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Cowboys Rout Dolphins: Romo Returns, Prescott Scores 28

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Headlines - Cowboys Roll Dolphins in Romo's Return, Dak Prescott Accounts for 4 TDs

The Dallas Cowboys returned home to AT&T Stadium tonight, looking to put a good showing in front of their home fans in their second preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. Dak Prescott was once again up for the challenge, as his dazzling performance included four touchdowns - two in the air and another two on the ground - culminating in a 41 to 14 blowout win for the Cowboys.

Before we saw Prescott, Cowboys Nation was greeted with the return of Tony Romo. Romo moved the ball well on Dallas' opening drive, but three separate holding penalties ultimately ended the drive with a punt. Big plays from Darius Jackson and Cole Beasley were taken away from the Cowboys, whose defense would make quick work of the Dolphins on their initial drive in order to get the ball right back into Romo's hands.

Three plays after a Tyrone Crawford third down sack, Romo was back out on the field zipping passes to Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. Working with good field position, these plays put the Cowboys past midfield, where Alfred Morris was able to finish off the drive.

From 15 yards out, Morris cut past left tackle Chaz Green and into the end zone to put the Dallas Cowboys ahead 7-0. This would be all for Tony Romo in his 2016 debut, as he looked sharp on this 6 play drive that covered 72 yards.

Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins looked prime to answer the Cowboys' scoring march on the ensuing possession, but Rod Marinelli's defense would tighten up in the red zone thanks to Morris Claiborne.

The confident corner got his hands on two passes, ending Miami's drive with a pass breakup in the back of the end zone on fourth down. The stop brought out electrifying rookie Dak Prescott, backed up near his own goal line.

Naturally, Prescott was able to rely on his offensive line and running game, while making some big time throws of his own, as he calmly drove the Cowboys 95 yards for a touchdown. Prescott once again hooked up with Dez Bryant in the end zone, as Bryant's 28 yard score put the Cowboys ahead 14-0.

After threatening for a touchdown on their first offensive drive, the Dolphins answered this drive by Dak with a touchdown of their own. On this drive, the Dallas defensive line failed to create much pressure.

When they did, it was Ryan Russell screaming off the edge, and unfortunately getting called for a roughing the passer penalty that merely extended the touchdown drive. Tannehill hit Kenny Stills for what would be his first of two touchdowns from 13 yards out to put the Dolphins on the board.

The Cowboys' starters would exit after this drive, once again leaving the game with the lead. Working with the second team offensive unit, Prescott would watch Alfred Morris continue to run through the Miami defense with ease before having a touchdown rush called back. Taking matters into his own hands, Prescott timed a perfect fade pass to Brice Butler, who leaped up for the acrobatic catch in the front of the end zone.

Butler's acrobatics drew an offensive pass interference call, leaving Dak just one more option. Prescott escaped the pocket to his right and bolted up the field for his first career rushing touchdown - scampering in from 20 yards out.

Kenny Stills and the Dolphins would once again answer with a touchdown, as the Cowboys' second team defense took the field, but the spotlight continued to sign on Dak Prescott. On the seventh drive of his Cowboys career, the Cowboys put up points for the sixth time, as Dan Bailey nailed a 51 yard field goal to extend the lead to 24-14. Bailey would add another field goal before the half, as Shaneil Jenkins used his long arms to force a fumble and give the Dallas defense another turnover.

Darius Jackson was unable to punch the ball in on two carries, but the Cowboys hit the locker room with a 27-14 halftime lead over the Dolphins.

In the second half, with Cowboys Nation still buzzing about Prescott, the Cowboys' defense picked up where they left off to preserve the lead. Another Jenkins play behind the line of scrimmage gave the ball right back to Dak at the start of the third quarter following a Miami punt, and Prescott needed just two throws to Brice Butler to put up more points.

First connecting for 58 yards, Prescott looked for Butler on the very next play of the drive, finding him in the end zone to put Dallas ahead 34-14. Prescott would later call his own number for one final Cowboys' touchdown, as a Vince Mayle blocked punt set up a one-yard QB sneak.

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/766843480068886528

His fourth touchdown of the night helped him steal the show once again, as the Cowboys came away with the decisive victory at home. They looked mostly sharp while doing so, and more importantly moved onto week 3 with no major injuries.

Linebacker Mark Nzeocha did leave the game in the first half with an Achilles injury and did not return, but it did not look overly serious. We will keep you updated on any injury news throughout the week as the Cowboys will be heading to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Friday. 

Until then, share your thoughts on the Cowboys' first win of 2016 with a comment below! Let us know what you liked, what you didn't like, and what you need to see leading up to week 3!

For more, also make sure you check out Staff Writer RJ Ochoa's post game edition of the RJ Ochoa Show, as Inside The Star Staff Writer Jess Haynie will join RJ to break down everything we saw from tonight's action. 

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Rout Dolphins: Romo Returns, Prescott Scores 28" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract

Jess Haynie

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Which 2018 Free Agents Will The Cowboys Retain? 1
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportwire

DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future  beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million

This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.

Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.

This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.

Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.

There is risk on both sides, of course.

Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.

Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.



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Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstatement Decision Due Soon

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys Headlines - Randy Gregory's  10 Game Suspension Official, DE Sidelined Until Week 16

The Dallas Cowboys should know by the end of this week if Defensive End Randy Gregory will be reinstated by the NFL from his indefinite suspension.

Gregory, who has missed nearly two seasons with drug-related bans, requested in May for Roger Goodell to allow him to return to football. The exact date of the request isn't known, but multiple sources put it somewhere around May 18-20.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFL has 60 days to rule on a reinstatement request. That would put the approximate deadline no later than this Friday, July 20th.

Gregory was a second-round pick for Dallas in 2015. He was considered to have potentially elite pass-rushing skills but red flags about behavior and drug use hurt his draft stock.

Obviously those warning signs were warranted. Over three seasons, Randy has missed 30 out of 48 games due to suspension.

But reports from around the Cowboys organization and others who've dealt with Gregory rehabilitation efforts are positive. His appeal request appears strong, backed up by several testimonials that he's turned his life around.

Will Roger Goodell agree? Will Randy Gregory return to the Cowboys 2018?

We should know the answer soon.



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Dak Prescott Ranked as Third Least Consistent QB in NFL

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Jekyll or Hyde: Year 3 "Prove It" Season For Dak Prescott?

Last season could've gone a lot better for Dak Prescott. After a remarkable rookie season, he wasn't able to meet the very high expectations put on him after leading the Dallas Cowboys to the #1 seed in the NFC in 2016.

Inevitably, the "sophomore slump" managed to get to Dak, even though the numbers make it seem worse than it really was. From his 13 interceptions in 2017, not even half can be completely blamed on him. However, even though he made improvements in his game, it's fair to admit that there was indeed, a slump in his second year in the NFL.

Earlier this week, NFL.com published an article listing the most and the least consistent quarterbacks in the league last season. The way the list works is measuring "their average 2017 swing in week-to-week passer rating." In the list, Dak Prescott is listed as the third least consistent QB in the league, with only Cam Newton and Derek Carr behind him.

Just like the Dallas Cowboys' had a roller coaster for a season, constantly shifting between winning and losing, Dak Prescott also struggled at remaining consistent. It makes a ton of sense, of course, for the Cowboys' 9-7 season had a lot of swings throughout the year.

Dak Prescott

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Ashley Landis / The Dallas Morning News)

At times, the team was missing its most important defender in Sean Lee. At others, Tyron Smith and/or Ezekiel Elliott weren't on the field either. This is not an attempt to excuse Dak, for he is partly at fault here, as is the entire team.

From week 10 to 12, Dak failed to throw for a touchdown but ended up throwing five interceptions. Later in the season, failing once again to get a TD pass in two straight weeks, he threw for two interceptions at Oakland then another two when hosting the Seahawks in Dallas.

In a season that will likely determine his future with the Dallas Cowboys, Dak needs to find a way to be more consistent week after week regardless of circumstance. Hopefully, with an improved offensive line and with Ezekiel Elliott leaving every suspension drama behind him, his offense will put him in position to have his best year yet.

In 2016 and in 2017, his Total Quarterback Rating has been in the top 4 among all quarterbacks, per ESPN. Now, this is not a stat that tells the whole story, but it does give you an idea of each quarterback's play. In a run-first offense and with a safe passer like Dak, I'm sure consistency will not be hard to deal with for the young QB next season.

As long as he takes advantage of the new set of targets he'll have at his disposal and his offense's powerful running back with recently-signed draftee Connor Williams, this offense will look a lot more like the one we saw in 2016.

We know Dak Prescott has a lot to prove. He has to make longer throws, throw more aggressively to get his receivers open, and more. But consistency is just as important. In order to be continuously successful and to be a contender year after year, you need that in your signal-caller. Even if key players on the team are down, he needs to be able to shine. It's a sixteen-game season, after all.

It's time for Dak to prove he can handle that.

Tell me what you think about "Dak Prescott Ranked as Third Least Consistent QB in NFL" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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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