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Dak Prescott Has Golden Opportunity Without Elliott

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys en Español: Dak Prescott #14 Según los Jugadores, ¿Realmente Lo Es? 1

Sunday night felt better than any night has felt as a Dallas Cowboys fan this season. Coming off of a gigantic road win over a division rival, the second win in a row for the Cowboys, Dallas was in firm control of their own playoff destiny.

Since their debacle in Denver, the Cowboys had improved each week. Now they looked to finally be hitting their 2016 groove and appeared ready to make a run in the NFC East.

Monday night, however, their world was shook.

With the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott putting the team's star running back and (arguably) best offensive player out until mid-December, most fans believed it was time to cancel the season. Yes, just end it.

At 4-3 and with plenty of season ahead, the Cowboys looked to be done in the eyes of many. But while most of Cowboys Nation panicked, my mind went somewhere else.

To the quarterback of America's Team, Dak Prescott.

Dallas Cowboys: Ranking Top 5 Most Indispensable Players 5

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 01: Dak Prescott #4 warms up before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Despite what some on the outside may say, Prescott has had himself a hell of a season. Not only are his numbers and his analytical value better than they were during his fantastic rookie season, he also looks more comfortable during this sophomore campaign.

Prescott is the leader of the Cowboys' prolific offense, though he rarely receives the credit. "They" point to his offensive line, ignoring that with two new starters in the line-up this season that same offensive line has struggled.

"They" point to his receiving weapons, while still attempting to argue that Jason Witten is washed up and Dez Bryant has lost a step.

And, of course, "they" point to Ezekiel Elliott, the league's reigning rushing champion who enters his suspension third in the NFL in yards this season.

While Dak Prescott ran away with Rookie of the Year honors a season ago, and is one of (if not the) most promising young quarterback in the entire NFL, some still reach for ways to discredit what he has done.

In some ways, Dak Prescott has been perceived as being in the exact opposite light as his predecessor, Tony Romo. While Prescott has been surrounded by one of the league's top offenses, Romo's supporting cast was not nearly as impressive for much of his career. Where Prescott has "relied" on his elite running game, Romo was often asked to make things work by himself.

At least, that's what his detractors would tell you.

But now, with Ezekiel Elliott out and the Cowboys schedule as daunting as can be, he has a chance to silence all doubters. If Dak Prescott can be the quarterback he has been his entire life, and play the way which we believe he can, those same critics will be left with no ammunition.

Dak Prescott doesn't need to prove anything. He is a great young talent, and will be the Cowboys quarterback for a long time. But by stepping up over these next six games, he will not only save the Cowboys' season, but also put his stamp on this franchise once again.

Spoiler alert: he is going to show everyone just how special he is.



Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Travis Diggs

    November 1, 2017 at 10:55 am

    PREACH!!!!!

  2. TreFKennedy88

    November 1, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Over these next 6 games we gotta go 4-2, with a W over the eagles. As much as we all love Dak, 144 passing yards ain’t gonna cut it. Now is the time Dak and Dez get this connection going because they aren’t gonna give us anything. The o line has to get better and the defense has to get better because to have a realistic shot of winning the east or a wild card we have to go 7-2 these last 9 games, worse case 6-3, I believe in our team but this is the crossroads of our season

    • Stuart Brereton

      November 1, 2017 at 9:23 pm

      144yds won the game didn’t it? He didn’t have to go crazy throwing the ball given the conditions, because the running game was working great. He made the throws when he had to, ran when he had to, and helped us secure a win. At the end of the day, the win was what mattered most, not his passing yardage.

      • TreFKennedy88

        November 2, 2017 at 6:14 am

        Tell that to the chiefs, falcons and eagles the next 3 weeks because if you think Dak throwing for 144 yards is gonna beat any of the aforementioned teams you’re sadly mistaken

        • Adam Googs

          November 2, 2017 at 11:09 am

          The weather called for that particular game plan. Pound the ball with Zeke, (33 carries) move the chains, and limit mistakes. If you think Dak’s performance at home will be anything like in that monsoon, you’re sadly mistaken

          • TreFKennedy88

            November 2, 2017 at 2:55 pm

            I know Dak will ignite the offense at home

  3. Russ_Te

    November 2, 2017 at 1:52 am

    High confidence in Dak, Morris and McFadden.

    With Elliott starting i really believe it’s a great move to throw on 1st down in the 1st quarter. Boxes are either overloaded or keying on Elliott, you get easy hits and that backs the secondary the hell off of Elliott. We saw it work in DC, even in the rain.

    It’s different for however many games Elliott is out. Dallas will not face the same overloads on early downs. I still like the approach, since in theory it will loosen the defense for Morris whether it is 7 up or 8 up. But if Dallas returns to the predictable 1st down hand off, that will work better for Morris than for Elliott – defenses just will not be as worried about him gashing them.

    So you can strap the offense to Dak for 6 weeks, or change nothing and I think either works out pretty well. For comical value I would not mind seeing Dallas open in 4 WR and Morris. Now the defense is buying pass, you’ve got 5 or 6 in the box and Morris finds plenty of running lanes.

    You’d have to get out of it at some point, but I’d like to see that. I also think the 6 weeks will be decisive for McFadden. He just turned 30, has low NFL miles and is not likely satisfied with going inactive every week. If not mistaken he becomes the 3rd down RB now. If he breaks a draw or swing pass for a long score, we’ll have an RB controversy and McF will either want a promotion or want out.

    • Adam Googs

      November 2, 2017 at 11:13 am

      They should also do a lot of RPO with Morris since the best season of his career was his rookie year with RGIII. They ran that play like 90% of the time, resulting in big runs for whoever ended up with the ball

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Star Blog

3 Things We Learned About The Dallas Cowboys In 2018

Kevin Brady

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Sean's Scout: Starting Front 7 Sets Tone Early, Cowboys Depth Falters in Loss to Bengals 1
AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth

Coming into the 2018 season, loads of questions surrounded the Dallas Cowboys and the future of their roster.

Could their defense stay intact when the annual Sean Lee injury occurred? Was Kris Richard going to lead the Cowboys young secondary to places we thought they could be? And would Dak Prescott earn a contact extension and become the official franchise quarterback of America's Team.

Of course, there are tons of other questions that may have gone unanswered, but these three critical areas seem to find clarity in 2018.

Leighton Vander Esch And Jaylon Smith Are Legit

The Dallas Cowboys caught a lot of flack for their selection both of these linebackers, each for different reasons.

When they snagged Jaylon Smith in the second round of the 2016 draft, it was still unknown to the public if Smith could ever even play football again. When they took Leighton Vander Esch 19th overall last April, fans questioned how valuable an off-ball linebacker would be on a defense that already had Sean Lee.

Well, after their first full season together, it's easy to say that both Vander Esch and Smith are the linebacker options of the future in Dallas. Named to the Pro Bowl during his rookie season, Vander Esch took the world by storm in 2018. When Lee went down, he was there to not only fill his shoes, but to outplay the veteran all year long.

What is fun to consider is that as good as Vander Esch was this season, Jaylon Smith might be even better. Both posses insane sideline to sideline pursuit ability, and are some of the surest tacklers in all of football.

Watching these two grow together will be a pleasure over the coming seasons.

Their Young Secondary Is Coming Together

Like their linebackers, the Dallas Cowboys secondary is a young group, who fans are excited to watch grow throughout the years. It seemed like more pressure sat on the shoulders of young cornerbacks Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie than of Smith and Vander Esch, however.

With Kris Richard joining the staff and making the decision to move Jones to cornerback full time, it was do-or-die for the former first round pick. Byron Jones answered all the doubters, earning not only a Pro Bowl selection but also First Team All Pro honors for his performance.

Opposite him, Awuzie had a rough start to his sophomore campaign. While typically right there in coverage, wide outs too often made contested catches over him. Over the final few weeks of the year, however, that changed and Awuzie played some of the best football yet.

Xavier Woods, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis (in much fewer snaps) all had fantastic seasons as well, giving the Cowboys great hope and confidence in their secondary moving forward. They may need to add another safety during the offseason, however, though Jeff Heath remains more than just a viable option.

Dak Prescott Is Here To Stay

Whether or not you think it's justified, Dak Prescott is the quarterback of the future in Dallas. And he earned that right the back-half of 2018 and during the postseason. After a shaky start to his 3rd season, Prescott turned things around nicely, leading the Cowboys to a 7-1 finish to the regular season.

Prescott played the best football of his young career down the stretch, and showed just how valuable he is both on the field and in the locker room. It seemed like every game he made 2-3 winning plays that put the Cowboys over the top that afternoon.

Dak is going to get a contract extension, and will be locked in as a Cowboy for the foreseeable future, and with the way he played the final 10 games of his season, I can't second guess this decision much at all.



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Jason Garrett Can’t be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?

Brian Martin

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Jason Garrett Can't be Serious About Retaining Scott Linehan, Can He?

One of the few positives most of us were looking forward to after the Dallas Cowboys Divisional Round loss to the Los Angeles Rams was the fact that Scott Linehan would no longer be the offensive coordinator for America's Team. Everything was pointing to his dismissal, but that may not be the case according to Head Coach Jason Garrett.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Jason Garrett said on 105.3 The Fan that offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will return in 2019. "We don't anticipate any significant changes on our staff," Garrett said.

I can't say that I was happy upon learning Jason Garrett plans on retaining Scott Linehan as the Cowboys OC in 2019. In fact, my first thought was… Well, something better left unsaid. I'm sure many of you can kind of read my mind, because I'm pretty positive you had all that the same thoughts running through your head as well.

In all honesty, I didn't think there was a snowball chance in hell Scott Linehan would return to Dallas after the conclusion of the 2018 season. After all, the Cowboys nearly fired him during the bye week earlier this season, meaning his job security was already on thin ice. He didn't do anything to improve things in my opinion.

I know Jason Garrett has said Scott Linehan will return as the OC in 2019, but not for a second do I believe it. We are less than 72 hours hours removed from the Cowboys exit from the playoffs and I highly doubt any of Dallas' decision-makers has had the time to sit down and discuss who stays and who goes. In fact, I know they haven't.

Jeff Cavanaugh on Twitter

Stephen Jones says they won't comment on anything with coaching staff but that they need to take a deep look at why they fell short. Says it a little early to speculate about players or coaches. They haven't had a meeting about it yet.

I think once the Cowboys brass sits down and reevaluates the 2018 season, they will come to the conclusion they can do better than Scott Linehan as their offensive coordinator. There were just too many times throughout the season where the playcalling was a problem just. It's just time to move on, despite the vote of confidence by Jason Garrett.

Of course, this could just be me trying to read between the lines hoping and praying Scott Linehan is finally fired. Like many of you, I've grown way too tired of his predictable and dated playcalling. It's time to move on and find someone more innovative who can maximize the talent the Dallas Cowboys have on the roster, much like Kris Richard did with the defense.

You can either choose to believe Jason Garrett or not. I for one have a hard time seeing the Dallas Cowboys staying status quo with their coaching staff, especially their offensive coordinator. But, only time will tell.

Do you think it's time for the Dallas Cowboys to fire Scott Linehan?



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Star Blog

Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright

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Cowboys Rammed Out of Playoffs but 2019 is Bright

If you were to have clicked over to Sportsbook Review, you could have seen what all the premier online sportsbooks were dealing on the Cowboys/Rams game before kickoff. Sites like Bovada, which incidentally you can read a Bovada Review at Sportsbook Review as well, had the Rams favored in every quarter, in both halves, and installed LA as seven-point favorites over Dallas. As is often the case, the number was nearly spot on as the Rams bounced our 'Boys out of the postseason 30-22. It was a heart-wrenching loss for Dallas fans everywhere but for those who put their money where their mouths were, it was particularly painful in what turned out to be a one-point difference between losing and pushing.

Let’s look on the bright side, though. The Cowboys not only copped the division crown but the draft picks from April bore fruit this season. Linebacker and No. 19 overall pick Leighton Vander Esch is a certified stud while third-round pick Michael Gallup proved he is a bona fide NFL receiver. Second-round offensive lineman Connor Williams had difficulties at left guard, but at the very least, has a season under his belt at the next level and could turn into a legitimate bodyguard for Prescott in 2019.

And let’s not forget about the trade for Amari Cooper, which turned Dallas from a squad struggling to find its identity to an NFC East champ in winning seven of its last nine games since Cooper arrived. This year’s edition also bested a tough Seahawks team in the first-round of the playoffs.

Let’s face it, folks, no one expected the Cowboys to win a Super Bowl this season and what we got was about as much as we could have hoped with the current roster as it is presently constructed.

Dak Prescott has one more year on his rookie contract and will be looking to score a big payday at the end of next season, if not sooner. The Cowboys could enter negotiations and lock Prescott up for the foreseeable future, but it might be best for both parties to see what 2019 brings and go from there. Either way, Dallas will pay beaucoup bucks to keep Prescott in a Cowboys uniform so watching and waiting will most likely be the tact management takes with their star quarterback, with a franchise tag in 2020 as an option as well.

In the team’s immediate future will be signing their second-round pick in 2014, DeMarcus Lawrence. The talented defensive end provided the Cowboys with the edge rusher they needed for parts of this season and his combined 25 sacks over the last two seasons would be nearly impossible to replace. Dallas franchised him this season but will most likely put together a long-term deal for Lawrence in the offseason.

Ezekiel Elliott has also reportedly been hinting at his own contract extension even though he is contractually committed to the Cowboys for next season with a team option in '20.

Ironically, one of the strengths of the Dallas Cowboys in recent years was a relatively weak link this season. The offensive line was decimated by injuries and Pro Bowler Travis Frederick missed the entire season. But those wounds will heal for next season and the old gang will be back together again.

The Cowboys have loads of cap space but are without a first-round pick due to the trade for Amari Cooper. Nevertheless, the young blood on the team looks poised to contribute for many years and there will be money available to woo free agents to a club now viewed as a legitimate contender.

If you want to look at next season’s odds, make sure to educate yourself on which online sportsbooks are the most reputable, trusted, and reliable. Read the Bovada Review over at SBR and see what customers are saying about one of the industry’s top sportsbooks. Then, when the lines come out on next season’s division, conference, and Super Bowl winners, you can be informed and maybe throw a few bucks on the 'Boys from Dallas!



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