The Dallas Cowboys offense was in disarray the majority of the 2017 season. With the offseason already underway, there are more questions than answers about how to get the offense back on track. The place I would start is at the quarterback position, with Dak Prescott.
The quarterback position is arguably the most important position for any team.
How well the QB plays typically determines the performance of the entire offense. Dak Prescott's struggles in 2017 resulted in a ripple effect that was felt throughout the entire Cowboys offense. But, I don't think it's entirely Prescott's fault.
You see, the Cowboys coaching staff has failed to really change the offense since Dak Prescott took over as the starting QB. Everything still looks pretty much the same as it did when Tony Romo was under center, with the exception of a few wrinkles added for Prescott.
That, of course, needs to change in order to put #4 in a better position to succeed.
If the Dallas Cowboys truly believe Dak Prescott is their franchise QB, then they need to start rebuilding their offense around him, because unfortunately, this team was built for Tony Romo.
Let me show you what I mean:
- The game plan seems to be written in stone. That was okay when you had a veteran QB like Tony Romo. He was much more advanced at reading defenses pre-snap and knowing how to exploit them. Prescott hasn't developed to that stage in his career yet.
- Also, play calling hasn't changed much since Prescott took over for Romo. There have been a few wrinkles added to incorporate Prescott's mobility (run/pass options and zone reads), but nothing else has really changed. There has been absolutely no creativity to play to Prescott's strengths.
- The personnel is nearly the same as it was with Tony Romo. The Cowboys haven't brought in any new toys/playmakers to help their young QB. They are depending on the same players they brought in to suit Romo's skill set.
As you can see, it's not hard to imagine why Dak Prescott has had a hard time fitting in the Cowboys offense. He was simply inserted into a unit that was built for someone else, and it's just not a good fit for him.
Yes, you can argue Prescott found success as a rookie with the same personnel, but I think we all know Ezekiel Elliott had a lot to do with that.
We saw firsthand what the offense looks like once you take Elliott out of the equation.
Without Elliott, teams took away Prescott's favorite target in 2016, Cole Beasley, which exposed how much the Cowboys wide receivers don't really fit his skill set. Both Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams aren't known as players who create separation, meaning they have to be thrown open.
Unfortunately, this is an area where Dak Prescott is still developing. He prefers to hold on to the ball in hopes of finding the open receiver, but he still has time to improve in this area.
The best way to help Dak Prescott is to rebuild the offense a little.
Thankfully, the foundation is solid.
The Cowboys have one of the best offensive lines in the league, but adding one or two more pieces in the passing game could really take the offense to another level.
If it was me, I would find a new #1 WR who can create separation with his route running. Then, I would add a younger/more athletic TE who can be more of a threat down the field than Jason Witten. I think those two pieces alone would drastically improve Prescott's chances to succeed.