Cowboys fans know this feeling all too well.

Following their playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers, Dallas has only won three postseason games dating all the way back to 1998. Devoted Cowboys fans have seemingly coined the saying “this is our year” only to continuously face heartbreak come playoff time. Dallas entered the postseason race with 7-2 odds to win the championship, rightfully so as they had the second best record in the NFL. However, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had different plans, halting the Cowboys championship hopes in their tracks. Yet this season did offer a silver lining.

Rookie duo Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott each had phenomenal seasons, setting multiple records in their own regards. America’s team looks to be more talented than ever as they approach the 2017-18 season. Star wide out Dez Bryant established his rapport with Prescott and their connection showed glimpses of greatness, particularly in their divisional playoff game. Cole Beasley established himself as a receiving threat as well, leading the Cowboys in receptions with 75.

The Cowboy defense showed a vast improvement over last season as well, ranking fifth in points allowed per game (19.1). While there are still weak spots in the secondary and defensive line, there is potential in the draft for head coach, Jason Garret to pick up some much needed young talent on defense. Rookie Jaylon Smith appeared to be a possible top five draft pick in last year’s draft, however he was unable to play his first season as a Cowboy due to a torn ACL. Smith’s injury left his NFL potential in doubt, however if he is able to overcome his injury, he and Sean Lee could be the best linebacker duo come next season.

The front office of the Dallas Cowboys faces a few issues this offseason that may shape the future of this team. The Cowboys are more than 10 million dollars over the cap and with 18 free agents, the front office will need to make some crucial decisions. The first step to alleviating some of the cap space would be to trade former star, Tony Romo, who currently has the largest contract on the Cowboys roster. Whether you love him or hate him, Romo does offer consistent talent with upside for more. Teams such as the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, or even the Denver Broncos are all possible suitors for a trade with Dallas. If the front office can pull off a deal that lands the Cowboys with draft picks or a solid defensive player this could be an optimal solution.

The Dallas Cowboys lineup is full of raw potential. The 2017-18 season will allow for many of their young stars to truly grow accustomed to the nuances and speed of the NFL. The possibilities are endless with this young Dallas team, but these young players will make mistakes. Dallas’ time as a contender has just begun and while it may not be time to say “this is our year” just yet, that time is growing near.

About The Author

Wes Stenovitch is a sophomore sports management major at the University of North Texas. He spends his spare time watching sports, fishing, and playing basketball. You can catch him re-watching "The Office" or playing with his dog, Duke.

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