* Editor's Note: This is the third part of a three-part series that examines whether Cowboys players are climbing, lowering or staying stable at the end of the 2018 season. Read Part 1 here. Read Part 2 here.
Now that another season has come and gone, captivated and enraged, it's time to look back.
A Cowboys team that had no interest in reaching the playoffs after a 3-5 start made the necessary corrections on the field: goodbye to offensive line coach Paul Alexander, hello to wide receiver Amari Cooper, to end with force. Dallas swept world champion Philadelphia Eagles, won the division and won a wild card game before falling to the Los Angeles Rams.
This should not be a surprise, since the divisional round has been the roof for the franchise since he won the Super Bowl 23 years ago.
What is required for the Cowboys to take the next step? What changes are necessary?
We are going to address those other days. For the moment, let's see who are the trends at the conclusion of this season.
Downward trend (10)
David Irving, DT: For the second year in a row, his season began with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy. His last game of the season came on October 21. Since then, Irving has only made sporadic appearances at The Star while dealing with a sprained ankle, a controversial custody battle involving her daughter and mandatory counseling sessions related to her aftercare program. He played in two games all season and was on the field for a total of 56 plays.
Taco Charlton, DE: The first seven games of the season began. But after suffering a shoulder injury in Week 9 against Tennessee, he struggled to regain form. His practice habits were questioned as he returned and ended up being a healthy scratch to make a point. He finished with a sack and was not as productive as he was as a rookie.
Sean Lee, LB: Injuries separately from the hamstrings limited the veteran to seven games. He started five of those before losing his job to rookie Leighton Vander Esch. Lee remained committed to the team during his rehabilitation and Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith have credited Lee's influence with his improvement. But Lee finished the season with 37 tackles in his career and is contemplating his future.
Chris Jones, P: His average net of 39.6 yards was almost two yards less than last season and the second-worst average of his career. Only 17 of their points were knocked down within the 20-yard line, half of their previous season total.
Terrance Williams, WR: An embarrbading low-season episode involving a car accident, an electric bicycle and an arrest for public intoxication, at the top of foot surgery, was the precursor to a season in which he caught only two pbades for 18 yards and He went to the injury reserve.
Rico meets, TE: The night before the Cowboys reduced their list to 53 players, Gathers was arrested for possession of marijuana in a park in Frisco. He made the team but had no impact, finishing the season with only three receptions for 45 yards.
Allen Hurns, WR: The season of veterans came to an end in the playoff game against Seattle with a ghastly injury that broke his ankle. Hurns was not as effective as the club expected during the regular season, ending with a career low of 20 receptions for 295 yards and two touchdowns.
Rod Smith, RB: He had very few touches behind Ezekiel Elliott, especially because the club used Elliott more as a receiver. Smith had less than 200 yards in total offense, scored once but contributed in special teams.
Geoff Swaim, TE: He got the initial job early because of his blocking and had his moments as a catcher, but he had his season finale early because of an injury for the second time in three seasons.
Jamize Olawale, FB: He led the Cowboys on special teams with 13, but was not as effective as a blocker as the training staff would like and dropped what should have been a touchdown pbad at the end of the season.
Tavon Austin, WR
Adam Redmond, OT
Cooper Rush, QB
Mike White, QB
Darius Jackson, RB
Justin March-Lillard, LB
Chris Covington, LB
Joe Thomas, LB
C.J. Goodwin, CB
Darian Thompson, S
Lance Lenoir, WR
Reserve / injured
Travis Frederick, C; Terrance Williams, WR; Geoff Swaim, TE; Parker Ehinger, G; Datone Jones, DE; Marcus Martin, G; Jameill Showers, S; Cedrick Wilson, WR.
Jake Campos, T; Jordan Chunn, RB; Reggie Davis, WR; Treston Decoud, CB; Donovan Olumba, CB; Oni Omoile, G; Kyle Queiro, LB; Aziz Shittu, DT; Cody Wichmann, G.
This topic is losing its voice.