The Dallas Cowboys come into the 2022 season as reigning NFC East champions.
They look to become the first team since 2003-04 to win the division in back-to-back seasons.
Despite losing some key pieces in the offseason, the Cowboys should still be the NFC East favorites heading into this year.
One main reason why is their quarterback play.
Dak Prescott has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and if he can stay healthy for the full season he has MVP potential.
Through the first six weeks of last season, Prescott was in the MVP conversation.
In six games he threw for 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
The Cowboys were 5-1 and everything looked great in Dallas.
Then a calf injury suffered by Prescott forced him to miss a game and he never looked the same for the rest of the season.
The health of Prescott is the most important aspect of the 2022-23 Cowboys.
Without Amari Cooper, the Cowboys have a void to fill at wide receiver.
Luckily they have a 23-year-old budding star in CeeDee Lamb ready to take over the WR1 role.
Through his first two seasons. Lamb has recorded over 1,000 yards from scrimmage both years.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb for game-winning TD in overtime.
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) October 17, 2021
Lamb has put up huge numbers without being the main target in this offense.
According to Player Profiler, his 120 targets ranked 21st in the NFL last season, and his 11 red zone targets ranked 38th.
The Cowboys’ passing game will rely heavily on Lamb to be a star, and he is ready to take that next step.
Dallas also has a talented running game that should get a boost with the return of a healthy Ezekiel Elliott.
The Cowboys RB had an MCL injury early last season that made him look like a shell of himself.
Elliott along with Tony Pollard presents one of the best one-two punches in the NFL.
Pollard was second in the NFL last year in yards per touch at 6.2 yards.
Giving Pollard the ball more is another key for the offense to be successful.
No one knew what to expect from a Cowboys defense that was one of the worst in the NFL in 2020.
Well, the addition of defensive coordinator Dan Quinn flipped this unit around in 2021.
The Cowboys had one of the best defenses in the NFL, and that was due to their ability to take the ball away.
They led the NFL in takeaways with 34 and the ascension of Trevon Diggs was a big reason for that.
Diggs led the NFL in interceptions with 11.
TREVON DIGGS. AN UNREAL RUN OF INTERCEPTIONS.
— NFL (@NFL) October 17, 2021
Dallas is also bringing back Defensive Rookie of the Year Micah Parsons, who also finished second in Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Parsons should take another step forward this season.
The NFC East as a whole got better around the Cowboys.
But, in the NFL most teams can only go as far as their quarterback will take them.
Prescott is by far the best QB in the NFC East and this opportunistic defense in Dallas is why they are favorites to repeat as division champs.