The Dallas Cowboys have long been known as America's Team. This distinction is in large part due to the fact that the organization has one of the largest fan base in not only Northern America, but the world.
I always think it's really cool when I get a comment or even a tweet from a fan living in a different country. It really hits home just how far the Cowboys brand reaches and how popular the sport of football actually is.
One thing that I've noticed here recently is how optimistic the Cowboys fans are heading into the 2016 season. It's almost like they have completely forgotten that their starting quarterback (Tony Romo) and projected backup quarterback (Kellen Moore) are both out for an undetermined amount of time.
Don't get me wrong, but when your top two QBs are injured, it usually falls into the category of worst thing that can possibly happen to your team.
Now, I'm a glass half full type of person, but there are still a lot of unknowns in regards to the Cowboys roster and how certain players will perform heading into the Week 1 matchup against the New York Giants.
Optimism is always a great thing to have, but sometimes we have to come back down to earth and look at things realistically. As a Cowboys fan myself, I like to expect the best, while preparing myself for the worst.
Please bear with me while I try to share why we should all be cautious with our optimism heading into the 2016 season for the Dallas Cowboys.
Is Dak Prescott the real deal?
Dak Prescott has been just short of perfect in a Dallas Cowboys uniform as a rookie. His impressive performance alone is the reason why there is so much optimism heading into the season opener, despite Tony Romo's injury.
If Prescott can continue to play the way he has been so far, then the Dallas Cowboys and their fans should have nothing to worry about.
Part of me wants to believe that this is the real Dak Prescott, but there's another side of me that worries that what we have seen is just a flash in the pan.
There is no way of knowing for sure what he will look like once he squares off against a defense that has actually come up with a game plan for him and the Cowboys' offense. We will have to wait and see if he is the real deal or not.
Can he continue to impress when the pressure is on? I sure hope so.
Can Ezekiel Elliott live up to expectations?
There's probably not another player on the entire Cowboys roster that can help Dak Prescott more than Ezekiel Elliott.
I think we can all pretty much agree that a successful running game can help open up the entire offense, thus taking the pressure off the QB from having to carry the team on his shoulders.
Elliott is still just a rookie, but there have already been expectations placed on him that he will be one of the top running backs in the NFL. Can he live up to these expectations?
Well, if the small sample size we saw against the Seattle Seahawks is any indication of the type of RB he will be, then the Cowboys running game should once again be the driving force of the entire offense.
Still, like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott is still just a rookie and we should all be a little cautious with our expectations for him in 2016.
Will the pass rush come out of hiding?
Come out, come out, wherever you are. Is the pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys playing hide and seek or what?
Okay, maybe it's not the entire defense because there has been pressure provided by the defensive tackles, but the Cowboys defensive ends has to be a major concern, especially if you have been paying attention to any of these preseason games.
I don't think anyone can say at this point who the starting defensive ends will be or even if the Cowboys actually know, but something needs to be done and pronto.
David Irving has shown promise, but his best position is at defensive tackle. Benson Mayowa has only played a few snaps against the Seahawks, so he's still a little bit of an unknown. Unfortunately, nobody else has really answered the call.
I guess the phone will just continue to ring until somebody finally answers. HELLO… Is anyone out there?
Are the young linebackers ready to step up?
I wouldn't be one bit surprised if the Cowboys added a veteran middle linebacker sometime soon. The majority of the LB's on the roster are more of the weak side type, so the team is thin at the MLB.
They tried to address this when they brought back Justin Durant, but he hasn't looked at all like the player he was the last time he wore a star on his helmet.
Well, there you have it. Although I'm an optimist at heart and have a half glass full point of view on most things, I'm taking more of the cautious approach until some of my concerns can be answered.
I won't hold anything against you if you are one of the fans that are overly optimistic that everything will work out just fine (I wish I was), but if you share any of my concerns, you might want to curb your expectations just a little.
Do you agree or disagree with my concerns?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.