Preseason is kicking off this Thursday and the Dallas Cowboys' season opener is only a month away. It's an exciting time, but it's also time for us to have a serious conversation, Cowboys Nation. Dak Prescott is heading into a defining third year in his career. What happens in 2018 could determine his future in Dallas and in the NFL. A dominant, solid season would probably result in a juicy long-term extension for the young field general while a poor performance will leave the Cowboys' coaching staff and front office thinking about how to address the quarterback position.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's talk strictly about the 2018 season. Through 32 starts, Dak Prescott has yet to win over a large portion of Cowboys' fans. After last year's 9-7 campaign, #4 has many doubters.
Playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys comes with a spotlight so bright that not even a 22-10 record through his first 32 games will convince some fans that he deserves to be this team's definite starter. In fact, some have even gone as far as suggesting taking a closer look at Cooper Rush and Mike White, and giving them an opportunity to fight for the starting job.
I'm not going to say this is surprising, because it's not. Heck, some fans will only remember Tony Romo as the guy who botched the snap in Seattle. After more than 20 years without a ring, it's very hard to satisfy some in Cowboys Nation.
I will say, however, that Dak Prescott is and should be the 2018 Dallas Cowboys' unquestionable starting quarterback. Forget about any "QB controversy" taking a hold of the team's quarterback room. He's earned the right to prove himself.
2017 was tough, sure. It was for the entire team. Ezekiel Elliott was suspended, and Dak had to play without his offense's most dangerous weapon. Tyron Smith's injury forced him to deal with pass rushers without his premium bodyguard, playing constantly under pressure.
That said, Dak deserves the criticism. There is no denying that he did, in fact, suffer from a sophomore slump, regardless of the circumstances. That doesn't mean that there should be controversy at the QB position in Dallas. It means something much, much more simple.
Dak Prescott needs to get better.
He needs to work on his game and get ready to operate an offense with a lot of new wide receivers and tight ends. He has to be able to prove he can take it to the next level when his team needs him to do so. While 2017 was barely a winning season and one that didn't result in a playoff berth, Dak improved in various areas of his game, even while the team as a whole struggled.
There is no reason to believe he won't continue to improve in 2018. There is a learning curve for NFL quarterbacks. Even guys like Peyton Manning - who threw 23 interceptions in 2001 - go through this.
Dak deserves the opportunity to play with a secured starting job in 2018 for him to prove he's the franchise quarterback the team is looking for. Forger about Cooper Rush and Mike White for now. This year is all about Dak Prescott.
If Dak fails to deliver and has a disastrous season, then the team should start thinking about how to proceed in 2019. In that case, the position should be seriously evaluated. But now? Why move on from a quarterback who just two seasons ago saved the Cowboys' season after Romo went down in preseason? All because he struggled during his second season? I mean, there is a reason why the "sophomore slump" term even exists.
Don't forget how hard it is to find capable quarterbacks in this league. Prescott is not a top 10 QB in the NFL. He's not Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady. But he has the potential to be the franchise quarterback the Cowboys need to get the much desired sixth Lombardi Trophy.
2017 will serve Dak Prescott as a humbling experience. For him, it's all about returning America's Team to its glory and put them in position to make a Super Bowl run. Before discussing benching him for a guy who has played three preseason games, let Dak show what he's got in his third season in the NFL.
Cowboys Nation, it's high time we all trust #4.
Maliek Collins Activated From PUP, Cowboys’ Front 7 Looking Great
There are tons of reasons to be excited about the Dallas Cowboys' defense with the regular season less than a month away. The most recent one is Defensive Tackle Maliek Collins is coming off the PUP list after passing his physical and is now activated and practicing.
After suffering another foot injury in May, Collins had to undergo surgery and his return to the roster before the season began was questionable. But things are looking good now as the Cowboys expect him to be ready for week 1 versus the Carolina Panthers.
On the same day he was taken off PUP, Maliek Collins is participating in pre-practice walkthrough. Not sure what that means for his practice regimen, but that's a positive sign #cowboyswire
Collins missed quite some time, so one has to wonder how fast he will be reincorporated to the defense and whether or not he'll get back his starting role or not. The defensive tackle room seems to be loaded with various talent that should be capable of at least giving #96 a tough competition before he can reclaim his spot as if he hadn't been missing any practices.
David Irving may not be a factor on the roster until he comes back from suspension prior to week 5's match-up against the Houston Texans, but there are other young players Collins should be expecting to fight for the starting role.
Antwaun Woods, Jihad Ward, Brian Price and Datone Jones will provide this team with an interesting debate going forward. But even if not one DT emerges as a clear-cut starter above the rest, the Cowboys have serious depth at the position.
To be honest, the entire front seven is very exciting. Not only do the Cowboys count with good DTs, but just take a look at the defensive end room. Led by 2017 second-team All-Pro DeMarcus Lawrence, there is also a deep group of DEs.
Randy Gregory is coming back after a long comeback journey and should earn a lot more snaps as the season progressing. Taco Charlton has made a ton of progress and fourth-round rookie Dorance Armstrong isn't far behind. Not to mention captain Tyrone Crawford, who despite being criticized by many due to his huge contract, is a more than decent DE.
Now, let's talk about the linebackers for a moment here. Before the 2018 NFL Draft, this was seen as one of the weakest units on the team. Fast forward to mid-August and this should be one of the most exciting groups on the team.
Sean Lee will be playing alongside a Jaylon Smith that we've never seen before. Smith is doing things that he wouldn't been able to do a season ago. What he's shown in training camp and through one preseason game should have any Cowboys' fan eager to watch him play in a regular season game. The Jaylon Smith the front office envisioned when taking a risk on him in the 2016 NFL Draft has arrived.
Also in the mix is first round pick Leighton Vander Esch. We haven't been able to watch a lot of playing time from him but we'll sure do pretty soon. He's a week 1 contributor who will play behind what could be one of the best LB duos in the entire NFL.
And just like in the defensive line, the depth seems to be great. Joe Thomas and Damien Wilson have shown what they're capable of and they could be more than special team bodies when needed.
The Dallas Cowboys shouldn't be very concerned about their front seven going forward. It's loaded with talent and even if they rotate their players a lot, this seems like a group that will give any offense a big headache.
Dallas Cowboys Sign WR Darren Carrington Following Workout in Oxnard
The Dallas Cowboys have signed another one of the six players worked out on Monday in Oxnard, adding to their already deep group of wide receivers. Most recently with Utah, Pac-12 Wide Receiver Darren Carrington has signed with the team.
Carrington began his college career at Oregon, where he was on track to make it to the NFL before being dismissed from the Ducks for a DUI. This led Carrington to Utah, where he played as a graduate transfer and put up a team high 908 yards and six touchdowns on 70 receptions last season.
Cowboys signing former Utah WR Darren Carrington, per source.
At 6021 (6' 2 1/8") and 199 pounds, Carrington is yet another athletic target with long speed for the Cowboys to work into their new-look offense. He joins Ricky Jeune as the second receiver added to the team in training camp, bringing the number of WRs on the roster to 11.
Marchie Murdock, who had two catches for the Cowboys in their preseason opener, was waived (with an injury designation) prior to these roster moves.
Dallas Cowboys Workout 6 Players, Sign OL Jacob Alsadek
The Dallas Cowboys did not receive good news on first-year offensive lineman Marcus Martin, as his injury suffered in San Francisco will likely require season-ending surgery. Martin was signed this offseason as a backup guard/center, and without him the Cowboys have a need for further depth up front. Working out six players at positions of need today, the team has signed former Arizona lineman Jacob Alsadek.
Congratulations to #TeamDEC client @jacobalsadek on signing with @dallascowboys
This is Alsadek's second stop in the NFL, as he spent most of May with the Green Bay Packers before being released. Alsadek was the cut when the Packers signed former Cowboys Tackle Byron Bell.
Players Cowboys worked out today: Darren Carrington, WR Jacob Alsadek, OL Daronte Bouldin, OL Dominick Sanders, S Ryan Murphy, S Deron Washington, S
The 6'7", 312 pound guard went undrafted in this year's AT&T Stadium hosted draft. He was set to play in the Alliance of American Football League, with an inaugural season scheduled for February.
Now, he's a member of America's Team with a real chance to compete for a backup spot on the best offensive line in the league.
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