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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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27 Comments
  • Travis Diggs

    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

      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.

    • http://www.jeffbartlettmedia.com Jeff Bartlett

      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

        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

          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

      Thank you Travis I forget about our big time coach

  • Nick Russo

    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

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

    • Tj

      Agree %100

    • Mike C

      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

      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

        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

          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

            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.

  • Ryan

    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

      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

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

    • Ervinlang318

      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

  • William Pep Hatcher

    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.

  • UnaMas60

    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

      Bravo my friend excellent points

    • Matthew Harrell

      Right on. What these Dak apologists fail to see is that he is clearly the problem. They love to blame the Zeke suspension and theTyron Smith injury, the OC Linehan, the recievers, all who were fine when they had an elite passer throwing to them. Zeke is one of the very best running backs there is. Tyron Smith possible the best LT. It is a pathetic argument to excuse Dak’s poor play on not having the leagues best runner or Tackle. No other QB has those guys either. Also we had fine backup running backs and the run game didn’t tank, it held its own. Sure Zeke is dynamic but that is hardly an excuse for a franchise record 10 quarters without a passing touchdown or the worst 3 game stretch in team history pitting up putrid QBR and yardage. No Zeke made him the worst QB we’ve ever had? Look, like I said no one else has Zeke either and neither did Romo. Linehan is taking heat for basic playcalling and yes it was predictable. So he suddenly lost his mind? No, he is calling plays based on what he is working with. Dak can’t handle a full playbook, Linehan is keeping it as basic as he can for his limited QB. Next, receivers statistically looked bad because they have a QB who can’t throw anyone open, takes way too long to make reads, holds the ball too long and refuses to throw more than 20 yards downfield. It’s real and it’s a big problem. Go back and review every pass he threw. Nearly every single game he threw one or no passes complete for more than 30 yards thru the air. I’m not talking about a check down where the receivers got YAC. I mean he doesn’t throw thru the air deeper than 20 yards. The film backs this up. He love the check down, even when it’s a no win. He’ll check down for 1 or 2 yards even if a linebacker or safety is bearing down on the receiver. Also sick of hearing the receivers “aren’t getting seperation.” This is a clown term and it’s not even correct about our receivers. Again, go back and review film, he has wide open receivers nearly every passing play. He doesn’t see them and/or refuses to throw long. An example for the lazy ones who don’t want to review his passes, the pick six he threw trYu g to check down to Zeke even though he was covered—Witten was wide open 20 yards downfield in the middle of the field. Oh yeah, washed up old Witten who “can’t get seperation”. Please. Even old man Witten still gets open. Terrace Williams zero TDs? He is a deep threat big play receiver! Granted a slightly above average one, but that’s his game. Again , he doesn’t have a QB who can or will throw deep. Dez needs a QB who throws the jump ball, he’s the best high point and 50/50 ball receiver there is. Twill needs a guy who throws the deep ball. Dak is too busy checking down to see guys more than 10 yards out. Also the offensive line is still tops. DAK made things worse for himself by not having any pocket prescene. He created many of his own sacks. Watch a good QB. Most good ones take their 3 step drops, sometimes one or two and they fire the ball right away. Of course you have to have timing, accuracy and a knowledge of your playbook to do this, he doesnt. Philip River? Put on a clinic against us on Thanksgiving. Show in what Dak can’t do–throw guys open, throw to a spot. Rivers ate against us by simply throwing to his receIverson covered or not. Just hit the spot. Throw it to where only they can catch it? “Getting seperation”? He didn’t need it. (BTW it is called getting open. Getting seperation is a weasel word) and in conclusion, when a QB is bad, everyone loos bad. People want to blame, literally everyone and everything else but Dakie Pooh when the obvious and logical conclusion is the most important position played poorly makes everything else break down. As a parting case in point, Jimmy Garapolo gets traded to an 0-11 team and wins 5 straight. Think about it. Porridge Dakie pooh and all his little problems didn’t have an 0-11 roster. Jimmy G didn’t care about that. He just went out and played well and turned an 0-11 roster into winners. It’s a fine line that a QB makes the difference with. Unfortunately for me, a die hard bleed silver and blue lifelong fan, now SF has a good one and we don’t. Although Cooper Rush could do the same for us. And as for him playing well against scrubs, please. Don’t forget he was playing WITH scrubs too, Something Dakie Pooh gets a pass for, remember?

  • Hector Espindola

    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

      Great comments

  • Melvin S Edgmand

    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.

  • UnaMas60

    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.

  • Mr. Jaguar

    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.

Game Notes

Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

The Dallas Cowboys are not only breathing in playoff contention, but they're now the favorites to crown themselves as the NFC East champions in 2018. It's pretty impressive how the tables can turn so quickly in the NFL. Dallas played very well against the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday and we learned quite a bit from them as they bounced back to .500. Here's this week's Takeaway Tuesday! Enjoy it as much as you did Brett Maher's game winning field goal a couple of days ago.

Cowboys Have a Championship Defense

Despite taking steps in the right direction, it's impossible to compare this offense to units like the Chiefs, Saints and Rams. However, it's the Cowboys' defense that could be labeled as a championship unit. Facing an offense with such a strong WR core, allowing only one touchdown on the road is impressive.

The Cowboys sacked Matt Ryan three times and were constantly causing pressures. Byron Jones was great once again, allowing only two catches in passes thrown in his direction. And of course, the kid who's been impressing us all, Leighton Vander Esch continued to play out of his mind. He should be the Defensive Rookie of the Year front runner at this point.

The Cowboys' defense is one of the best in the NFL right now, and any offense will have a tough time facing them. It'll be intriguing to see if they can take the next step and stop a high-powered unit like the Saints in a few days.

Offensive Line Woes Are Gone

The offense has improved a lot the last couple of games. Although there is still a lot to work on, they're not struggling as they were in the first half of the season. The offensive line is a huge part of this. With Marc Colombo at OL coach, things have looked very different in Dallas.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Ezekiel Elliott: "I feel great. I feel fast. I feel physical. I feel very comfortable with the running schemes. We just got to keep rolling. That's what's important. We just got to keep rolling.

Ezekiel Elliott has been on a roll the past two weeks and his comments regarding how he feels about the running schemes shouldn't go unnoticed. The offensive line wasn't playing as well as they are right now earlier in the year. Dak Prescott is noticeably more comfortable in the pocket.

It's intriguing to know what will happen at left guard for the Cowboys. With Connor Williams injured, Xavier Su'a-Filo has done a good job filling in for him. Williams has the upside, but should Dallas mess up the mojo this OL has lately?

Dak Prescott Continues To Be Money In Clutch Si

Dak Prescott: Clutch QB

Dak Prescott continues to be criticized by fans while he keeps proving us why it's not that easy to move on from him. The guy is far from the perfect passer, yet he's been clutch time and time again. This time he did so on the road on an impressive two minute drill.

With 1:46 on the clock, Prescott marched his team down to the Falcons' 24 yard line. He managed to give his team another game winning drive in consecutive weeks. The Cowboys' young quarterback needed a confidence boost and this is perfect for him. He needs to keep it up if the team is going to finish the season as the NFC East champions.

Since entering the NFL, Dak has 12 game winning drives. As frustrating as his play is at times, he will not be easy to replace if the Cowboys decide to move on from this guy down the road. Hopefully, they don't have to. I, for one, believe Dak can be way better with a proper coaching staff. But that's a discussion for another day.

Now, it's time to celebrate the Cowboys' victory and get ready for a short week as the Cowboys play the Washington Redskins on Thursday.

Tell me what you think about "Takeaway Tuesday: Cowboys Have a Championship Defense" 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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Player News

Geoff Swaim Needs Surgery, Should the Cowboys even use a Tight End?

John Williams

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Cowboys TE Geoff Swaim Quietly Exceeding Expectations? 1

Well, the injury woes continue to mount for the Dallas Cowboys with news coming down this evening that Tight End Geoff Swaim broke a bone in his wrist in the 22-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The injury will need surgery which will mean Swaim will be out a while, if not for the rest of the season.

David Helman on Twitter

Geoff Swaim broke a bone in his wrist yesterday and is going to need surgery. Sounds like it might not be season-ending, but he won't be available Thursday #cowboyswire

In previous seasons this wouldn't be much of a blow to the offense, but Geoff Swaim has been the only tight end that the Cowboys have ben able to rely on this season. Dalton Schultz is a rookie, Blake Jarwin's been inconsistent, and Rico Gathers still isn't fully trusted. With the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan's insistence on using a tight end, it seems there's a huge hole at the position heading into Sunday's first place showdown with the Washington Redskins.

But in reality, is there?

For weeks, I've been screaming for this team to use more 10 personnel (one running back and zero tight ends) as its primary passing formation because it gets their best pass catching weapons on the field at the same time. Swaim has been solid and consistent in his first year as a starter, but the rest of the tight end group has disappointed. So why even run a tight end out on the field.

The Dallas Cowboys have options that could replace the tight end in the passing game without actually using a tight end.

First, they could use Noah Brown as the de facto tight end. He's been one of the best blockers on the team in his first two seasons with the team and this is the type of role he's made for. Split him out wide and motion him in tight when you want to run. He can be a threat down the seem and in the red zone with his athleticism. He'd be a mismatch for the linebackers that try to cover him and could open space underneath for Cole Beasley. Brown is also a really good run blocker, so having him on the field doesn't negate what you want to do in the run game.

The other player the Cowboys coaching staff could work into more of the tight end route responsibilities is Allen Hurns. Hurns is a really good route runner, especially in the middle of the field, where the Dallas Cowboys haven't received a lot of production. You can put Hurns in as the fourth wide receiver and split him a couple of yards off the tackle to give him a cleaner release than a TE might get and have him run "Y-option," shallow post routes, or drags. He can be a threat in the passing game if put in situations where he can excel. See below for something Allen Hurns does really well.

Film Review: What's Up with Allen Hurns?

In fact, by going four wide receivers with Brown or Hurns on the field, it's possible the opposing defense is forced to run more of dime packages against the Dallas Cowboys 10 personnel.

Why would you want to get teams into dime packages?

Most NFL teams have two pretty good linebackers that they can deploy in nickel situations, but teams rarely have four corners that they can put on the field and feel really good about. So, if you can force teams to remove one of their 11 best players for a backup corner back or safety, you are already winning that matchup.

That matchup would also get you into much more favorable defensive fronts to run against. Even if the opposition put seven or eight in the box, it would be against smaller personnel like corners and safeties instead of a second linebacker.

Running 10 personnel as their base offense moving forward would be unconventional, but with an opportunity to take control of first place in the NFC East on Thanksgiving, now is not the time for conventionality.



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Player News

Cowboys WR Michael Gallup on Personal Leave; Team Offers Support

Jess Haynie

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Michael Gallup

Dallas Cowboys rookie receiver Michael Gallup suffered a personal tragedy on Sunday, being informed that his brother committed suicide. He is now on personal leave away from the team, and both Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett have given their full support to Gallup during this difficult time.

According to reports, Gallup was unaware of his brother's death until immediately after the Cowboys' win over the Atlanta Falcons. Michael did not return with the team to Dallas and remained in Atlanta to be with his family.

A formal statement was made by owner Jerry Jones yesterday regarding Gallup:

“Our team and our entire organization are deeply saddened by the news of Michael’s loss. His family is our family. We share in the grief and pain that comes with something so personal and tragic. We offer our support, care and comfort for Michael, and we ask that all of those who have sons and daughters and brothers and sisters join us in keeping Michael and his wonderful family in their thoughts and prayers.”

Throughout his time owning the Cowboys, Jerry has built a reputation for personal loyalty and compassion with his players. His head coach is no different.

As he addressed the media Monday, Jason Garrett did not get into football matters when addressing Gallup's situation:

“This is a very challenging time for him. We’ll take it moment by moment, day by day, and give him all of our love and all of our support.”

While Michael is certainly dealing with something far more important than football, his availability for Thursday's Thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins does come into question.

The Cowboys have a short week to prepare for Washington, and Gallup has started their last five games. If the rookie has to sit, which seems probable given the timeframe, we can expect more playing time for Allen Hurns and Noah Brown.

Whatever happens happens on that front. Our focus is on Michael Gallup during this sad time, with him and his family in our collective thoughts as Cowboys fans and fellow humans.



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