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A Lot Has Changed Since Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston Last Faced Off

Kevin Brady



A Lot Has Changed Since Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston Last Faced Off

Two years ago, around this time of year, the 8-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers geared up to face the 11-2 Dallas Cowboys. It was flexed to Sunday Night Football, it was for critical playoff positioning, and it featured two young stars at the quarterback position.

At that time I wrote an article outlining the paths Dak Prescott and Jameis Winston had taken to that game. One the first overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner, the other a fourth round pick thought of as the next Tim Tebow in some draft circles.

Despite their vastly unique paths, they were each the starting quarterbacks of their respective teams, and thought to be the future of each franchise. Both were considered to be part of the future of the NFC playoff picture as well, with talk radio raging over "who would you start your franchise with" conversations.

Fast forward to 2018 and a lot has changed.

Are we sure either of these guys are franchise quarterbacks?

This is now the question that is being asked.

Winston, the former first overall pick, had his fifth year option picked up by the Bucs, but many are wondering loudly if that should be his last season in Tampa Bay. After all, how can you justify extending a quarterback who has been so inconsistent on the field and bone-headed off of it.Jameis Winston, Buccaneers

Still, you see the promise in Winston at times, in very rare flashes. For the most part, however, Winston has been a turnover prone gambler who's execution does not outweigh his drawbacks thus far.

Then there is Dak Prescott.

Also scheduled to be a free agent after the 2019 season, "should the Cowboys extend Dak Prescott" is a daily sports discussion among Cowboys Nation.

Despite a winning record in his first two seasons as a starter, and most likely two division titles in three years barring complete collapse, there are legitimate questions about whether you can win with Prescott if you are allocating QB1 money to him. He has struggled with his pocket presence and anticipation, and has also proven to be inaccurate at times.

With all that being said, Dak Prescott is still deserving of praise as well, and may prove to be worthy of the contract extension that is likely coming his way.

Ironically, I feel a lot better about having the fourth round quarterback than I would about having the former first overall pick right now. Prescott has proven to be a leader and clutch performer in ways which Winston really has not, and it's clear the Cowboys fight for Dak week in and week out. He's also much more valuable as a runner, and far more risk averse or turnover prone.

Both Prescott and Winston entered 2018 in "prove it" years of sorts. And while we still have questions about each, Dak Prescott has done more "proving it" in my mind.

Regardless, a loss Sunday would make things a whole lot more interesting in Dallas moving forward.

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.



  1. Ethan Chazin

    December 19, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    “Dak is more valuable as a runner” REALLY? I would say his potential is greater but the coaching refuses to use him in this capacity esp. when in red zone opportunities. Dak is much more mature, and less likely to embarrass the organization off the field and really that is what seems to matter most to Jerruh. Sure Dak possesses leadership qualities but I am not sure that he will warrant a contract extension at $110m+ and a 5-year commitment.

    • John Doe 123456789

      December 19, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      They pay dak 100 plus million and this team is done.

      • Bruce Hood

        December 19, 2018 at 5:41 pm

        Glad you’re not the owner. Most established QBs in the league didn’t rise to the level they are today in there first 3yrs. Drew Brees for one and Russell Wilson another. Tom Brady set on the bench and didn’t come in being a gun slinger. Again, get him a real OC that will call plays to his strengths and a real QB coach and this guy will soar. You all judge Dak based on people who have been in the league at established a least 7years. So unfair and I hope he gets 5 years 110 million. The Cowboys won’t be dead, get proper coaching in place and they will soar. You have written a death sentence on Dak and you will never see him getting better until you want to see him as being better. We will always be what we think we are and that also works for how we see people.There’s a lot of people who other people said they won’t amount to anything and that became motivation and Dak will prove you all wrong! Talk about the guy as if he was polished when he came in the league and judge him as if he’s Tom Brady and Tom still misses throws!

        • John Doe 123456789

          December 20, 2018 at 7:09 am

          Hahahaha Dak is not in the same universe as those guys. Dak is a cool dude and we all like cool handsome dudes but come on. There are other fish in the sea who can consistently throw 200 yards a game haha. Drew brees. God you are dumb. Also russell Wilson is way better and look what happened to the Seahawks once they overpaid him. They haven’t done anything.

          • Bruce Hood

            December 20, 2018 at 7:30 am

            I guess that’s why your name is John Doe, nobody knows who the heck you are. You totally misconstrued it what I was saying, never said he was those guys I just showed you a parallel of those guys didn’t come into the league knowing how to read defenses having all their mechanics in tack. it took time for them to develop. It’s just that you want to judge Dak who doesn’t have three yrs in the league As if he’s done, you are so off the page brother. You don’t know football because of a guy comes in the first two years two and a half years you decide all that’s what I got and you won’t look at what kind of coaching you’re giving this guy where his development is concerned. Coaching means everything just like parenting does with your children you big dummy! So stop being a hater and give people opportunities to develop, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, these guys had to develop coming into the league they were not spot on a top of the line top of the tier quarterbacks in the NFL when they started out even in the first two to three years. Also remember they had great coaching, coaching which is very important to a player’s development. Dak Prescott have the same thing, potential, resiliency, with the right coaching you’ll see that flourish in this guy. You never be in my front office on anything because once you see somebody in the first year or two you go ahead and label them.

            that’s what we got, what about some of the people in life that have done great things and people call them a failure before they fully developed and now they’re saying man I wish we would have kept that guy. people in the league that have said that about guys they just brushed off and wish they would have kept them because of right coaching brought out the best that was in them.

          • John Doe 123456789

            December 20, 2018 at 7:37 am

            You know who else didn’t do well their first few years in the league? Every other failed QB who isnt tom brady, drew brees, or rivers. That’s a weak argument. There are so many more examples of dudes not being very good to start who don’t become very good haha. That doesn’t just occur because fans want it to. The odds are against that argument big time.

          • John Doe 123456789

            December 20, 2018 at 7:48 am

            And here is the thing dude. You acknowledge he needs to develop. Why pay him 100 mil to develop. They give him 3 years and 45 mil and I’m on your side.

        • John Doe 123456789

          December 20, 2018 at 7:21 am

          Also, stop with the “dak needs this and Dak needs that” to be successful. Franchise qbs are guys who elevate the team. By that definition he does not deserve that money. Our passing offense has been garbage the whole time hes has been on the team. Our running game has always carried him. If you wanna marry the guy that’s fine but look at team passing stats all three years he has played. He is not even mediocre. And do no give me that qbr nonsense when he is “efficient” throwing dump off passes.

  2. Bruce Hood

    December 20, 2018 at 7:44 am

    One thing I learned about life is there’s no cure for stupid, John Doe that’s exactly what you are stupid! Every person in any Arena needs training you big dummy! want to be a computer programmer I don’t have that innate abilityin me, somebody trains me. Going to be a doctor I don’t just go in a hospital I have to go in and learn about the craft I’m getting involved in. Same with football Tom Brady needed Tools around him great coaching around him to bring the gift that was in him out. You don’t understand football and I don’t know where you working but I guarantee you unless you are self-employed and even if you’re self-employed you still learn your skills friend somebody. I don’t want to continue to respond to ignorance. I know that anything I do in life I have to be trained to become skilled at it and stay in pursuit of that skill that I want to achieve greatness in. I pray that that gets a five-year extension 110 million soda make your skin crawl. Go get paid Dak Prescott!

    • John Doe 123456789

      December 20, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Wow I’m inspired.

    • John Doe 123456789

      December 20, 2018 at 8:31 am

      Nice ron white reference too. Explains the whole thing about this conversation

    • John Doe 123456789

      December 20, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Also, I’m 28 making 95k a year. Not some redneck quoting ron white specials.

  3. Bruce Hood

    December 20, 2018 at 7:56 am

    John Doe I said I wasn’t going to respond back to you, there’s not a quarterback in the league that hadn’t had to develop when they came into the league. Your statement doesn’t make sense at all. You’re trying to say Tom Brady came into the league polished and he sit on the bench in New England behind Drew Bledsoe. Drew Brees came in playing for San Diego, trade it to Miami, then found Sean Payton in New Orleans. Everybody has to develop oh, you didn’t come out of your mother’s womb a 40 year old guy 50 year old guy. You have to learn how to walk and what if a baby that tried to take steps took two steps and fell and said okay walking doesn’t work. Development is something we will continue to do all the days of our life and if you think you’ve learned all you can learn you are the one that’s put a seal on any kind of accomplishment you can have in your life!

    • John Doe 123456789

      December 20, 2018 at 8:23 am

      Keep the personal attacks up haha. Just shows you lost the argument

      • John Doe 123456789

        December 20, 2018 at 8:24 am

        Guess rgiii and Quincy carter just needed to develop. Delusional

    • John Doe 123456789

      December 20, 2018 at 8:40 am

      Yeah I’m sure a bunch of players would like to be able to develop. This the nfl not some rec league. This is exactly what is wrong with dak fans. They love his personality and cannot see anything flaw. This is 100 mil. And computer programmers dont get paid like a CEO while developing. I am dumb got talking to you but man you are another level.

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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches

Mauricio Rodriguez



Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches
Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News

Lamentablemente, la temporada 2018 de los Dallas Cowboys ha llegado a su fin. Lo hizo cuando el equipo visitó Los Angeles para intentar sorprender a los Rams en su propio campo en la Ronda Divisional de los playoffs. Ni siquiera con una invasión exitosa de la afición de Dallas pudieron ganarse un pase al Campeonato de Conferencia. En vez de eso, los Cowboys estarán viendo desde casa y la afición estará preguntándose: ¿qué sigue para los Dallas Cowboys?

Parece ya una tradición anual que no podemos dejar pasar. Este momento en el que comenzamos a cuestionar, una vez más, que entrenador es digno de quedarse en la franquicia y cual debe irse. En esta edición de "Cowboys en Español," hablaremos específicamente de los tres principales coaches en el equipo.

Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli Should Be On The Hot Seat

Coordinador Defensivo Rod Marinelli

El futuro del coordinador defensivo de los Dallas Cowboys no se puede tratar sin mencionar a Kris Richard. Fue la defensiva la que llevó al equipo hasta la postemporada y fue la unidad que cargó al equipo en muchas de sus victorias. Incluso con la llegada de Amari Cooper a Dallas, la defensiva fue siempre el pilar de la franquicia esta temporada.

Jaylon Smith y Leighton Vander Esch sorprendentemente se perfilaron como uno de los mejores duos de linebackers en toda la liga, la línea defensiva fue muy exitosa con Randy Gregory y DeMarcus Lawrence en los extremos y con la grata sorpresa que fue Antwaun Woods en el centro. La secundaria vio la mejor temporada en la controversial carrera de Byron Jones e hizo un excelente trabajo con un talento decente, pero no genial.

Todo esto, y el haber terminado como la sexta mejor defensiva en puntos permitidos (20.2) y la quinta mejor contra la corrida (94.6), hace a Rod Marinelli merecedor de una ronda de aplausos. Sin embargo, Richard probablemente merezca más aplausos.

Fue Richard quien revolucionó la defensiva de los Cowboys y la convirtió en un grupo mucho más agresivo. Fue él quien implementó jugadas de "blitz" en el equipo (algo no común con Marinelli) y quien en un punto de la temporada, comenzó a seleccionar las jugadas desde la banda.

En esta posición, me parece que los Dallas Cowboys tienen que enfrentar la dura decisión de decirle a Marinelli que es tiempo de dejarle el puesto a Kris Richard. Si bien no se llevó un trabajo de head coach, es muy probable que le llovieran ofertas a Richard si no se hace con el título de coordinador defensivo en Dallas.

Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Dallas Cowboys OC Scott Linehan (Tim Heitman / USA TODAY Sports)

Coordinador Ofensivo Scott Linehan

Con un equipo tan polémico como este, la afición de Dallas no concuerda en muchas cosas. Sin embargo, lo hacen al hablar del pésimo trabajo que Scott Linehan ha realizado mandando las jugadas en ofensiva. Realmente ha sido doloroso de ver y es en mi opinión, el mayor problema que tiene el equipo actualmente.

Semana tras semana, fuimos testigos de pésimas decisiones en la ofensiva de los Cowboys. Vimos como el equipo se aferraba a llenar la caja de defensivos antes de correr el balón con Ezekiel Elliott. Vimos incontables pases pantalla en tercera oportunidad y largo. Pero no solo es lo que vimos, sino lo que no vimos.

A pesar de la innegable habilidad para correr el balón de Dak Prescott, Linehan se rehusó a explotar esta versatilidad de su QB. Vimos pocos "QB sneaks," jugada donde el mariscal toma el balón bajo centro y consigue poco yardage detrás del empuje de su línea ofensiva.

Siendo honestos, los Cowboys llevan dos años sufriendo por este coordinador. Dejarlo volver en el 2019 sería una decisión ridícula. Los comentarios en la radio de Jason Garrett no lucen prometedores, pero realmente sería una sorpresa que fueran ciertos. Linehan no debe volver... punto.

Jerry Jones Delivers Vote of Confidence in "Real Deal" Jason Garrett

Head Coach Jason Garrett

El futuro en esta posición será muy debatido durante los próximos meses, pero de los tres que hemos mencionado es sin lugar a dudas el más seguro de todos. Nos guste o no, Jason Garrett estará al frente del equipo la próxima temporada.

Garrett está lejos de ser un gran coach y aún le hace falta demostrar que puede cumplir las aspiraciones de los Cowboys de traer un sexto Trofeo Lombardi a casa. Pero siendo honesto, este equipo debería tener suficiente con Garrett y un par de buenos coordinadores. ¿El problema? No hay un par de buenos coordinadores en el equipo.

Sin embargo, Garrett ha demostrado que cuenta con el amor y apoyo de sus jugadores. Ha demostrado que efectivamente, puede ganar la división (lo ha hecho en tres de los últimos cinco años). Este año el equipo le dio la vuelta a la temporada después de comenzar 3-5.

Lo más preocupante en mi opinión, es la falta de urgencia para despedir a Linehan, por ejemplo. Quizá a puerta cerrada Garrett quiere un cambio en su staff, pero nunca lo sabremos.

Jason Garrett no es un coach excelente, pero podría ser suficiente para llevar a los Cowboys a un Super Bowl si tiene un equipo adecuado. Todo parece indicar que su trabajo está seguro (incluso más de lo que pensamos) así que es tiempo de esperar que se arreglen sus coordinadores.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Hablemos de los Coaches" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Star Blog

2018 Draft Class Season Review: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Kevin Brady



Leighton Vander Esch Lands on List of NFL's Top 10 Rookies

As the first round draft pick of America's Team, any player would be under a ton of pressure from all angles. Whether it's from the fans on the outside or the organization on the inside, the expectations around being a first round pick for the Cowboys are immense. But the pressure placed upon linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, from the second he was announced as the 19th overall draft pick, was second to none.

It felt like Cowboys Nation let out a collective groan when Vander Esch was taken, with fans hoping for a more glamorous first round selection. Someone like wide receiver Calvin Ridley or edge rusher Harold Landry would've done the trick, but after Vander Esch's rookie season it's hard to imagine either of those players would have had the impact Vander Esch did in 2018.

Though he didn't start a game until week 4, and didn't become the unquestioned full-time starting WILL until week 10, Vander Esch earned Pro Bowl honors for his rookie season. Tallying 140 total tackles and 2 interceptions, Vander Esch made his presence felt week in and week out.

No counting stats can fully measure Leighton Vander Esch's impact as a rookie, however.

Prior to the 2018 season, the Cowboys defensive success often came down to the health of Sean Lee. When available and playing at his best, Lee led an overachieving Cowboys defense to solid performances each week. But, when Lee went out (as he often did), the entire Cowboys defense seemed to fall apart.5 Studs and Duds From the Dallas Cowboys 2018 Season

This year, though, that all changed. When Sean Lee was out with injury the Cowboys defense got better. Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith became a versatile, hard hitting tandem the NFL immediately feared, and helped to direct the Cowboys defense to signature wins throughout the 2018 season.

There are arguments against taking any off-ball linebacker in the first round, as the value of the position has been questioned due to the new style of offense in the NFL. Nowadays linebackers are relegated to two-down players, taken off the field in favor of faster defensive backs on critical passing downs.

Leighton Vander Esch is athletic enough to be both an old school run stopper, but also a three down linebacker in today's fast paced NFL.

Despite the doubts which surrounded the pick, the Cowboys absolutely nailed their first round selection in 2018. And Leighton Vander Esch made Dallas' front office look like geniuses each and every Sunday.

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Star Blog

What Is The Cowboys Most Pressing Offseason Need?

Kevin Brady



Can we Believe General Manager Jerry Jones?

Finishing their season with a Division Round loss, Dallas Cowboys fans are getting a somewhat late start on the 2019 offseason. Of course, we'd much rather a later start, but the results are what they are.

Now Dallas must get better, and re-tool before heading into Dak Prescott's fourth season, and the Cowboys' 2019 campaign. Though they didn't feel all that close to a championship this season, looking around the roster, it's actually tough to identify one key need the Cowboys must address.

They are filled with young, talented players that they have high hopes for across the board. And in the places they are "older," such as across the offensive line, they have established veterans who aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

So what is the Cowboys' most pressing offseason need?

Well, despite already using their 2019 first round pick to address it, the answer very well might be wide receiver.

Adding Amari Cooper midseason provided a massive jolt to the Cowboys previously anemic passing attack, but on his own he is not enough to take this passing game to where it needs to be to compete in this new NFL.

Third round pick Michael Gallup is going to be a very good pro, and progressed really well as his rookie season went on. I think he can play opposite Amari Cooper nicely, and be the number two option in the passing game going forward.

Though arguably their best wide out against man coverage, Cole Beasley is a free agent, and if the reports are true about Scott Linehan returning in 2019 it could very well mean Beasley will not be opting to sign back with Dallas.

Regardless of Beasley's decision, however, the Cowboys need to seriously evaluate their pass catchers heading into next season.

This is a passing league. The rules have dictated that you must be able to pass the ball efficiently if you want to compete with the best of the best around the NFL. To take the next step in their progression, and reach an NFC title game and/or Super Bowl, Dak Prescott will need to have as explosive a group of pass catchers as possible.

The Cowboys have already taken solid steps to making this a reality, but another move or two this offseason could go a long way to putting Dallas in the conversation with teams like the Rams and the Saints in 2019.

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