The Dallas Cowboys 2021 Season Summary

The Dallas Cowboys 2021 season was in large part successful despite a first-round playoff exit. Dallas had a great bounce-back season after missing the playoffs in 2020 following Dak Prescott’s season-ending injury in Week 5. The Cowboys won the NFC East with a commanding lead and were a Super Bowl favorite most of the season. Despite a great season, Dallas suffered a tough loss. The Cowboys were a first-round exit, yet again despite the Super Bowl hype all season.

2021 Season Summary: Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Exceeded Expectations

The Cowboys far exceeded expectations this season after missing playoffs in 2020. Following Prescott’s season-ending injury, Dallas missed playoffs and finished as one of the weaker teams in the NFL last season. With Prescott injured, the Cowboys floundered during a quarterback carousel while big names like Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb all struggled and were injured.

Dallas exceeded expectations by winning the NFC East following the 2020 disaster. Prescott and Elliott returned to form while Lamb is on the cusp of a breakout, poised to be a top-five wide receiver next season. The window continues to creep towards being closed with Prescott’s massive contract, but Dallas is on an upward rather than downwards trajectory.

Struggling Identity

Dallas started the season with a tough loss against the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Opening night came down to the wire as Ryan Succop drilled a field goal after Tom Brady led the Bucs down the field with less than 1:30 left in the fourth quarter. Prescott and the Cowboys mounted a comeback to take the lead late in the fourth quarter but simply left too much time on the clock. Brady did what he does best and won the game on his last possession.

Dallas struggled to find their identity early on failing in the ground game against both Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Chargers. The Cowboys quickly returned to form as Elliott exploded in Week 3 with 95 yards and two touchdowns against NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles. Elliott was great the rest of the season until he suffered a knee injury against the Kansas City Chiefs. Elliott finished the season with 1,002 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Prescott and the Passing Attack

The passing attack was strong most of the year as Prescott threw for 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. Lamb’s sophomore season featured 1,102 yards while Cooper and Schultz both racked up over 800 yards. The passing attack was the strength of the Cowboys offense. Prescott and the wide receivers nearly completed a comeback in the Wild Card round of playoffs. The air assault will be a big part of the future in Dallas with Prescott as a potential MVP candidate moving forward.


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The surprise of the season was the defense. After a historically bad defense, Stefon Diggs shined with 11 interceptions. Diggs and Micah Parsons both headlined as first-team All-Pro players. The defense was spectacular compared to previous seasons. Dallas kept multiple high-octane offenses in check while the offense took control and built a lead. With great young talent in Parsons, Diggs, and Neville Gallimore, the Dallas defense has a great foundation to repeat as one of the great surprises in the NFL next season.

2021 Dallas Cowboys Summary

Dallas exceeded expectations despite a first-round exit yet again. Unfortunately, the Cowboys are developing a reputation for being over-hyped and choking in the playoffs. With the offense and defense both in great positions moving forward, Dallas is sure to be in the race to win another NFC East championship. The Bengals winning their first playoff game since 1991 gives Dallas fans hope the boys in blue can right the ship and return to the NFC championship with Prescott at the helm.

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