3 Key X-Factors for the Dallas Cowboys in 2024

Dallas Cowboys
NFL Analysis Network

As every year comes and goes, the Dallas Cowboys fan base gets ready for another season where they expect their beloved team to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Such are the expectations of America’s team that the media also expects nothing less from them. 

While all teams have those few stars on their rosters, this is a team sport where more than just a handful of players have to contribute in order to attain the coveted prize at the end of the season. 

If we take a look at the current Dallas Cowboys roster for the 2024 season, the obvious standouts are Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons, and CeeDee Lamb. But, other players will have to step up and contribute to the success of the team.

So, here are three X-factor players who could have a big year in Dallas.  

Jake Ferguson

First and foremost, Dallas has two primary receivers in CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks. After that, there is no clear-cut third receiver option which means Jake Ferguson will be called upon much more in the passing game. 

The South Dakota native has been with the team for the past two seasons and has played an important role for the Dallas Cowboys, especially last season when he contributed to over 700 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

However, Lamb had an extraordinary year for Dallas in 2023 meaning he will receive a lot of attention from defenses handing Ferguson the chance to rise to the occasion. 

Mazi Smith 

Mazi Smith is the Cowboys’s first-round draft pick from the 2023 NFL Draft. A lot was expected from him in his rookie year as he would be teamed with Micah Parsons on the Dallas defense. However, he never really took off contributing to just one sack and 13 tackles in 16 games. 

Parsons himself was quite excited to have Smith on the team and felt that he could have been the X-Factor for Dallas in 2023. The Cowboys drafted him to improve their run defense as he was looked at to clog the middle and relieve some of the pressure from the other members of the defensive line. 

Heading into year two with Mike Zimmer as the new defensive coordinator, Smith could have a breakout year which will be a big help for the Cowboys’ defense. Zimmer has already had a word with the media on how he intends to work with Smith to sort out the basics like his stance, footwork, and use of hands before advancing to the complexities. 

The better Smith plays for Dallas, the better they will be against the run. It will translate into more sacks and turnovers as they are already a great pass-rushing threat. 

Tyler Guyton

As for the third X-Factor, we take a look at Tyler Guyton who is the Cowboys’ first-round pick of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Guyton, who is a left offensive tackle will be replacing a phenomenal player in Tyron Smith who protected Prescott’s blind side whenever he played. 

Despite the fact that Guyton is a rookie and has a big hole to fill, should he be able to hold his own against the opposing defenses, it will be a huge boost for the team. Furthermore, Guyton could potentially solve the problem of the left tackle position for years to come. 

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