The Dallas Cowboys had a whirlwind 2016 with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott unexpectedly leading the team to a 13-3 record and landing a spot as the number one seed in the NFC. With vast roster changes on defense and a young offense guiding the team, it’s uncertain as to how the team will perform in 2017.

The other NFC East teams, the Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants have been hard at work seeking to find an answer to the Boys’ powerhouse offense. Contrary to the opinion that the Cowboys will have a less than successful season in 2017, Prescott says they are the team to beat, not the other way around.

“We’re the team that they have to beat,” Prescott said. “It’s not the opposite way.”

ESPN quotes Football Outsiders regarding Dallas’s potential success next season writing:

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The main focus for Dallas is to quickly groom their rookie defensive players to be effective immediately. Edge Taco Charlton has the personality of a ‘war daddy’ but is still a raw talent in desperate need of defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s guidance and instruction. Most of the Cowboys secondary is made up of draft picks due to the mass exodus the team saw at the start of free agency including Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, Barry Church, and J.J. Wilcox.

With so many former veteran players moving on for greener pastures, it’s imperative players like Orlando Scandrick, Tyrone Crawford and Sean Lee embrace their role as leaders in order to help shape the newest members to the Cowboys defense if Dallas wants another shot at winning the NFC East.

Lauren Scullion is a lifelong Cowboys fan, secret Packers fan, Dallas Cowboys/ NFL writer, social media guru and NFC East know-it-all.