For the Dallas Cowboys, 2021 has the chance to be a very special year. If healthy, the Cowboys are the favorite to win the NFC East and have the talent needed to make a deep postseason run.
Just 12 days stand between the Cowboys and the 2021 regular-season opener. With this in mind, it’s time to get some bold predictions on record.
We tasked our BTB front-pager writers to come up with one bold prediction for the upcoming regular season. Let us know which bold prediction you think has the best chance to come true, and give us your own boldest prediction for the season in the comments section below.
Now onto our BTB front-page writer responses…..
My one bold prediction for the Cowboys this year is actually one I made last year too: Blake Jarwin will lead the team in touchdown catches. It didn’t happen last year for obvious reasons, but I think it could happen this year. The thesis behind the prediction is very simple: Kellen Moore loves getting his TEs easy catch-and-run opportunities on bootleg plays, and that becomes a huge weapon down inside the 10 when defenses are more focused on guys like Zeke and CeeDee. I can see Jarwin getting a lot of shots near the goal line in that concept, especially with how overlooked he seems to be coming into this year.
Ezekiel Elliott will lead all RBs in the league in yards from scrimmage. The picture we are getting of a sleeker, faster, more nimble Zeke is not an illusion, and he is going be a potent part of the offense. Just not quite the way he has been in the past. With Dak back, and the still pervasive focus on “stopping the run”, he will not be the leading rusher. He will have a good year, probably somewhere a bit over 1,200 yards, but he will be over 2,000 yards total as he becomes a more integral part of the passing game. Against formidable defenses, such as the Cowboys face right out of the gate against the Buccaneers, the quick throw will be vital to keep the offense moving and Prescott upright. That will lead to a lot of balls going to Zeke out of the backfield, and the combination of power and quick cuts we saw in camp will lead to some nice gains and, combined with a good year running the ball, will put him in Derrick Henry territory this season. It just won’t be almost all taking handoffs.
Micah Parsons will lead the team in tackles and interceptions on his way to defensive rookie of the year honors. The young rookie linebacker from Penn State has been as advertised for the Cowboys thus far, and the team will be looking to him to help change the fortunes of a defense that was very bad in 2020. The way the Cowboys plan to use Parsons ensures the young linebacker will have an instant impact in a variety of ways. Parsons has been used at the line of scrimmage as a 3-technique in some packages, as well as pass rushing on the edge in others. Preseason has seen Dan Quinn and staff put a limit on his playing time, but with week one around the corner look for Micah Parsons to be unleashed and be everything the Dallas Cowboys hoped he would be.
As bold predictions go, how about Tyron Smith starts all 17 games at left tackle for the Dallas Cowboys in 2021!? He hasn’t accomplished that feat since 2015 at the age of 25. He’s had reoccurring neck issues every year since then causing him to miss multiple games every season, including all but two in 2020. At the ripe old age of 30 – he turns 31 December 12 – Smith finally decided surgery was his best course of action to take in order to hopefully fix his reoccurring neck issues. Only time will tell if his surgically repaired neck will hold up for an entire season, but I’m predicting it will.
CeeDee Lamb will lead the Cowboys in receiving yards and touchdowns, finishing the season as a top-five receiver in football. Lamb has been absolutely electric in camp and has a great chance to take an even bigger step forward this season. Last year in five games with Dak Prescott, Lamb caught 29 passes for 433 yards and had a 72.5 catch %. If Prescott had stayed healthy all year, Lamb easily would have surpassed 1,000 receiving yards and likely could have made a serious bid for the Offensive Rookie of The Year award. This year, Lamb and Prescott will be a dynamic duo. The second-year wideout will be the Cowboys’ best offensive weapon, leaping himself into the discussion as one of the best receivers in all of football.