5 things that will get Cowboys fans excited again the closer we get to the upcoming season

It has been an irritating offseason for the Dallas Cowboys. And it’s not just the typical “they don’t sign free agents” annoyance that fans experience every season during the free agency period. With several players leaving and very little activity of their own, the mood among Cowboys Nation has reached new levels of despair this spring. The high volume of gloom is rather puzzling considering the team is coming off three straight 12-win seasons. And while all of that is in the past, the Cowboys currently are second only to the San Francisco 49ers in having the best odds in the NFC to reach the Super Bowl this upcoming season.

Despite all the pessimism, the aura within the fanbase normally starts to trickle in the positive direction this time of year. The NFL Draft just wrapped up, and while we won’t know how well the Cowboys did until we see the new players in action, the feeling is that fans are pleased with their draft haul. With new players comes new optimism.

The positive vibes should continue the closer we get to actual football. Camp stories featuring progress reports from our favorite players will gradually start getting fans excited again. Before we know it, the hype will be in full swing once again. You can set your watch to it. While sunnier days are coming, what type of events would brighten the spirits within the fanbase? That got us thinking. What storylines over the summer will re-ignite the excitement level in Cowboys Nation? Here are five things that come to mind.

Re-signed at last!

Fans are disgruntled with the front office not just because of the lack of free agent spending, but also because they are hemming and hawing with the contracts of some of their biggest stars. Both Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb are in the last year of their deals. There’s been some trepidation about whether the team will roll with Prescott long-term, but none of that exists with Lamb. What are the Cowboys waiting for?

Just when faith in the front office has become lost and fans are leaning one way, don’t be surprised if the Cowboys come through with two big contract extensions. Lamb should be the first one to get done and put some good news in the headlines for a change, but Prescott shouldn’t be much farther along as they strike up a new deal right before the regular season begins.

While those new contract extensions will bring some solace back to Dallas, don’t hold your breath for a Micah Parsons extension. That likely won’t happen until next year as he still has two years remaining on his rookie deal after the team exercised his fifth-year option last month.

Back from injury

The Cowboys didn’t reload with new free agents, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be getting some new players back on the field. Expect a good dose of updates for the Cowboys All-Pro corner Trevon Diggs who was lost early last year. With every new Instagram workout video, excitement will build as we look forward to seeing Diggs and Bland on the field together for the first time as an All-Pro cornerback tandem.

Another player fans are excited about seeing is second-year linebacker DeMarvion Overshown. Last year, he suffered a knee injury in a preseason game and never played an official down, but he gave us a small taste of what he’s capable of and it caught our attention. The return of Overshown to go along with new adds Eric Kendricks and rookie Marist Liufau should bring about a newfound excitement in the linebacker group.

And as the president of the John Stephens Jr. fan club, I would be remiss not to mention his return. The athleticism shown in camp and preseason action would have earned this undrafted free agent a roster spot had he not gotten injured. Between Pro Bowler Jake Ferguson, the second-year jump of Luke Schoonmaker, and the return of JSJ, the Cowboys tight end group could be a lot of fun this year.

Finally, while Terence Steele has already returned from injury, we can all acknowledge that he wasn’t right last year. The trust in his body was evident early on and he did show improvement down the stretch. Watching those knees bend and him popping out of his stance in training camp will be a sight for sore eyes. Even though many have soured on Steele after last season, seeing him perform close to his old self will make us feel a lot better about the state of the offensive line.

Running back solitude

We have to be honest here. We have no idea how the Cowboys running back position group will end up. Maybe the Ezekiel Elliott signing was the “big surprise” the front office was planning, which feels a bit like the ice cream sandwiches Michael Scott handed out to his employees. Maybe they are done. Maybe they are not.

Whether a new addition happens or not, fans will feel uneasy about the running back position until they are given reasons not to be. Those reasons could be a revitalized Zeke in camp, an impressive showing from Royce Freeman, or even the always-present training camp buzz courtesy of Rico Dowdle. If a couple of these players impress, that’s all it will take for fans to feel better about the position as the “running backs don’t matter” coalition nods their head in approval.

Cowboys sign <insert free agent nose tackle here>!

The front office has made a few signings, but the latent acquisitions have been nothing that’s gotten fans excited. Veteran free agent linebacker Eric Kendricks highlights the action thus far. This is a testament to how little they’ve done. They’ve also re-signed Chuma Edoga and added two veteran running backs, one of whom is Ezekiel Elliott who returns to the team that drafted him.

There’s a good chance the Cowboys are not done. If you look at the landscape of the roster, one area still has a void. That position is nose tackle. Johnathan Hankins left in free agency and the Cowboys have done nothing to replace him. The nose tackle group consists of Mazi Smith, veteran JAG (just another guy) Carl Davis, and seventh-round rookie Justin Rogers. This won’t cut it. The Cowboys are in no hurry as they’d prefer to get these other guys as many reps in camp as they can, but don’t be surprised if the team makes a late-summer signing with a player like Linval Joseph (former player of Mike Zimmer), Lawrence Guy, or Mike Purcell. None of these guys would be flashy, but they would add a big body to a position that needs a big body.

Watching Trey play

Regardless of where you are with the whole Trey Lance trade, it’s hard not to be interested in seeing what he can do. Last year we didn’t get that chance as they traded for him in late August, missing out on the preseason. The Cowboys made him their emergency quarterback in every game last year, but his services were never needed as Prescott remained healthy all year.

This year will be different. After sitting and learning last season, Lance should see a good dose of action in the preseason. It would be a lot of fun to see the young quarterback start to show signs of improvement and have some success even though it would be followed by crazy narratives from the media proclaiming the Cowboys have found Dak’s replacement. That might be a bit much, but having a Trey in the hole could provide a little comfort should Prescott miss any time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *