The Dallas Cowboys are still in a fight for the abysmal NFC East, however, in order to do that they will have to play significantly better for the remainder of the season.
While nobody is pulling away with the division due to glaring holes on each team, some teams will still see this year as an opportunity to make the playoffs on a bad year. Even a beaten up Cowboys team can stay in contention given those circumstances.
If the Cowboys remain keen on doing what they can to be in a position to finish first in the NFC East, they will need to be active ahead of the NFL trade deadline. The need for external help is just simply too strong at this point, given the circumstances.
In order to make a run at the postseason, here are three areas the Dallas Cowboys must improve at the trade deadline this weekend.
The loss of Dak Prescott was a huge blow for the team at the start of the season. Now, losing Andy Dalton has the team prepared to start a third-string quarterback in what is a critical stretch of games. Rather than go with the unknown Dallas should make a trade for one of the veteran quarterbacks on teams who are struggling.
Matt Ryan comes to mind as a stop gap for this season until Prescott can return. The Cowboys have great talent at wide receiver, they just need someone good enough to get the ball to them.
A big issue that the Cowboys have seen this season is that they cannot protect the quarterback or open holes in the running game. Say that Dallas decides to stick with their current situation at quarterback and wants to rely more on Ezekiel Elliott to be the offense. That would usually be fine, except that Elliott is struggling to make anything happen behind this line.
This could end up being a problem in the future, so Dallas might want to get ahead of the game and bring on a guy who can block for Zeke. The better he can run the ball, the more likely this team ends up in the post season.
Defensive Pass Rushers
The two most important positions outside of the quarterback are the people who defend him and the people who try to tackle him. We have already addressed how the Dallas Cowboys could use some help protecting their quarterback, but they could also benefit from bringing in talent who can get pressure on the opposing quarterback.
If Dallas is going to compete with the teams in the NFC East, they are going to need to force turnovers and win the field position battle. The best way for them to do this is by trading for a guy who can disrupt opposing teams and get behind the line.