SpaceX and NASA weren't the only ones working to ensure a successful liftoff in 2020. Having ushered out longtime head coach Jason Garrett and brought in Mike McCarthy to replace him, the Dallas Cowboys are trying to do the same. With McCarthy not only arrives a proven resume that boasts a Lombardi trophy, but also a sweeping change to the coaching staff beneath him -- one that includes the additions of notable assistants like defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
And with Nolan comes a new mode of operation on defense, for while the Cowboys will remain in their base 4-3, they'll more accurately operate with a hybrid system that allows them to oscillate between a 4-3, a 4-2-5 and a 3-4, which could make things as interesting for the linebackers as they'll be for the defensive line.
Enter Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, the team's two superstar linebackers who are both looking to bounce back in 2020 for differing reasons.
The former saw his season prematurely end due to a neck injury that's since been surgically repaired, and the latter simply suffered a step back from his Pro Bowl season in 2018, much of the reason being additional tasks having been placed upon him (i.e., aiding the pass rush).