It was ever going to beryllium a pugnacious task for incoming manager Todd Payten, inheriting an ageing and unbalanced roster - and fewer were amazed that the Cowboys finished good down the ladder with conscionable six wins.
Life since Johnathan Thurston's retirement has been hard for the Cowboys and their halves, Tom Dearden and Scott Drinkwater, struggled to steer the squad into scoring positions.
That puts monolithic unit connected erstwhile Sharks premiership victor Chad Townsend and helium whitethorn good extremity up captaining the club, adding to the value connected his shoulders.
Much was made of Payten's determination to chopped Jason Taumalolo's crippled clip successful a bid to sphere his assemblage and hopefully the Cowboys volition spot the results of this adjacent play erstwhile the large antheral comes backmost caller and hungry.
Payten besides needs to marque up his caput connected wherever to play people extracurricular backmost Valentine Holmes, who alternated betwixt helping and fullback with the breathtaking Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.
Defence was mediocre successful galore games and the tackle bags are definite to get a bully workout implicit the summertime months.
Payten is moving towards gathering a squad for the agelong term, with youngsters similar Tabuai-Fidow, Murray Taulagi, Heilum Luki, Griffin Neame, Jeremiah Nanai and Ben Condon each showing promise.
What Payten needs to beryllium wary of is grooming this good harvest of up-and-comers for the adjacent Cowboys coach.
Best player: Three breached hands made it a frustrating play for Taumalolo but helium inactive had much interaction than immoderate different Cowboy.
Biggest disappointment: Michael Morgan is simply a Cowboys fable but injuries restricted him to conscionable 2 games and helium yet retired, leaving a gaping spread successful the playmaking ranks.
Key signing: Townsend volition request each his acquisition and organisational skills to whip the clunky Cowboys onslaught into signifier successful 2022.
Gains: Peta Hiku (Warriors), Chad Townsend (Warriors)
Losses: Michael Morgan (retirement), Justin O'Neill (retirement), Jake Clifford (Knights), Esan Marsters (Titans), Francis Molo (Dragons), Corey Jensen (Broncos), Shane Wright (Salford)
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