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NFL Draft

Draft Film Review: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

For the majority of this Draft Film Review series, I have followed the order which the Cowboys drafted. Meaning, I reviewed the players drafted in the first four rounds before I reviewed those taken in the sixth. In the case of fourth round selection and former Mississippi State Bulldogs Quarterback Dak Prescott, however, I decided to wait until the end. I did this for a few different reasons. First of all, I find him to be possibly the most intriguing of all the Cowboys rookies.

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Draft Film Review: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

For the majority of this Draft Film Review series, I have followed the order which the Cowboys drafted. Meaning, I reviewed the players drafted in the first four rounds before I reviewed those taken in the sixth.

In the case of fourth round selection and former Mississippi State Bulldogs Quarterback Dak Prescott, however, I decided to wait until the end. I did this for a few different reasons.

First of all, I find him to be possibly the most intriguing of all the Cowboys rookies. Of course, Jaylon Smith has a certain amount of intrigue due to his possibly career ending knee injury and other players like Charles Tapper have intrigue because of the substantial need which we hope they can fulfill.

But Dak is just different.

The importance of being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as a quarterback with the teams intentions being for you to play quarterback cannot be understated. Especially after what Dallas went through a year ago.

I also waited to analyze Dak because I wanted to take some extra time evaluating him. My goal when studying a player is to review at least four games of his college career. DraftBreakdown.com has posted 13 of Dak’s games at Mississippi State, however, and I watched every single one.

Just as I told you when four full games weren’t available to me in Anthony Brown’s case, I want you to keep in mind that 13 games were available to me in Dak’s case. Mostly because I believe it helped me make my most accurate evaluation.

Prescott was a four year starter at Mississippi State, and saw a clear improvement as a passer with each season.

Due to the offense he operated in during college, his physical features, and his athletic ability, Prescott has drawn comparisons to Tim Tebow. Many also think that like Tebow, Prescott will fizzle out of the league after a short stay.

However, I truly believe that Prescott’s arm talent is being vastly underrated when the Tebow comparisons are made. Dak has a strong, live arm and possesses great field vision.

Just from listening to interviews he has done and watching those 13 college games that were available to me I could tell that Dak is great “above the shoulders.” He understands the game of football, and understands how to work through his progressions and reads while recognizing defenses quickly.

He fits perfectly into Jason Garrett’s “Right Kind of Guys” model, despite the DUI arrest.

Dak Prescott vs. Auburn (2014)

Make or find animated gifs like Dak Prescott vs. Auburn (2014) on gifs.com

Prescott has a tendency to not step into his throws, something we will see the downside of later on in this piece. On this play, however, Prescott is able to overcome being unable to step into his throw with his arm strength. He stands in the face of pressure and makes the play, showing a ton of poise in the pocket.

What I love about this play the most is that while his offensive line was fooled by Auburn’s blitz, Prescott was able to recognize the free rusher quickly and get the ball out on time.

Dak Prescott vs LSU 2015

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As I said earlier, Prescott has a very live arm. His arm strength allows him to make these back shoulder passes on time, and keep them away from the defender. This ball gets to the receiver in a hurry, and results in a big completion.

Dak Prescott vs LSU 2015

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Coaches love what Dak has “above the shoulders.” Here we see him read the front side blitz pre-snap, and then snap his eyes backside to the quick slant pattern. He then shows off his velocity, threading the pass between two defenders.

Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) vs. Louisiana Tech (2015)

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Prescott has the arm talent, “football IQ,” and poise in the pocket to make it at the next level. This element of his game may be what excites coaches the most, however. Prescott is able to scramble out of the pocket, improvise a bit, and then deliver a strike down the field for a big play. Almost Romo-esque.

Dak Prescott vs Texas A&M (2015)

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Of course what every team probably loved about Dak Prescott was his athletic ability. The Bulldogs loved to run these QB-Draw plays out of shotgun formation, and more often than not it seemed to be successful. Prescott runs the draw play here, and escapes around the edge for a first down.

He also uses his size and strength at the end of the run, barreling over the defensive back and falling forward for any extra yardage he can find. He is so tough and determined when he gets a chance to run, and he isn’t afraid to try to deliver a blow.

Dak Prescott vs. Alabama (2014)

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Enjoy Prescott running through Alabama defenders here. Dak understands where the first down marker is and refuses to be denied. If you want to bring him down, arm tackles won’t do.

Dak Prescott vs Texas A&M (2015)

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Prescott struggles with inaccuracy at times, and it seems to come from his inconsistent footwork and throwing motion. He does face a little bit of pressure on this play, but considering it is coming from his front side and he has time to throw, this pass should have been for a touchdown.

Instead, he rushes his feet and lets go of the ball without any step into his throw. You cant miss throws like this at the next level.

Dak Prescott vs. Georgia Tech (Capital One Orange Bowl, 2014)

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Once again we see Prescott struggle with his deep ball accuracy on this play. He has time to throw, has a clean pocket, and has a wide open receiver. He cannot miss this one.

Dak Prescott vs. Auburn (2014)

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We see Prescott get “happy feet” on this play as well. His poor footwork results in an inaccurate throw, and a missed opportunity.

However, Prescott was able to go through his entire set of progressions on this play and recognize which receiver he should deliver the ball to. It wasn’t his first or second option on the play, but he was able to work his way down and give himself a chance to make the throw.

I’m willing to guess that the Cowboys staff believes they can fix the footwork issues, which will allow Dak to showcase his football IQ and arm talent.

If this is the case, and Prescott can refine his mechanics and footwork while working under the tutelage of Tony Romo and the Cowboys’ coaches, he has a real chance to make it in this league.

I know it doesn’t look pretty at times, but Dak got it done his four years at Mississippi State while playing in arguably the best conference in the nation. His drive and intensity will help him work at his game to hopefully get to a point where he can be trusted in big game situations.

At this point, however, I don’t know if Prescott can beat out Kellen Moore for that backup quarterback role. Moore isn’t exactly a consistent quarterback himself, but he has an extra year in the system and has game experience in the NFL.

With time and with practice, I can see Prescott moving up the depth chart.

I expect Dak to make the team and have a chance to dress on Sundays, and hopefully find a way to be QB2 come September. Given time behind veteran Tony Romo, I think Dak Prescott has a real chance to succeed for the Cowboys.

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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 am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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2 Comments
  • George Johnson

    Kevin Brady: Good analysis on Dak Prescott. For your information one of Kellen Moore's strengths is consistency. He was very consistent in college. I don't think Dak Prescott can beat out K Moore in Dak's rookie year unless he is the next T Romo, a very quick learner and very mature in his NFL readiness.

    • http://PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

      George, you keep making this Tony Romo comparison. Romo sat on the Cowboys bench for three full seasons (2003-2005) and only became the #2 quarterback in 2006. He was #3 behind Chad Hutchinson in 2003 and then Drew Henson in 2004-2005. You're making the right point about Prescott needing to be a fast learner and adapt quickly to the NFL, but Romo isn't really the right example.

NFL Draft

Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys

Sean Martin

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Sean's Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller A Needed Weapon For Cowboys
AP Photo / Jessica Hill

Slotted to pick 19th overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys find themselves in position to add a first-round talent to a team that fell just short of the playoffs at 9-7 in 2017. Faltering entirely on offense without RB Ezekiel Elliott too many times this season, it’s hard to argue this asset is not best spent on new talent at WR.

The Cowboys haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round since 2010, trading up for Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant. Frequent injuries and the inability to develop with QB Dak Prescott have diminished Bryant’s status as a star receiver in Dallas, and it may be time to overhaul the position entirely.

After scouting Memphis WR Anthony Miller, he may be just what the Dallas Cowboys need. Let’s take a closer look at his fit in the Cowboys’ offense in the first draft-season edition of Sean’s Scout.

WR Anthony Miller 2 – Streamable

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With 96 receptions for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns in his final season at Memphis, Senior WR Anthony Miller is one of the top players at his position in the 2018 NFL Draft. These inflated numbers in the Tigers’ pass-happy offense do little to highlight Miller as a next level prospect…

This film clip and quote from my full scouting report on Miller shows the pure play-making ability Miller has. Miller wouldn’t fill the Cowboys need for an over-the-top burner at WR, but he has no problem tracking the ball with ease and adjusting in the air to make big plays down the field.

…Miller is as tough of a cover as you’ll find thanks to his explosive and concise release off the line.

Anthony Miller is certainly a “Dak-friendly” pass catcher, as he possesses the catch radius to snag passes away from his frame using his exceptionally strong hands. Even when he is covered, Miller is open vertically.

With that said, Miller has more than enough ability to separate with good initial quickness and elite balance through his routes.

WR Anthony Miller 4 – Streamable

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…he wastes no time accelerating through the secondary, and running with a powerful stride that makes it difficult to bring him down.

There may be better technical route runners in this draft class, but few set up defenders as consistently well as Miller — who has the production to match these NFL traits.

A willing run blocker too, Miller could walk into Dallas and immediately earn snaps as an X, Z, or Y receiver. Miller’s best fit to start his career is likely as a Z receiver, drawing less attention in coverage while being allowed to run a full route tree.

…Miller gets on cornerbacks in a hurry, setting them up with his fluidity and size to track the football through contact.

A potential replacement for Terrance Williams with the Cowboys, Miller is somewhat of a similar player in the way he wins with mostly size.

The Memphis product would still be an upgrade over Williams though, as it is much easier to get the ball in Miller’s hands. Add in the red-zone ability that Anthony Miller has to box out defenders, and the run-after-catch burst as an inside target, and Miller is a weapon the Cowboys could desperately use.

WR Anthony Miller 1 – Streamable

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

…I found myself constantly impressed with the speed at which Miller gets up the field when taking the ball underneath.

Miller will have nothing but opportunities to raise his draft stock over the coming months. He will be at this month’s Senior Bowl, receiving NFL-level coaching to refine his game. The Scouting Combine will also be critical for Miller’s testing numbers to confirm the athlete seen on tape dominating at Memphis will take the next step.

Earning a second round grade on my 2018 NFL Draft Board, there is a chance the Cowboys have to use their first round pick if they truly want Anthony Miller in Silver and Blue. A very complete player that fills a need, Miller as the Cowboys first pick could make plenty of sense in April.

Tell us what you think about “Sean’s Scout: Memphis WR Anthony Miller a Needed Weapon for Cowboys” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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NFL Draft

Luxury or Need for Cowboys to Draft Another 1st-Round OL?

Brian Martin

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Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Due to growing concerns about Tyron Smith‘s availability and future health, due to reoccurring back injuries, there seems to be a growing consensus among Dallas Cowboys fans that there’s a need to draft an offensive lineman with the first-round pick. But, is it actually a need, or would it be more of a luxury?

There is legitimate concern about Tyron Smith and his future health.

Back injuries have a way of flaring up at the most inopportune times. It’s also not an injury that’s going away anytime soon, if ever. This is the unknown the Cowboys are faced with heading into the off-season, and it could end up having a major impact on the direction they go in the 2018 NFL Draft.

There seems to be a growing consensus around Cowboys Nation that the Dallas Cowboys should seriously consider selecting the best available offensive tackle with the 19th overall pick.

There are probably two reasons for this:

  1. Tyron Smith’s health concerns, and
  2. the need to upgrade the swing tackle position after watching Byron Bell and Chaz Green play in 2017.

But, the question remains: is drafting yet another offensive lineman in the first-round a luxury or need for the Dallas Cowboys?

Personally, I can see both sides of this argument. So, let’s break it down a little and examine each.

Luxury

Zack Martin

Dallas Cowboys RG Zack Martin

The Dallas Cowboys have already invested an enormous amount of resources to build arguably the best offensive line in the NFL.

They’ve spent three first-round draft picks to acquire Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin, two of which have already received long-term extensions with Martin waiting in the wings.

That’s a lot of money devoted to one position, which ultimately means the Cowboys have to go cheaper in other areas in order to fit under the salary cap. This is the money that would be used in free agency to acquire some of those higher-priced free agents fans are always hankering for.

It also can be used to re-sign some of the Cowboys players at other positions, such as DeMarcus Lawrence.

But, it’s not only the money that makes drafting a first-round OL a luxury.

Four out of five of the Cowboys OL are already pretty much set in stone. The left guard position is really the only unoccupied position right now, but that could be filled rather easily. This, of course, is assuming Tyron Smith stays healthy, but regardless, he is the starting left tackle when the 2018 season begins.

Need

Byron Bell

Dallas Cowboys OL Byron Bell

There’s no reason to believe Tyron Smith will be able to play an entire 16-game season going forward. The last two seasons he has had to sit out several games due to injuries, and unfortunately his back issues aren’t going away anytime soon.

To make matters worse, Dallas doesn’t have an adequate backup, which was proven on more than one occasion in 2017. Hence the need.

With the exception of the quarterback, the left tackle position is arguably the most important on offense. They protect the QB’s blindside and are largely responsible for keeping him healthy and upright.

There’s a reason they are drafted so highly and paid so handsomely: they are that important to a team’s success.

There was also a reason the Dallas Cowboys offense started to sputter once Tyron Smith started missing time. Opposing defenses no longer respected the Cowboys LT, and started putting their best pass rusher on that side to get after Dak Prescott.

Prescott ended up having happy feet and it had a ripple effect throughout the entire offense, and not in a good way.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Quite honestly, I think it would be a luxury to draft any kind of offensive lineman with the Cowboys’ first-round selection, but I wouldn’t be completely surprised if that’s the direction they went. There are positives and negatives to both sides of the argument.

But, if they stick to the draft board and an OL is their highest rated player there, I say go for it.

The only thing we can do is have faith that the Dallas Cowboys know more about Tyron Smith’s health and his availability to play then we do as fans. If they decide to draft an offensive lineman early, I think we should all take that as an indication that they are worried about Smith, at least a little bit.

Luxury or Need: Do the Cowboys draft a first-round OL?

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NFL Draft

The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition

Mauricio Rodriguez

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The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition
James D. Smith / Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys football team has a lot of needs on both sides of the ball. Sure, that’s pretty sad to say as a die-hard Cowboys fan, but it should make for a very interesting offseason. This front office needs to find a way to add talent in the draft, and probably in free agency as well, all while finding ways to keep Anthony Hitchens, DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving, and extending Zack Martin.

Maybe they’re not able to achieve everything, but as long as they don’t lose all of these guys, they should be fine. We may even see a surprising release or trade. It sure would be interesting to see this team release Dez Bryant, for example.

Last year, Dallas lost Barry Church, Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr and Ronald Leary… among others. But what do these four guys have in common? They all resulted in compensatory picks for the Dallas Cowboys’ 2018 NFL Draft.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Including the expected Compensatory Picks that the Cowboys will receive for their Free Agents that signed with other teams in 2017, the Cowboys should have the following picks in the 2018 Draft:

The Cowboys got two additional fourths and two fifths. After trading up to get Xavier Woods in 2017, Dallas had no original fifth rounders for this year’s draft.

This is a front office that avoids making “big splashes” in free agency and in the draft lately, but I wonder if they’ll at least explore trading possibilities this time.

With three fourth-round picks and two fifths, they should have more than enough ammunition.

Will McClay Discusses 2016 Cowboys Draft Class, Looks Ahead to 2017

Dallas Cowboys VP Stephen Jones, Will McClay

This team has done a nice job in the last few drafts, and with Will McClay staying for at least one more year, they might as well try to get everything they can out of their draft picks. After all, Dak Prescott himself was a fourth-round compensatory pick.

Even still, I would like to see this team do something out of the ordinary.

Whether it’s trading up to get a well-fitting player who might otherwise go before their pick, or if it’s to get another team’s player, it would be interesting to see this front office pull the trigger on an interesting trade.

Sometimes it’s surprising what NFL teams can get with late round picks.

The Buffalo Bills traded away Marcell Dareus for only a sixth-round pick less than a year ago. I mean, how would you have felt if Dallas had gotten Dareus for just a sixth rounder? I would’ve been completely fine with it, to be honest.

The Cowboys have enough ammunition to consider pulling a trade-off in free agency or the NFL Draft.

We may not like the coaching, but in the past few years, this front office has done a good job when it comes to team-building.

We were all frightened when we saw the defensive players that were leaving in the secondary, and a season later, the young defensive backs are one of the reasons why we’re very optimistic about this team’s future.

So if they decide to keep their picks to themselves, I’d say it’ll be worth it, too.

After a sad season, at least we have an intriguing offseason ahead of us to keep us entertained.

Tell me what you think about “The Dallas Cowboys Will Have More Than Enough Trade Ammunition” 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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