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Hope Behind Romo: The Excitement of Dak Prescott



Cowboys Headlines - Hope Behind Romo: The Excitement of Dak Prescott

For the first time ever last Saturday night, I was genuinely satisfied watching a Dallas Cowboys preseason game.

I couldn't help but dream that just maybe Dak Prescott is the future...

If nothing else, maybe he can at least be a backup that can win some games if called upon.

10-of-12 for 139 yards and two touchdowns is an impressive NFL debut.

Since the performance against the Los Angeles Rams, Prescott has received praise for his stat-line and poise leading the Dallas offense. On the other hand, the usual detractors have mocked fans buying into the idea of the Cowboys finally finding something at backup quarterback after only one preseason performance.

I get it, but can anyone blame us for getting hyped?

2015 Was An Absolute Nightmare

The record of 1-12 without Tony Romo over the past two seasons is pathetic. We, as fans, have suffered underwhelming results too long when Romo has been injured.

For years now, it has truly been Romo or bust. It's always been frustrating for me to talk Cowboys with friends, co-workers, and family. When asked the simple question, "how do you think the Cowboys will do this year," the quick answer from me has been:

"If Romo stays healthy, they have a chance."

In the past, when Romo got hurt, you could just feel the life being sucked out of the team. With Prescott, I'm not so sure that'll be the case anymore. He's much more electric than your typical run-of-the-mill veteran backup. And his playing style could very well be the jolt this team needs if forced to go to Plan B again.

Don't Anoint Dak Prescott, Yet

I'm not saying Prescott should be considered a success story just yet, and it's important to put everything into context.

We need to see much more from Dak before anything can be said further. He doesn't have my confidence yet, and he shouldn't have anyone yours either. That said, let's look at what he does have.

Prescott has what almost every young backup quarterback in this league doesn't.

Offensively, he could not be in a better situation.

He is protected with the league's best offensive line. He is in a run-heavy offense with a passing game that's just as deadly when the two compliment each other. Then, perhaps the most underrated of all, there's the tutelage of an aging mentor in Tony Romo.

Add Prescott's mobility and this offense has the ability to hit defenses from every phase imaginable. If everything can go as planned, just imagine opposing teams trying to stop Ezekiel Elliott on the ground, Dez Bryant through the air, and Dak Prescott extending plays.

It's important to hold the anointing oil, but I will not apologize for getting amped, nor should you. We have the right to be excited for what's to come.

If Tony Romo suffers a similar fate this year, I will cringe, curse, and throw something at my TV. Again.

But at the very least, I can actually look forward to watching Dak Prescott.

Die hard Dallas Cowboys fan behind enemy lines here in New Jersey. CBS Sports employee and contributor for

  • Ethan Chazin

    I think these narrow dive articles are interesting while there is a shortage of news to report during the tail end of training camp, but…You could’ve easily discussed the additional excitement coming from the fact that they didn’t even showcase the plays that are now available with Dak running the ball plus it would have been a statistical perfect performance minus 2 drops. Yes, let’s temper our enthusiasm but going back to 2006/7 think of all the failed backup QB experiments in Dallas. So given all the history, that 1 performance had the potential for a major culture change. Let’s revisit after the 2nd preseason game. Luv your work, plz dive deeper.

    • jgrohowski

      Ethan, thank you for your comment and taking a genuine interest in my work.

      I agree with your points about Prescott possibly sparking a major culture change. Even the amount of energy he is bringing to the team after only one half of a preseason game is incredible. At the very least, he has a sense of confidence, energy, and play-making ability with his legs that the position has lacked recently when it has had to go to the run of the mill veteran backup. That was what I touched on briefly here. It’s just such a small sample size that we have to look at, so I did not want to make it more than it is within this article.

      As for your comment on Dak running the ball, and potential plays that will come to cater to him, that is a terrific point. Preseason is typically vanilla in terms of play calling, so perhaps the team is still in the process of drawing up specific plays for him, if they ever even will. But nevertheless, it is exciting to have the possibility of having someone that can create that match up problem for the defense.

      I will definitely delve deeper into my analysis of Prescott as his time as a Dallas Cowboy progresses.

Player News

Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson

Jess Haynie



Deonte Thompson

The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.

Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.

Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.

Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.

For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys: How “Position-Flex” Has Handcuffed The 2015 Draft Class

Kevin Brady



Byron Jones

Over the last few years the Dallas Cowboys have placed a high level of importance on "position flex." They've drafted Swiss-Army knife players which could be moved around to different positions on the field.

By drafting players like Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods last year, as well as Byron Jones in 2015, the Cowboys have tried to find these versatile players who can be used in multiple ways.

While this seems great on paper, this strategy has handcuffed the majority of their 2015 Draft Class, and is a key reason why the Cowboys seem to be in such a tough spot.

Byron Jones

The Cowboys' first round pick in 2015, Byron Jones, quickly became a favorite of mine during his rookie season. Incredibly athletic, long, and skilled in coverage, Jones was able to be both a fantastic cover cornerback and a solid middle-of-the-field safety due to his range.

Due to both injuries to his teammates, and Jones' own versatility, the Cowboys coaching staff couldn't keep Jones in just one spot. Once they discovered how great he was in man coverage against tight ends, they became enamored with trying to play him in the box.

Once in the box, Jones' struggles as a run defender were highlighted, and both the organization and the fans soured on him quickly.

Now it is rumored that Byron Jones will be moving back to cornerback full time. And while I do hope this is the case, the fact that he is in year four, and the Cowboys haven't been able to find their first round pick a permanent home is a huge indictment on their ability to evaluate and develop talent.

Chaz Green

Okay, hear me out.

The former third round pick of the 2015 Draft was brought in to be the swing tackle for the Cowboys his rookie year. Mainly due to injuries, Green did not see the field for much of his first two seasons. When he did fill in for Tyron Smith at left tackle in 2016, however, Green was very effective.

Of course, Chaz Green's last appearance with the Cowboys was ugly, giving up a plethora of sacks against the Atlanta Falcons. But Dallas might've made their own bed with Green during the beginning of the 2017 season, when they attempted to move him to left guard full time.

Instead of getting the increased work at tackle, and continuing to work as the swing tackle for the team in case of injury, Dallas started Green at left guard early on in the year. He struggled trying to move positions, and looked even worse when trying to move back to tackle.

Once again, the position flex bit the Cowboys right in the backside.

La'el Collins

It's 2018 and we are still talking about what position to play La'el Collins on the offensive line. And that is solely on the coaching staff and front office, not Collins.

Collins was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but was widely regarded as a first round pick heading into that draft. Though he started at left tackle at LSU, Dallas shifted Collins inside to left guard in 2015. After taking over for Ronald Leary as the starter, Collins produced highlight blocks week after week.

Injuries shortened his 2016 campaign, but heading into 2017 the Cowboys decided to shift him back out to right tackle. Despite some early struggles, Collins progressed nicely throughout the year and became a solid starting right tackle. Plus, he has the upside to become one of the top right tackles in the league.

Instead, it is now being rumored the Cowboys might move him back to guard for 2018. And with that news, I continue to pull my hair out over the position-flex decisions this coaching staff and front office like to make.

If the Cowboys want to get the most out of each draft class, and effectively develop their talent, they need to let those players actually develop, rather than move them around each season. Hopefully they now understand this, and allow both Byron Jones and La'el Collins to reach their full potential.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.

The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.

Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.

A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.

Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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