The Dallas Cowboys enter a new season with high expectations year after year. However, more often than not, they leave disappointed. The 2021 season was no different, and Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith notices an alarming trend.
The NFL legend won three Super Bowls in Dallas, so he knows what it takes to get to the top. Smith believes the current team has the talent to do some great things, but it’s, unfortunately, going to waste.
Emmitt Smith is disappointed in the Cowboys
After finishing with a 6-10 record in the 2020 season, the Dallas Cowboys bounced back in a major way in 2021. Mike McCarthy’s squad posted an impressive 12-5 record en route to winning the NFC East crown.
The Cowboys went into the NFL playoffs with momentum but laid an egg against the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card Round. The 23-17 loss at AT&T Stadium was a brutal gut punch to an otherwise promising campaign.
Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith recently made an appearance on San Antonio Sports Star and discussed the current state of the franchise.
“When I look at our Cowboys, I’m looking for who are we going to be?” said Smith. “Are we going to stay the same? Or are we going to just take all of this talent and waste it over three or four or five-year timeframe, assuming and expecting to do something great doing the same things over and over and over again?”
Smith understands how hard it is to get to the Super Bowl, and he’s afraid the Cowboys’ window will close if they don’t get it together.
“It’s frustrating as hell,” he added. “You see great talent being wasted! You see time passing! And fans are just going to get more and more and more frustrated. With Jerry, with the team, and everything else.”
Dallas hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since the Hall of Fame RB played
It’s been a very long time since the Cowboys were in the Super Bowl. The last time Dallas reached the big game, Emmitt Smith was the starting running back.
The Cowboys are a storied franchise with a rich history. The team has won five Super Bowl championships all time. Smith played a massive role in three of them.
Dallas won three Super Bowls from 1992 to 1995. Smith was part of an immensely talented offense that featured fellow Hall of Famers Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin. The fan base grew tremendously during that span.
Known as “America’s Team,” one would imagine the Cowboys have done a lot more winning recently. However, that hasn’t necessarily been the case. The team has posted 13 winning seasons since winning the 1996 Super Bowl. Dallas has reached the postseason 11 times, but it hasn’t made it past the Divisional Round.
Mike McCarthy’s squad had one of the most talented Cowboys rosters in recent memory. Still, the team couldn’t get the job done when it mattered most.
How the Cowboys can avoid wasting talent in 2022
Emmitt Smith is worried that the Dallas Cowboys are wasting the talent on its roster, and he’s right.
Dallas boasted one of the most talented rosters in the NFL in 2021. Kellen Moore finished with the NFL’s No. 1 offense, putting up 407 yards and 31.1 points per game. Dak Prescott bounced back nicely from a gruesome ankle injury. The offense featured plenty of talented skill players, including Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb.
Defensively, the Cowboys played better than expected in 2021. New defensive coordinator Dan Quinn uncovered gems in second-year cornerback Trevon Diggs and rookie linebacker Micah Parsons. The defense ranked in the top 10 in the regular season.
Given Dallas’s success in the regular season, it should’ve put up a better showing in the playoffs. So how do the Cowboys avoid a similar fate in 2022?
There’s no easy answer to that question. Jerry Jones opted to bring back Mike McCarthy and both coordinators. McCarthy is not to blame for all of the team’s struggles, but he might not be the best man for the job, either.
Simply put, the Cowboys must find ways to maximize the talent on its roster. They’ve run out of excuses. It’s time to put up, or frustrations will reach an all-time high for the fans (and Emmitt Smith).
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.