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3 burning questions for the Dallas Cowboys this offseason

Dak Prescott, Cowboys

After a slow start to the 2018 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys bounced back in a big way and ended the season at 10-6 to lead the NFC East.

After completing a trade with the Oakland Raiders to acquire wide receiver Amari Cooper, the Cowboys offensive woes were finally over. In addition to the offense’s boost in production, the defense came into its own as well.

Unfortunately, after a successful 2016 season, Dallas followed it up with a disappointing 2017 season. So how will the Cowboys follow up a successful 2018 campaign heading into 2019? A few looming questions surround the Cowboys with a new season approaching.

What will the Cowboys do with DeMarcus Lawrence and Dak Prescott?

After a breakout season in 2017, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was hit with the franchise tag. Now that Lawrence was able to replicate his success with a team-leading 10.5 sacks and accounted for 64 combined tackles.

So what will the Cowboys do with their top defensive player next?

The Cowboys should pay Lawrence after having back-to-back double-digit sack campaigns, but it’s also a possibility Dallas lets him test out NFL free agency. If the Cowboys want to keep their promising young defense intact, Lawrence needs to be a part of their plans.

Unlike Lawrence, quarterback Dak Prescott is not a free agent. However, he is approaching his last season under his rookie contract and the Cowboys ought to make signing Prescott to an extension as much of a priority as signing Lawrence ahead of the 2019 season.

Dallas does have a lot less urgency in extending Prescott though, but their star quarterback undoubtedly deserves a nice payday. Prescott has led the Cowboys to two playoff appearances in his three seasons as well as two division-leading seasons. Prescott has been the epitome of consistency and possesses great poise that the Cowboys clear love. The young quarterback knows he deserves to get paid accordingly for his efforts since his rookie season in 2016; it’s only a matter of time before Dallas gives Prescott what he deserves.

Is the 2019 NFL season make or break for Jason Garrett?

Owner Jerry Jones failed to extend head coach Jason Garrett’s contract, and while this doesn’t necessarily mean his days are numbered with the Cowboys, there is clearly a lack of confidence somewhere. Garrett has been with the team since 2007 but was officially named the head coach back in 2011. Dallas has found success in recent seasons, but for much of Garrett’s head coaching career, things have not always been smooth sailing.

Although Garrett has led the Cowboys to three playoff appearances, his career win-loss record (77-59) is nothing to write home about.

In addition, Garrett’s career playoff record is mediocre as well as he has led Dallas to two wins and three losses. Garrett could very well be let go during or after the 2019 season pending the team’s success, but as of right now the team looks like they are on track for another successful season with their current roster.

Will the Cowboys make a big splash in NFL free agency?

For the most part, Dallas has a fairly well-balanced roster, but there is definitely room for improvement on both sides of the ball.

One player frequently linked to the Cowboys is Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas. Although Thomas is an older player and coming off a season-ending leg injury, he is still one of the best safeties in the league without a doubt. If Dallas can acquire Thomas without breaking the bank, the addition could be huge for the defense.

Although the offense is the team’s strong suit, Ezekiel Elliott and Cooper need a supporting cast. Another wide receiver could benefit the offense tremendously, but the market isn’t exactly eye-popping right now. Any team looking for a receiver should make a call to Golden Tate first and foremost.

Similar to Earl Thomas, Tate is not the youngest of players, but still has the fantastic play-making ability and requires a lot of attention from opposing defenses.