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Should Cowboys Wait on Making the Offense “Dak-Friendly”?

Brian Martin

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Cowboys en Español: Cooper Rush
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Entering his third year in the NFL, Dak Prescott still needs to prove to a lot of people that he is capable of being the Dallas Cowboys franchise quarterback. We have seen the highs, and we have seen the lows, but nobody really knows yet what he is truly capable of.

The Dallas Cowboys of course haven't really done him any favors. Prescott is still pretty much operating the same offensive scheme as Tony Romo did before he was forced into retirement, with the same players. That is why the phrase "Dak-friendly" has been making waves around Cowboys Nation.

The man himself, Dak Prescott, recently weighed in on what a "Dak-friendly" offense would look like, which my fellow Staff Writer Sean Martin wrote about last week.

I'm not going to sit here and deny that changes to the offense need to be made. But, would it be wise on the Cowboys part to wait until they find out exactly what they're getting from Prescott before making any drastic changes?

Dak Prescott, Cole Beasley

QB Dak Prescott and WR Cole Beasley (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Dak Prescott and believe he can be the Dallas Cowboys franchise QB for years to come. But, I'm seeing a lot of fans who believe the Cowboys should draft another QB and others who believe Cooper Rush is better.

Now, even though I've liked what I've seen from Cooper Rush, I don't think he's as good as Prescott. Yes, he looked good in preseason, against scrub players, but Prescott has performed really well against starting defenses around the NFL.

Prescott did struggle in 2017 at times, but that has a lot to do with breakdowns in protection and other contributing factors. The play calling could definitely have been better and his receivers didn't help him out very much either. Hopefully that will change in 2018.

I'm all for bringing in more talent that will help the offense become more "Dak-friendly". But, if the Dallas Cowboys don't really know exactly what they have in their young QB, then it might be wise to wait until after the 2018 season.

The moves the Dallas Cowboys make in free agency and through the draft could tell us all we need to know about what the organization believes they have in Dak Prescott. If they bring in players specifically suited to make him more comfortable within the offense, then we are likely looking at the Cowboys franchise QB for years to come.

Do you think the Cowboys should wait on making the offense more "Dak-friendly"?


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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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Travis Diggs

    February 13, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Dak friendly???? Was phillys offense “Carson friendly” or was it just good coaching?? Lets stop with this Dak friendly thing, it ultimately comes back to coaching putting players in great situations to win

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      February 13, 2018 at 10:09 am

      The Eagles offense was definitely “Carson friendly”. They brought in free agents to help improve the talent around him and the play calling was suited to maximize his talents. They incorporated a lot of play action, run/pass options (RPOs), and even installed some of the plays he liked from college. So yes, it was both “Carson friendly” and the coaching. It’s what the Cowboys need to do with Prescott.

    • Jeff Bartlett

      February 13, 2018 at 10:34 am

      Calling it Dak friendly or not is silly. You want to win in 2018, learn from the Eagles. Coach up the team and players with plays that buildbonbtheir strengths. Or just keep being the middle of the road Cowboys…

      Funny, there is another article on BR right now about how the eagles coaching tree might change the NFL.

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        February 13, 2018 at 10:56 am

        I don’t know about Eagles coaching tree changing the NFL, but it’s not a surprise to see some of their coaching staff move on to better opportunities. That’s just what happens to Super Bowl winning organizations.

        • Jorge Sure

          February 13, 2018 at 5:59 pm

          BRIAN I give you the reason that the offensive should be friendly with DAK he is still playing with the design of TONY ROMO, I think that they should change the game book and start adapting it to DAK it is illogical to wait a year this would be a retrozeso like the 2017, I think you should start letting go of DEZ, WITTEN, WILLIAMS and bring new receivers that adjust and do chemistry with DAK is where we should learn from the eagles that surrounded CARSON of talent for the ademas as you say adapted the Playbook in the style of your QB franchise

    • Melvin S Edgmand

      February 13, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      Thank you Travis I forget about our big time coach

  2. Nick Russo

    February 13, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I don’t think it’s fair to evaluate dak as a franchise quarterback without trying to make the offense “dak-friendly”. You don’t know his full potential if you don’t give him the chance. I think A LOT of it is play calling. Linehan is so predictable that I sit at home and know that we are going to run on first down and then go to the shotgun on second down. We don’t run any pick or run routes to get guys open and Dez has struggled to get open on his own for the last few years now. In addition to RPOs, Linehan NEEDS to find a way to get switzer and Beasley on the field at the same time. One of them will get open and that is how dak can excel as a passer. Noah brown can block as well as Williams in the run game and doesn’t use his chest to catch balls give him a shot. Add a true #1 and that’s a big improvement to the passing game “woes” we saw last year. The guy had the best rookie season of all time and a slight dip in production amidst tons of adversity and people are ready to get rid of dak? That’s ridiculous.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      February 13, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      I don’t think I could’ve said it any better myself. Thanks for taking the time to comment and voice your opinion.

    • Tj

      February 13, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      Agree %100

    • Mike C

      February 13, 2018 at 5:35 pm

      Greatly said, im just mad they didnt fire garrett or linehan. It doesnt matter the talent on offense they never shake up the lineup. If your a starter you start no matter what they dont shake up the lineup. Mcfadden didnt even get a carry he was on the roster half the yr

    • Melvin S Edgmand

      February 13, 2018 at 10:14 pm

      I like your points but you missed a few factors. first and foremost zeke when zeke is in the offense dak is very good. with him out example this year hs was horrible and should have been pulled in all 6 games for just being a horrible Qb in every game zeke was out he threw less then 200 yards he is not a franchise qb nor will he be one. He has had two years how many years of medicore seasons you want to see well with DAK at Qb get ready for a lot of them

      • Nick Russo

        February 14, 2018 at 8:32 am

        I won’t dismiss zeke being a factor. He’s a top level RB in the league and there’s no argument there. However, that 3 game stretch that the cowboys went through was not only without zeke but also without a serviceable left tackle with Tyron Smith out. Our receivers struggled to get open all season long (Beasley because he was being doubled) and then when you have a pass rush obliterating your blind side that’s not going to help the passing game. Teams were able to pin their ears back when smith and zeke were out because Linehan didn’t adjust. He refused to change up his scheme and didn’t help dak to get the ball out of his hands quickly. Everyone is quick to say the grass is greener on the other side but I remember the years between Aikman and romo. Quincy Carter, Drew Hensen, Vinnie Testaverde, Chad Hutchinson, and Drew Bledsoe to name a few. Dak is a great leader and he has the skill set. If we had some receivers that could get open and play calling that wasn’t so predictable this wouldn’t be a discussion.

        • Melvin S Edgmand

          February 14, 2018 at 10:12 am

          Not disputing anything you said your on point as far as our past QBs have been dreadful . Except with Tony sorry big romo fan. And your receivers remarks on point as well and upgrade would be beneficial for dak and that’s maybe where I am use to Roger or Tony always being able to bring the team you’ve been a fan for a long time I can tell but in your head you remember our great QBS and in maybe someways I compare dak to them. Maybe not fairly . But like alll cowboy fans it’s Superbowl or nothing and I hope I am wrong love your comemt’s I don t have a complaint about any of it your on point I just have to disagree about daks ceiling. I hope like hell I am wrong i just really liked coopers preseason games. And in that 6 games where zeke was out an dak struggles I’d like to have seen cooper couple times but thanks for reminding me of the 80s cowboys. It was a dark time haha ill give him alittle while longer to show me thanks again and this is how 2 grown men talk about football without cursing at each other or name calling I respect you and your opinion thanks

          • Nick Russo

            February 14, 2018 at 10:41 am

            Absolutely, the respect is mutual here. I love having a forum to have these discussions with knowledgeable cowboys fans and I appreciate you not just yelling back because you disagree. I see where you’re coming from in some of your points and I definitely can see some potential in Cooper and I like the thought of a competent backup after years of Matt Cassel, Jon Kitna, and Brandon Weeden. I loved Romo as well and I wish we could have given him even a mediocre defense in his time here (D-ware was always great individually) and I think he could have gotten us to the big one. I just think that Dak has the ability if our coaching staff can use him right.

  3. Ryan

    February 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    3 pro bowl lineman. A no1 wideout at 28 who should still be in his prime plus 2 veteran receivers in their prime behind him. An elite running back a hall of fame tight end and an offense designed around read options for a running qb. How was this not a dak friendly offense?

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      February 13, 2018 at 1:25 pm

      It’s more than just the personnel. Yes, they have talent, but it doesn’t necessarily play to Prescott’s strengths. Prescott needs WRs who can create separation on their own. With the exception of Beasley, the Cowboys don’t really have that. The playcalling also needs to change.

      • William Pep Hatcher

        February 13, 2018 at 2:22 pm

        Beasly had a worse year than Dez. He needs to go.

    • Ervinlang318

      February 13, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      Terrance Williams- ZERO Touchdowns. ZERO.
      Witten- Useless except for Blocking or running a 5 yard route when we need 8 yards for First Down
      Dez- Slow and every single catch was a 50/50 catch

      Cole- Couldnt Get open for some strange Reason
      Zeke- Suspension Cloud Hung over the Entire Season

      Linnehan – Provided Predictable Offense

  4. William Pep Hatcher

    February 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Dak needs a WR and a TE that can stretch the field. Witten is too slow. Dez doesn’t seem to know how to run routes to get separation.

  5. UnaMas60

    February 13, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Prescott is not quick with his reads and struggles in recognition. Giving him more weapons will not be the answer because he will still only get to maybe his second read anyway. That’s why is a better passer when he rolls out – he only has to read half the field. He also doesn’t raise the performance of those around him. Elliott out for six games and we were a .500 team. Eight games of sub 200 yards passing. Four games with less than 10 points.

    These was the same receiving group from last year. They can’t have ALL forgot how to run routes or catch the ball all at the same time. More likely the defenses got more creative with a year of film on Prescott. He was unable to decipher the changes. I’ve seen enough of Prescott. Unless the team around him is absolutely stacked he is not that good.

    • Melvin S Edgmand

      February 14, 2018 at 10:14 am

      Bravo my friend excellent points

  6. Hector Espindola

    February 13, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    The play calling needs to change in order to maximize Daks pros, otherwise the coaching staff is not getting the work done, as simple as that (along with the FO, giving him more weapons). Any QB needs this both opportunities before being tagged as franchise QB or a transition QB.

    • Melvin S Edgmand

      February 14, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Great comments

  7. Melvin S Edgmand

    February 13, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    No not just no but hell no.why Iam at it hell no to the Blaine gabbert b.s.. look bottom line is dak is a slight bit better then pre Injury RG3 and that’s it sorry but he has peaked. Not because of last year look at any if his passes since turning pro. If we didn’t have talented receivers his stats would be laughable. and then the zeke factor. dak isn’t that good. Now Cooper rush a bigger stronger more accurate of a QB then dak and can run. Last preseason he destroyed daks stats. Led the NFL. Check it out. And everyone wants to dismiss him in favor for let’s see a drunk trouble maker with a big mouth manzel a QB who was crap his whole career gabbert and why so they pats can take him like they have tried and new England can win 6 more. sports writers should be smarter then this. fans are smart guys why you try to pass this trash article off like were idiots is beyond me. Give us fans more credit or get a new job.

  8. UnaMas60

    February 14, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I watched the second half of last year’s GB game on the NFL channel the other day. Prescott was non-existent. He tried to go deep and under-threw Williams – almost intercepted. He tried to go mid-range and was late with the throw – Bryant had to play DB to prevent INT. He tried to go short and was picked off for a TD. He missed passes left and right.

    He’s just not a good QB unless everything is perfect and his receivers are WIDE open.

  9. Mr. Jaguar

    February 16, 2018 at 9:59 am

    No. I think he Cowboys are doing the right thing by moving forward to make Dak more productive in an offensive scheme dedicated to his skill set instead of Romo who is no longer playing. Furthermore, nfl defensive coordinator had caught up to the Romo friendly offense. Despite the fact Romo wasn’t the quarterback, the results would have probably have been the same regardless of Romo experience in the system catered to his skill set, but we’ll never know.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OL Fails To Crack NFL.com’s Top 10

Kevin Brady

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Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Often considered a top unit in football, the Dallas Cowboys offensive line seemed to take a step back in 2017. Mostly due to injuries and free agent departures on the left side, the Cowboys were unable to form the same solid unit we have seen in years past.

Despite their struggles, most would still consider them a top 5-10 offensive line in the NFL. At least, that's what I'd expect considering they still feature three All-Pro caliber players upfront.

Matt Harmon of NFL.com put together a list of the top 10 offensive lines in football based on performance in the 2017 season. The list was strictly developed through the use of next gen stats, which defined pressure as "pass-rushing play in which a defender gets within 2 yards of the opposing quarterback at the time of the throw or sack." In addition, "yards gained before close" was taken into account. This metric is meant to measure "the amount of rushing yards a running back gains before opposing defenders come within 1 yard of the player."

After compiling all of these stats, the Cowboys offensive line was left off of the list completely. Maybe even more surprising, however, was that the Philadelphia Eagles' line failed to crack the top ten as well. That's two lines with 3-4 Pro Bowl caliber players each missing the cut.

According to Matt Harmon the Cowboys allowed a pressure on 28.6% of Dak Prescott's dropbacks, 12th highest in the league. Dallas also ranked 20th in the league in YGBC in 2017.

While I do have some issues with the methodology of these statistics, the final result is actually hard to argue with. Down the stretch the Cowboys offense was downright pathetic at times. Regardless of how highly we thought of them prior to the year, the offense didn't perform to their standards, or the standards of a top ten unit.

Heading into 2018, however, I do expect this offensive line to begin to regain form. La'el Collins should continue to improve on the right side, and he is already an adequate starting right tackle regardless. I also expect Dallas to address their left guard spot, potentially within the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.

In the end the success of this line may hinge on the health of Tyron Smith, though. When healthy, Smith is the best left tackle in all of football. But that "when healthy" caveat has certainly hurt the Cowboys offense.

The way the front office handles their offensive line this offseason will play a huge role in the success, or lack thereof, of the Cowboys in 2018.


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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: CB Bene Benwikere

Jess Haynie

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Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: CB Bene Benwikere

After playing sparsely for the Dallas Cowboys in 2017, veteran cornerback Bene Benwikere is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Could he stay in Dallas, or will he have to find work elsewhere?

Dallas was concerned about its CB depth with heavy reliance on young players and Jourdan Lewis barely participating in the offseason. Therefore, the Cowboys traded a sixth-round pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for Benwikere just before Week One.

After a stellar rookie season with the Carolina Panthers in 2014, Bene had suffered a steep fall before landing in Cincy. Injuries and poor play got him cut midway through 2016 by the Panthers, and then Benwikere bounced from Miami to Green Bay before finally signing with the Bengals in the 2017 offseason.

Though a few years removed from being an All-Rookie Team standout, Bene Benwikere is still just 26 and may still draw interest from scouts who remember his better days. He is likely counting on that, because the Cowboys' secondary is starting to fill up.

Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: CB Bene Benwikere 1

Dallas Cowboys CB Bene Benwikere (#23)

The Cowboys currently have exciting sophomores Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis expected to start in 2018. Anthony Brown is back for his third season and will be active on game days.

Orlando Scandrick's future is cloudy, but Dallas won't get much cap relief from releasing him this season. They may elect to keep the veteran for one more year, which would all but fill out the CB depth chart.

Even if Scandrick leaves, talk that Dallas may move Byron Jones back to corner from safety would only leave Benwikere in the same disadvantaged position for finding work.

The best chance that Bene Benwikere has to stay with the Cowboys is if new Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard remembers him from 2014. Coaches often feel that can get more out of a player than the last guy, and Richard may see potential in Benwikere that his last few teams couldn't unlock.

Four years ago may be too long, though, and especially with a fresh new crop of young players coming into the league. Especially if they keep Scandrick, Dallas may want to use the rest of their roster spots on younger prospects.

As it stands, Bene Benwikere is unlikely to return to the Cowboys. However, given the flashes of potential he once showed in the NFL, you can't be certain that Dallas won't want to give him one more chance.


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Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys 2018 Free Agents: OL Joe Looney

Jess Haynie

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Joe Looney, 49ers
James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys backup offensive lineman Joe Looney was active for all 16 games of 2017 and never had to start. That is exactly what you want from a reserve player, and Looney has been relied on as security for the interior o-line for two years now. However, he enters 2018 as an unrestricted free agent.

A six-year veteran, Looney turns 28 years old in August. He has two years in the Cowboys system and is still in his physical prime. Able to play guard or center, "Jumbo Joe" is a nice value with versatility and familiarity.

Dallas got Looney on the cheap in 2016, signing him to a two-year deal at just $1.68 million. While he hasn't been seen much over the last two seasons, coming out of the Cowboys' offensive line could raise his profile in this free agent market compared to last time.

For example, the last guy to hold Joe's role in Dallas was Mackenzy Bernadeau. Dallas paid him $5.7 million from 2014-2015 to be the versatile backup at guard and center. Looney is at a comparable point now in his career.

Joe Looney

Dallas Cowboys G/C Joe Looney

Dallas may not want to give Joe Looney that kind of raise, but they may have to given other issues on the line. Starting guard Jonathan Cooper is also a free agent and was injured in Week 17. Chaz Green was tried at guard last year and failed.

Even if they didn't need Loooney to play guard, he is also the backup center and the currently the best candidate on the roster for that role.

While nobody wants Looney as the starting left guard in 2018, but Dallas may not want to give Cooper a new deal given his injury history. La'el Collins appears locked in at right tackle, so the Cowboys may feel the need to pay more to keep Looney in case the offseason doesn't provide a better option.

If the Cowboys are inspired to retain Joe Looney, it could mean raising his annual salary from about $800k to close to $3 million. Even with more cap flexibility than they've had in recent years, that's still a big jump that Dallas won't take lightly.

Clearly, Joe Looney's return in 2018 is not an easy decision. He could be a solid veteran depth option for some teams and might even find starting work if someone's desperate enough.

With Dallas facing some uncertainty on the offensive line, that gives Looney the leverage in any upcoming contract negotiations.


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