying — come September.

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Cowboys Steal New TE Coach From Hated Rival: Report

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that Dallas is hiring former New York Giants tight ends coach Lunda Wells to serve in the same capacity. He’ll replace Doug Nussmeier, a holdover from the Garrett regime who reportedly was promoted to quarterbacks coach by McCarthy.

In New York, Wells oversaw the development of TE Evan Engram, the 23rd overall pick of the 2017 draft. Supremely talented but equally-injury prone, Engram totaled 89 receptions for 1,044 yards and six touchdowns across two seasons — 19 appearances and 14 starts — under Wells’ watchful eye.

Wells inherits a collective question mark in Dallas, as 37-year-old impending free agent Jason Witten mulls (permanent) retirement and a potential foray into coaching. The team also must choose whether to bring back restricted free agent Blake Jarwin, a higher-upside talent. The only tight end under contract for 2020 is third-stringer Dalton Schultz.

The Cowboys have yet to make official any of their numerous staff moves, although McCarthy has quickly rid himself of Garrett’s people — all but one (Nussmeier), as of this writing. Even longtime strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik opted to retire when he learned the Cowboys wouldn’t retain him.

Below is the latest look at the completely overhauled but still-incomplete staff, based on various media reports over the past week:

Head coach: Mike McCarthy

Offensive coordinator: Kellen Moore

Defensive coordinator: Mike Nolan

Special teams coordinator: John Fassel

QB coach: Doug Nussmeier

RB coach: Skip Peete

TE coach: Lunda Wells

Offensive line coach/assistant HC: Joe Philbin

Assistant OL coach: Jeff Blasko

Defensive line coach: Jim Tomsula

Linebackers coach: Scott McCurley

Secondary coach: Maurice Linguist


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL