Plenty of football fans across the nation surely rejoiced on Sunday evening when it was confirmed that the Dallas Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention. Their 2019 campaign was nothing short of a dumpster fire, and their shortcomings were perfectly capped off by permitting the injury-ravaged Philadelphia Eagles to limp into the postseason with the NFC East crown.
We could go on for hours about Dallas' issues, but it makes more sense to just dive into their outlook for 2020. We'll start by highlighting a few players that will not be back with the team.
3. Jason Witten
Jason Witten popped up here and there in the red zone in 2019, but Dallas has every reason to part ways with the future Hall of Famer (at least as a player!). The tight end position is evolving, and Witten isn't getting any younger. Dallas has needed a real succession plan at tight end for years now, and Witten returning, while a nice storyline, continued to prevent that change from realizing itself. The Cowboys should look to free agency or the draft to find Blake Jarwin a partner.
2. Jeff Heath
The Cowboys need to implement an overhaul to their secondary, and replacing Jeff Heath would be a good start. Heath has held down the starting safety position for a few seasons now, and we're not entirely sure why. His open-field tackling is suspect and his awareness in coverage is egregious. Expect Dallas to draft a safety in April to replace the 28-year-old DB.
1. Byron Jones
The Cowboys have plenty of work to do this offseason regarding the future of free agents -- Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, come on down -- and reports suggest that they do not plan on retaining starting cornerback Byron Jones. It's a settlement that will ultimately make sense for Dallas given Jones' pedestrian play this season on the back of a terrific 2018 campaign. Couple that with his expectedly steep contract demands, and all signs point towards the UConn product finding another home in the NFL next year.