The Cowboys have been mostly known for their offensive prowess in recent years, but one national writer is casting some doubt on its abilities.
Over at ESPN, Bill Barnwell ranked the NFL’s “offensive arsenals,” and the Cowboys landed at No. 30 out of 32.
Of course, Barnwell’s ranking include a lot of caveats. He said his aim was to evaluate skill positions. That means he didn’t factor in the quarterback, offensive line or schemes. He also acknowledges that his rankings weight wide receivers heavily and that he values top-level talent over depth.
Here’s what he had to say about the Cowboys:
“When you remove that dominant offensive line and quarterback Dak Prescott from the equation, the Cowboys are left with one excellent running back in Ezekiel Elliott and what must surely be the worst receiving corps in football. The four tight ends vying to replace Jason Witten have 94 combined career receiving yards, all of which come from Geoff Swaim. The team’s best wideout is Allen Hurns, who had one impressive season in four years with the Jaguars and hasn’t been able to stay healthy over the past two seasons. The team is excited about third-round pick Michael Gallup, which is a reflection on the power of hope, but even Tavon Austin has to believe that the organizational plan to give the former Rams wideout 12 to 24 touches per game on offense is too much Tavon Austin.”
In case you’re wondering where the rest of the NFC East ranked, the Washington Redskins came in at 18, Philadelphia at 7, and the New York Giants at 2.
Beyond the return of running back Ezekiel Elliott, the Cowboys will look fairly unfamiliar in the skill positions. The offseason departures of Dez Bryant (by release) and Jason Witten (by retirement) leave two big holes in the receiving corps. The Cowboys signed free agent Allen Hurns and drafted Michael Gallup to help fill Bryant’s void along with returning wideouts Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz and Rico Gathers — a tight end crew totaling 94 career yards — are battling it out to replace Witten.