The Cowboys made their name as 'America's Team' due to their success in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. In a 20-year span from 1966, they went to 18 playoffs and competed in five Super Bowls. No other team comes close to that sort of dominance over that time period.
Things have been up and down since the arrival of the current coach Jason Garrett, with three playoff trips in the nine years and all of these ending in Divisional losses.
What do you need to do to get this team back to the good old days?
DOMINANT: This team has some seriously good talent
The Cowboys are absolutely stacked at 85 OVR. They have one of the best offenses in the game at 88 OVR, but an equally impressive defense on 83 OVR.
There is some major talent on this roster, but none more than their three X-Factor Superstar leaders. HB Ezekiel Elliott (94 OVR) is almost unstoppable, and on the other side of the ball, LE Demarcus Lawrence (89 OVR) and CB Byron Jones (91 OVR) make it even harder to play against.
Supporting Elliott are some serious players on offense. The best OL in football has three studs in LT Tyron Smith (94 OVR), RG Zack Martin (96 OVR) and Star C Travis Frederick (94 OVR). If you have followed this series, you will know how ridiculous this is compared to other teams.
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Their defense is just as good. Superstar ROLB Leighton Vander Esch (86 OVR) is one of the brightest talents in the league, along with MLB Jaylon Smith (85 OVR) and CB Chuck Awuzie (80 OVR).
So how can you improve this team to fight for a Lombardi trophy?
Dallas Cowboys Biggest needs
The big problems you should be looking to address are focused around all the tight end and strong safety.
This offense is virtually perfect. You could pick out LG Connor Williams (71 OVR, Run Block 72, Pass Block 71) as he must feel like the most out of place player in sports. But the rest of the line is so good you won't notice and it is nice to have some cheap players involved, keeping the cap pressures down.
TE Jason Witten (83 OVR, 88 Catching, 68 Run Block) is an absolute beast, but he is 37. He is likely to get injured and/or retire at the end of the season and so it will be worth getting some depth now.
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Again on defense, there aren't many holes. But one clear opportunity is with SS George Iloka (73 OVR, 73 Zone Cover, 65 Tackle). He's not exactly young at 27 and is a clear weak point on an otherwise impressive defensive unit.
This is one team I am blessed not to have to mention OL. Therefore, there really is an open world of talent to go after for trades. Particularly if you are willing to give up one of your OL studs in return.
George Kittle, Tight End (90 OVR)
MONSTER: This guy is unplayable of late, and this is true on Madden too
Best Stats: Catching (91), Awareness (90), Acceleration (89), Speed (88), Catch in traffic (82), Short Route (81), Medium Route (78), Run Block (78)
George Kittle was only selected by the 49ers in the 5th round of the 2017 draft, but he exploded on the scene last year. He broke the record for the most receiving yards for a TE with 1,377 as well as the most yards in a half by a TE with 210.
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He has speed (88) and acceleration (89) that a WR would be proud of, but a massive 6'4" frame. His catching (91) is elite, and his catch in traffic (82) can make big plays over the middle which this team needs. He's also going to help the run game with run block (78) - as if this team needed it though.
Keanu Neal, Strong Safety (88 OVR)
PLAYMAKER: Neal is a hard-hitting safety that will make plays
Best Stats: Hit Power (96), Pursuit (91), Play Recognition (89), Acceleration (88), Speed (87), Zone Cover (86), Man Cover (78), Tackle (76)
One of the most likable players in the NFL, Neal has had loads of injury problems since he was taken in the 1st round of the 2016 draft by the Falcons.
Look at that hit power (96). For anyone that wants a player to pursuit (91) the ball and knock it free, he's a dream. Along with this his acceleration (88) and Speed (87) to get around the field are huge. His man cover (78) is not bad for a safety but you will learn to rely on his zone cover (86).
Free Agent Targets
These guys won’t cost you draft picks, but you’ll need some cap space to sign them which means making some tough decisions with your own impending free agents.
Eric Berry, Strong Safety (86 OVR)
HERO: Cancer survivor and NFL legend
Best Stats: Acceleration (89), Speed (89), Zone Cover (88), Play Recognition (87), Hit Power (86), Man Cover (81)
Berry was a dominant All-Pro safety a few years ago before suffering from Cancer. After a year out, he made a comeback and was just as good as before he left. His miracle story has left him without a team this season though and you can use that your benefit.
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With fair acceleration (89) and speed (89), he won’t be a liability at the position. Zone cover (88) is absolutely elite and Berry is a lockdown Safety in passing coverage.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tight End (81 OVR)
GET IN QUICK: A rare gem in Free Agency
Best Stats: Acceleration (87), Speed (86), Catching (84), Catch in Traffic (79) Run Block (75), Short Route (75)
Free agency doesn't usually have talent like Seferian-Jenkins, so if you miss out on a Superstar like Kittle, he isn't to be sniffed at.
Speed kills with TEs and Seferian-Jenkins' acceleration (87) and speed (86) is up there, even if not elite. His run block (75) is better than a lot of the OL in the rest of the league and catching (84) makes him a dangerous double threat.
For the team that has everything, you should be looking in similar positions to those highlighted above. Replacing 37-year-old TE Jason Witten and 33-year-old ROLB Sean Lee are priorities. After this, it is worth looking to improve SS and all the LB spots.
Depth at cornerback and wide receiver is always important, so don't be afraid to dip into those positions in the middle rounds, or higher if an impressive talent drops to you.
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Nailing the draft can be a big ask, as players rarely fit needly into their expected stat ranges and the AI can snipe your targets from you. Don’t fear, we have all the tips & tricks for you to master drafting in Franchise Mode here.
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