Cowboys Put on Blast with Disrespectful Ranking from Insider

Dak Prescott Ankle

Getty Dak Prescott recently showed off his healthy ankle.

Not everyone is buying the idea that the Dallas Cowboys will bounce back in 2021. NBC Sports’ Peter King has the Cowboys at No. 21 in his latest NFL power rankings which means Dallas would once again miss the playoffs. King believes the Cowboys enter the season with major questions lingering about the defense.

“The best player in the NFC East is back, and if Dak Prescott is what he was when we last saw him for a season (2019: 4,902 passing yards, 30 TDs), with a receiving corps bettered by CeeDee Lamb, Dallas will be in the NFC East mix in late December,” King detailed. “The bigger question is the defense, obviously. Imagine giving up, in eight of 16 games, 33 or more points . . . and then imagine being alive on the last weekend of the season with Andy Dalton at the helm.”

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King on the Cowboys’ Defense: ‘Quinn Will Need to Hide a Lot of Warts’

The Cowboys’ defensive woes are more numerous than just hiring new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can fix, says King. Dallas has focused almost entirely on improving the defense this offseason.

“So much of this season depends on new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn’s ability to do what Mike Nolan couldn’t last year—install a complex system, much of that in Zoom meetings, and get players ready to react by opening day,” King continued. “Quinn is Dallas’ third defensive coordinator in the last 18 months. In an ideal world, Quinn, Seattle’s coordinator in 2013 and ’14, hopes he’s found his Bobby Wagner as the nerve center of his defense with first-round rookie Micah Parsons. But Quinn will need to hide a lot of warts in a porous secondary.”

Quinn: ‘Much Like a Player, I Guess I Have to Prove It’

Things did not end the way Quinn wanted in Atlanta as the newly-hired Cowboys coordinator was fired as the Falcons head coach in October. Quinn admitted he used the time to self-scout to make sure his tenure with the Cowboys has every chance to succeed.

“I wanted to do as big an after-action on my own self to make sure what I could learn from, things that went well and things that didn’t go well,” Quinn said, per “So, I wanted to kind of do a 360 on the whole process first, the scheme side. …Much like a player, I guess I have to prove it. And what I would say is what you can count on from me is somebody that’s real specific in how we’re going to go about it and get after it. And I’m very much looking forward to proving that.”

The Cowboys have also tried to overhaul their defensive personnel which included giving Quinn some familiar faces with the additions of former Falcons Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee. Dallas used the majority of their draft picks on defensive players including linebacker Micah Parsons and cornerback Kelvin Johnson who will both have a chance to compete for starting spots in training camp.

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