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Cowboys’ Next Generation Has To Deliver

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Cowboys' Next Generation Has To Deliver 3

The Dallas Cowboys are transitioning into a new age following an exodus of the old guard that failed to end the club’s Super Bowl drought. Jason Garrett’s men boasted talent on their roster, featuring a potent offense led by Tony Romo. Future Hall of Famer Jason Witten was arguably the most consistent player at his position for a decade, while Dez Bryant was truly dominant on the outside and in the end zone.

However, the ability did not always match success on the field, with the club failing to progress beyond the Divisional Round of the post-season. The transition into the new era began when Dak Prescott shined in the absence of Romo, hastening his departure to the broadcast booth.

Bryant’s exit was not as harmonious, as he was released in April as his production displayed signs of decline in the 2017 season. Witten is expected to join Romo on television, with reports suggesting that he will join ESPN’s team for the 2018 campaign.

There is pressure on Prescott along with Ezekiel Elliott to bring success back to Dallas, although the NFC East will be more competitive than ever next season. The reigning Super Bowl champion, Philadelphia Eagles, aim to repeat as winners of the NFC East, with the Cowboys backed at 15/4 in the odds provided by Betway as of May 2nd.

There is a huge challenge ahead of Garrett and his new core of players to revive the fortunes of the franchise.

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4 thoughts on the super busy 2019 Dallas Cowboys so far https://t.co/VZmNVwBlOR

Offense

The Cowboys struggled last season on the offensive side of the ball after being rocked by Elliott’s six-game suspension. The team was fresh off an impressive win over the Kansas City Chiefs before the ban was reinstated. Dallas was well positioned at 5-3 in their season but then lost three games on the bounce, losing ground to the Eagles. Although they posted a 9-7 record it was not good enough for a post-season berth due to the competitive nature of the NFC Conference.

Prescott was not able to elevate his performance in the absence of Elliott, while Bryant struggled to provide the separation needed to be a viable threat downfield. Even Witten was not quite on song, as his age finally began to tell on the field. Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams were not able to rise to the occasion, with the offense failing to find a rhythm without their star man.

Elliott will be back for the 2018 campaign and will be keen to re-establish his reputation as the elite back in the NFL. He will have company in the NFC East with Saquon Barkley’s arrival at the New York Giants. The 22-year-old will have ample motivation and he has the talent to lead the club back to the post-season. Prescott has to return to his 2016 form.

Allen Hurns could provide an upgrade over Bryant’s performance in 2017, but the 24-year-old is not working with the most talented receiving corp in the division. He will have to raise his standards to match those of Carson Wentz and the rest of the elite in the NFC Conference.

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Defense

DeMarcus Lawrence made the leap into an elite pass-rusher last season, notching 14.5 sacks. He has to become a consistent 10-sack player to lead the Cowboys’ defense forward. DeMarcus Ware led the way for many years before his departure in 2014. Dallas selected Lawrence in the second round of the 2014 Draft in the hope that he could fill the void. Another fine campaign is required, which will convince Jerry Jones to hand the defensive end a lucrative long-term deal.

When healthy Sean Lee has been a standout in the middle of the Cowboys’ defense, Lee has been a tackling machine but he has not been as effective as he was earlier in his career.

Dallas made the move to select Leighton Vander Esch in the first round of the 2018 Draft. Vander Esch could take the pressure off Lee and allow him to become more of a factor behind the line of scrimmage next season. In the long-term, he is Lee’s successor and appears to have the attributes needed to thrive in Rod Marinelli’s unit, with enough speed to cope in the passing game and the power necessary to take on blocks against the run.

The building blocks are there for Dallas for the next generation but there has to be the urgency to secure a title that has eluded the Cowboys since 1995.



This is the General Staff account for Inside The Star, a blog for Dallas Cowboys news, scores, schedule, rumors, and analysis. We are the official home for @CowboysNation on Twitter. Follow us today for new content updates straight from our timeline. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Staff listing.

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Star Blog

NFC East QB Picture Could Look Very Different After the Draft

Mauricio Rodriguez

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NFC East QB Picture Could Look Very Different After the Draft

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Draft Day. One of the most wild days in the NFL calendar that surprises us year after year. Fake storylines and rumors fill our social media feeds, surprising trades ruin every Mock Draft available, and things that we believe to be true change at the last second. Of course, one of the most intriguing things to watch during the Draft is the search from a handful of teams for a franchise quarterback.

While the Dallas Cowboys are worried about paying their guy, a couple of teams in their division are concerned about getting a quarterback for the future. The New York Giants should be ready to prepare for life after Eli Manning and the Washington Redskins need to find an exciting young player if they don't want to depend on Case Keenum and/or Colt McCoy.

This year's QB class doesn't look as good as last year's, but there are a few intriguing prospects worth considering. Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) is expected to go to Arizona at the first pick but he isn't the only QB expected to be drafted in the first round. Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), Drew Lock (Missouri) and Daniel Jones (Duke) have all made appearances in many first round mock drafts.

So what could the Redskins and Giants do to change how the four starting quarterbacks of the division look like?

NFC East QB Picture Could Look Very Different After the Draft 1

Duke QB Daniel Jones (Grant Halverson / Getty Images)

New York Giants

Holding the sixth overall pick in today's NFL Draft, the Giants look like the perfect candidate to draft a quarterback. Last year, they had a similar opportunity sitting at number two but decided to go for the surefire prospect in RB Saquon Barkley. A year later, fans and analysts still question whether that was the right call or not. They took a top-tier player but didn't address the most important position in football. The bottom line is Barkley killed it in his first year in the NFL and even won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

This year though, it could be time for them to stop passing on quarterbacks and take advantage of their position in the Draft. The name that's been the most linked to the Giants is Dwayne Haskins. Matt Miller from Bleacher Report has even said the Giants have done more work on him than any other team out there. A big surprise in the mock draft universe came a few days ago when Daniel Jeremiah mocked Daniel Jones at #6 to the Giants instead of Haskins.

The Giants could not have an easy task ahead of them if they do want Haskins. The Oakland Raiders at #4 are a threat to draft a QB along with many other teams that could be willing to trade up for the Ohio Sate product. Don't be surprised if the Giants need to move up to secure their guy.

The question remains: Does Giants GM Dave Gettleman want to be aggressive and draft a signal-caller even with Eli Manning still playing? Some say he will, some say he won't. We'll have to wait and see.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins are far more intriguing than the Giants. First of all, they hold the 15th pick. If they want to draft a first round quarterback, chances are they'll be forced to trade up. Although every year we think quarterbacks won't go early, there's a reason why most are taken by teams that traded up to get in position.

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Just talked to a Redskins source who told me Dan Snyder has "taken over the first round of the draft." The last time that happened the Redskins traded two future No. 1's and a No. 2 to move up for Robert Griffin.

If the Raiders end up pulling a big-time trade during the Draft to get into the Top 5, we know what position they'll be looking at. Whether it's Haskins at the top of the round or Lock or Jones a bit later, make no mistake about it. The Redskins could be searching for a QB. Keenum isn't the answer and neither is McCoy. With Alex Smith's playing career being in question, looking for a quarterback only makes sense.

Then there's Josh Rosen. Assuming the Cardinals do what has been expected all along and take Murray, Rosen is going to get traded. Both the Giants and the Redskins could be among the potential destinations for the 2018 first-round pick.

✭✭✭

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys are the favorites to be the contenders within the NFC East division. However, we can't ignore the fact that the Redskins were doing pretty well prior to Alex Smith's injury in 2018. The Giants didn't do well, but they've gone a long way in improving their offensive line and count with a great running back in Saquon. Both teams could look very different with a change at QB.

If they do end up drafting a rookie QB or going after Josh Rosen, the NFC East QB picture could become one of the most intriguing and promising ones in the entire NFL. Then we'd be talking about one of the most competitive divisions in the league.

Tell me what you think about "NFC East QB Picture Could Look Very Different After the Draft" 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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The Cowboys Don’t Pick In Tonight’s 1st Round, And They’re Fine With That

Kevin Brady

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Amari Cooper has Final Say on Trade Compensation in Cowboys Win 3

The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft gets underway tonight. On ABC primetime this year, the draft is as popular and flashy as it ever has been. Thousands will watch the commissioner read names from a card Thursday night, but the Dallas Cowboys likely won't be involved whatsoever.

And they're totally ok with that.

The Cowboys, of course, used their 2019 first round pick on former Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper. Cooper helped to awake an offense which had been abysmal prior to his arrival, opening up the passing offense and unlocking quarterback Dak Prescott's best abilities.

Stephen Jones spoke to the Dallas Morning News this week, giving his reasoning for why he is comfortable with not having a first round pick this year.

"I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody that would’ve made a difference on our roster like Amari made last year and like we feel like he’s going to make as me move forward" - Stephen Jones

Of course, he's correct. At least partially. Dallas went 7-2 after the Amari Cooper trade, winning a home playoff game while Cooper put up dominating statistics. Cooper quickly became the Cowboys' most prolific target in the passing game and added an element they so dearly missed during the first half of 2018.

Still, though, not having four (plus one) years of a first round pick on a rookie deal is never ideal. You'd like to have the chance to add that young talent on the cheap. Instead, the Cowboys will need to give Amari Cooper a big payday quickly.

There's no debating that the Amari Cooper trade has been a success for the Dallas Cowboys, however. He's the undisputed WR1 in Dallas, and had instant chemistry with young quarterback Dak Prescott.

You can't help but be excited to see how those two grow together moving forward.



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Are Ezekiel Elliott And Dak Prescott A Package-Deal?

Kevin Brady

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Dallas Cowboys Still Plagued by Red Zone Struggles

Dak and Zeke went viral again this week. Once again, together.

This time, the Cowboys franchise quarterback Dak Prescott was feeding his running back Ezekiel Elliott at a Dallas Stars playoff game, shoveling popcorn down the All Pro's mouth.

It was yet another fun Twitter moment from the Cowboys' star backfield duo, as they have enjoyed more success in their first three seasons together than most fans ever could have imagined back in 2016.

The honeymoon is just about over, though. It's year four for both Prescott and Elliott. Time to take the next step in the postseason and start competing for championships. This also means it's nearing contract time as well.

Elliott knows he'll be a Cowboy for at least two more seasons. The front office picked up his fifth year option earlier this week, ensuring they'd have the elite-level running back through the 2020 season. Prescott's contract, on the other hand, currently expires after 2019. And despite all of the success he's had at quarterback during his young career, he's still on that fourth round salary.

Both Jerry and Stephen Jones has made it known the Cowboys believe in Prescott moving forward. Both have repeatedly said he will be extended in the near future. And if all goes according to plan, Prescott will be the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys for a very long time.

They've also fully backed Elliott. And while just about no one would argue that Prescott is better at his position than Elliott is at his, his position is much less valuable to the offense. Yes, even to this offense. One which is predicated on running the football and controlling the clock.

Quarterbacks are still king, and the money Prescott is set to receive proves that point even further.

It's no secret these two players are great friends, and each heralded leaders in the Cowboys locker room. It would be a tall task for this front office to extend one, while bailing on the other. And by all accounts, the Cowboys have no plan on doing so.

Prescott and Elliott seem like a package-deal in the Cowboys backfield. Quarterback and running back next to one another for as long as they are apart of America's Team.

At least, that's the plan.



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