2021 NFL preseason: Dallas Cowboys Predictions and Match Preview

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys are welcoming back their franchise quarterback Dak Prescott who missed the majority of the 2020-21 season. Prescott went down with a gruesome leg injury during the Cowboys' Week 5 game against the Giants. Dak has looked strong but left training camp with a strained muscle in his shoulder.

Dallas has added much-needed assistance on the defensive side. Adding Malik Hooker, Keanu Neal and Micah Parsons should help the Cowboys improve defensively. With the NFL preseason starting next week, let's look at the 2021-22 Dallas Cowboys predictions.

What can we expect from the Dallas Cowboys' offense?

Dallas Cowboys RB <a href='https://www.sportskeeda.com/nfl/ezekiel-elliott' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer'>Ezekiel Elliott</a>
Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott

Offensively, the Dallas Cowboys are a better team when Zeke is firing on all cylinders. That's something the Cowboys' offense missed last season. At one point, Elliott went five-plus weeks without a rushing touchdown.

Dallas had a ton of injuries to their offensive line, and with Dak's injury, their offense seemed to struggle. Jerry Jones has expressed his interest in returning to the playoffs in 2021, but that will be determined by Dak and Zeke.

Dallas has one of the best wide receiver groups in the NFL. CeeDee Lamb has been a knockout since being drafted. Amari Cooper is reliable and has a ton of success when Dak is at quarterback. The wildcard is Michael Gallup, who faced issues with drops last season.

If the Cowboys want to make a playoff push and return to the top of the NFC East. They'll need their offense to get back on track. That starts with the run game and the offensive line.

What to expect from the Dallas Cowboys' defense?

Dallas Cowboys LB <a href='https://www.sportskeeda.com/nfl/jaylon-smith' target='_blank' rel='noopener noreferrer'>Jaylon Smith</a>
Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

Last season, the Dallas Cowboys struggled mightily on the defensive side. At one point in the season, they were arguably the worst defensive unit in the NFL. The Cowboys' front seven couldn't stop the run and, more importantly, couldn't develop a pass rush.

Dallas gave up an embarrassing 473 points to opposing teams last year. The Cowboys surrendered 30+ points eight different times in 2020. They went five straight weeks, giving up more than 30 points from Week 2 through Week 6.

The only bright spot to the Cowboys' defense was Jaylon Smith, who finished with 154 total tackles and ranked second in the NFL. Dallas finished 20th in the NFL in sacks with 31, which landed them in a tie with the New York Jets.

Dallas will need their defense to get off the field in 2021 if they want a shot. Ultimately, their success will be determined on offense. Dallas cannot get into many shootouts because their defense isn't where it needs to be just yet.

What to look for during the Dallas Cowboys' preseason?

Dallas Cowboys Training Camp
Dallas Cowboys Training Camp

The Dallas Cowboys open up their preseason with the Hall of Fame Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. That game will not show much of anything in regards to where the Cowboys stand right now.

During the preseason, the Cowboys fan base can expect a lot of backup quarterback play. Dallas needs to find their guy to back up Prescott. They'll also look to find out where they're at upfront on the offensive line.

Defensively, the Cowboys will look to find depth to add. Dallas needs a good mixture of pass rushers and run stoppers. That sounds great, but it's easier said than done.

Dallas Cowboys preseason prediction

Dallas will give Dak minimal snaps during the preseason. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard will see some time. Preseason is more for the players trying to make the roster and hasn't determined how a team will perform during the season.

The prediction for the Cowboys is one-two wins, and Garrett Gilbert will lock down the backup quarterback position. Defensively, the Cowboys will still search for identity and head into the season as the weak link.

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Edited by Arnav Kholkar