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Cowboys’ Pass Rush: Who Will Be QB Sack Leader In 2017?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys' Pass Rush: Who Will Be QB Sack Leader In 2017?

The Dallas Cowboys pass rush will be under heavy scrutiny throughout the remainder of the off-season, which is why the majority of Cowboys' fans will be paying extra close attention to training camp this year. There's really no way of determining how things will turn out just yet, but I decided to share with you who I think could possibly lead the team in quarterback sacks in 2017.

We are all hoping the Cowboys' pass rush will improve this season and that the defense can effectively apply pressure to opposing QB's. The Cowboys have some pieces to work with, but there is still that element of unknown.

I decided to break this up into three categories: the most logical candidate, the dark horse, and the player who is still a little bit under the radar. Continue reading below to find out who the three Cowboys' pass rushers are I personally think could lead the team in QB sacks in 2017.

Most Logical Candidate

Benson MayowaA week ago if you would've asked me who the most logical candidate to be the Dallas Cowboys 2017 quarterback sack leader is, I would've told you I think it would be David Irving. But, he is going to miss the first four games this season due to a suspension, so that seems a little unlikely now.

My next logical candidate would be DeMarcus Lawrence, since he is probably going to be the starter at one of the defensive end positions when the season kicks off. But, he has only had more than one QB sack once in the regular season in his entire career. Plus, he will be coming off his second back surgery, which is never a good thing.

No, my choice for the most logical candidate is Benson Mayowa, the best Cowboys' pass rusher in 2016. Mayowa finished the 2016 season strong after climbing out of the doghouse from earlier in the season, finishing with a career-high six QB sacks. He should once again be the Cowboys' pass rush specialist, and hopefully pick up where he left off last season.

The Dark Horse Candidate

Damontre MooreThe Cowboys' pass rush is a big unknown right now, so there are number of different directions I could have went here as to who the dark horse candidate to lead the team in QB sacks will be. But, I ultimately decided to go with Damontre Moore. Yes, I know he's a longshot to even make the team, but supposedly he's been pretty impressive so far in practice.

Moore has been a journeyman defensive end so far in his NFL career after being selected in the third round by the New York Giants back in 2013. He hasn't really been able to find a home so far, but he's hoping that Dallas will be his last stop.

Moore has the talent to make the Cowboys' pass rush better, but for some reason or another he hasn't been able to live up to his potential just yet. He is a chance to start at the right defensive end position for the Cowboys, which is why I believe he could end up being the 2017 sack leader.

Under the Radar Candidate

Maliek Collins

Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

My under the radar candidate to lead the Dallas Cowboys in QB sacks in 2017 had a fantastic season last year, but is often left out of the conversation when discussing the Cowboys' pass rush. It's a little bit odd, because he finished second on the team with five QB sacks in 2016, but it probably has a lot to do with the position he plays.

It's not often defensive tackles lead their team in sacks, but that's what could possibly happen this season if Maliek Collins picks up where he left off after his rookie season. Collins will once again be the starter at the 3-technique and there is reason to expect quite a bit of improvement from him entering his second year.

Collins will have the benefit of a full off-season with the Cowboys, after having to miss out on that opportunity last year due to a broken foot. He should also be quicker/stronger after a year in the strength and conditioning program. He has already been giving All-Pro offensive guard Zack Martin all he can handle in practice, which is encouraging considering Martin is arguably the best OG in the entire NFL.

Who do you think will lead the Cowboys in QB sacks?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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Dak Prescott Impresses, Draws Compliments All Minicamp Long

Kevin Brady

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Dak Prescott and Coaches Both to Blame for Cowboys Offensive Woes
James D. Smith via AP

Dak Prescott stood before the media Thursday in a Stetson Cowboy hat, answering questions about his upcoming contract extension.

“I’ve got my cowboy hat on, so I’m a Cowboy, we’ll say that.”

Prescott has cemented himself as the franchise quarterback of America's Team, and now it's time for the franchise to pay him like it. Set to earn roughly $34 million per year (according to recent rumors/reports), Prescott is going to be a very rich and comfortable man in the near future.

But, for now, he still plays under his fourth round rookie contract. You wouldn't be able to tell by watching him on the field, however. Though it was just minicamp, Prescott was impressive as ever over the last couple weeks of practice, earning praise from all levels within the organization.

Veteran Jason Witten complimented both Prescott's anticipation and accuracy, saying his throws have been "off the charts" at minicamp. Prescott himself said that this is the best he's felt since he's entered the league, and it certainly makes sense for this to be the case.

"Is it three years under my belt or just seeing defenses a whole lot more clear, being quicker and faster in everything I want to do, having great teammates around me? Who really knows the answer, but I feel great. I feel confident, and my teammates do, as well.” - Prescott to DallasCowboys.com

If Prescott was ever going to be comfortable, hungry, and ready to go, this is likely the time that it would happen. He has three relatively successful seasons under his belt, and ended 2018 on the best stretch of his career. He is the unquestioned starting quarterback for this team, and has the backing of every key decision maker in the building.

Prescott now has an offensive coordinator who he has not only worked closely with (in some capacity) since he entered the league in 2016, but is also being lauded for his creativity as an offensive mastermind. His quarterbacks coach, Jon Kitna, has been receiving similar praise for how he can coach up Prescott and get his footwork consistent, to help him "throw it through a Fruit Loop."

The time is now for Dak Prescott, and it's encouraging to see how he is responding to this increased pressure and responsibility. Then again we should have no doubt that he will respond positively, as he as throughout his entire young career.

Whenever faced with adversity, Prescott has answered the bell. Now he has all the supporters he needs, and just needs to prove them right.



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Does RB Ezekiel Elliott Have A Chance At NFL MVP?

Kevin Brady

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Ezekiel Elliott

Who is the Cowboys best player?

A question debated seemingly daily on social media, most fans seem to center their arguments around the same few names. Dak Prescott, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Ezekiel Elliott.

As a running back, it's quite possible that Elliott is both the best of that bunch and the least important to the team's overall success. NFL.com's Adam Schein disagrees with the latter statement, however, placing Ezekiel Elliott among his top ten contenders for 2019 NFL MVP.

"I think the Cowboys are going to challenge for the Super Bowl in 2019 -- and I think Zeke fuels this team. When Elliott runs for 95-plus yards, the Cowboys are 19-4; when he falls below that benchmark, they're 9-8." - Adam Schein

Schein's prediction will no doubt make Cowboys Nation swoon, but does Elliott really have the opportunity to compete for an MVP award?

For one, this would require the Cowboys be among the best teams in the league this season. It's quite possible, as they did win 10 regular season and 1 playoff game a year ago, but it will have to happen once again for Elliott to be considered.

Next, Ezekiel Elliott would have to put up incredible numbers. Well, it's safe to assume this will likely be the case if condition one is met. Elliott is going to get a lot of opportunities to touch the ball each game, and finding himself among the league's rushing leaders has never been an issue for the young running back. Especially if the team has a lead and is running the ball to kill clock.

Even if both these conditions prove true, though, Elliott will still have trouble getting himself in the real MVP discussion. These awards tend to go to certain positions, and running back is not among that list. If Dallas has such a successful 2019, and their offense is clicking, it's more likely Dak Prescott will be the one contending for that MVP honor.

I know to some it sounds crazy, but Prescott will likely need to be closer to MVP level than Elliott if the Cowboys are to contend in the way Adam Schein suggests in his article.

So, likely, Schein should have named Prescott among his top ten MVP contenders, not Elliott.



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Amari Cooper Says He’s Focused On Football, Not His Next Contract

Kevin Brady

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Report: Cowboys Waiting Until After Season for Amari Cooper Contract Talks 1

It seems like all anyone has talked about this offseason is who the Cowboys should re-sign, and how they can go about doing so.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, of course, is heavily involved in those conversations. The Cowboys used their 2019 first round pick to trade for the Pro Bowl wide out last season, and Cooper's emergence helped to turn their struggling offense around immediately.

In just 9 games with the Cowboys last season, he caught 53 passes for 725 yards and 6 touchdowns. He quickly gained the trust of quarterback Dak Prescott, and exhibited a chemistry with the young passer that no one else really has to this point. Outside of maybe Cole Beasley in 2016, perhaps.

While the football world seems to be focusing on what Amari Cooper's contract will look like after 2019, the receiver himself claims to be solely focused on the upcoming season. Cooper spoke with ESPN's Todd Archer about this very subject, emphasizing where his mind lies at this time.

"I just handle my business...I'm more anxious about camp and actually playing football." - Amari Cooper.

Amari Cooper has just one year left on his contract as he plays under the fifth year option from his rookie deal. Cooper will make $13.9 million this season, putting him behind some of the league's other WR1s like Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and DeAndre Hopkins.

There had been speculation around whether any of the Cowboys left with just one year on their contract would hold-out through parts of offseason activity, but Cooper alluded that it never seemed to cross his mind.

"I just want to get better and I love football. That's why I'm here" - Cooper.

Of course, Amari Cooper will play a huge role in the Cowboys offense in 2019. Combining him with a second year version of Michael Gallup, and new versatile threats like Tony Pollard and Randall Cobb, will help make the Dallas passing game as multiple as it's been in years.

The Cowboys will eventually need to get Amari Cooper locked up long term, but for the time being it seems like both he and the franchise are more focused on what will happen on the field in 2019 than in the negotiating room next Spring.



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