The Cowboys went only 6-10 last season in Mike McCarthy’s first season. It’s easy to dismiss that as an aberration because of Dak Prescott‘s season-ending ankle injury in Week 5.
However, the Cowboys were only 1-3 in games Prescott started and finished, and the victory was a lucky comeback win over the Falcons. The Cowboys 2020 defense ended up allowing the most points in team history.
Prescott is healthy as are starting offensive linemen Zack Martin, La'el Collins and Tyron Smith, the three of whom missed a combined 36 games. Is their good health — combined with an improved defense — enough for the Cowboys to contend for the division title if not the NFC title?
Prescott thinks so.
“Improvement, a lot of improvement obviously from last year to this year, but deeper than that from those first five games,” Prescott told Newy Scruggs of NBC DFW. “Take those first five games and just say we’re going to be better than that as a team. We’re going to play more complementary football from defense to offense to special teams, and then we’re going to have a healthy team. We’ve all approached the offseason, we approached the season the right way. We’re just excited. We’re excited that hopefully we can stay healthy; we can get good fortune on that end. Then, we can just put everything we’ve worked hard for together on all stages and all phases of the game. We’re excited for this year. It’s going to be very, very special for us and for Cowboys fans.”
The Cowboys have not played in the NFC Championship Game since 1995, which, of course, was their last Super Bowl title.