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Is Evaluating Dak Prescott Really This Hard?

RJ Ochoa

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Dak Prescott

No one, and I mean no one, saw Dak Prescott coming. He took over the NFL in a way that completely stunned all those around him, to the point that it forced Tony Romo - the Cowboys all-time leader in passing - to retire. It's understandable after all, there are always misses when it comes to the NFL Draft. Some people can accept this, but others feel the need to get way too hipster about it all with continual batches of takes.

Andy Benoit on Twitter

Dak Prescott as rookie had great OL, run game and a true No 1 WR. Still has it, but at some point won't. Then we'll really learn about him.

Let me be clear here and say that Andy Benoit does great work... but I don't understand the point that he decided to try and circle around on Monday. There are so many thoughts that I have about this one, simple tweet that I had to take some time to write them down (you're reading them!).

How Did We Not Learn Anything About Dak Prescott?

The insinuation that Andy is making here is that because the Dallas Cowboys have pieces around Dak Prescott in the form of an offensive line, run game, and Dez Bryant that we simply do not know anything about him. What?

Dez Bryant is an amazing wide receiver (I fell on a Janoris Jenkins-shaped sword for him on Monday because of how great he is), but he doesn't at all make Dak Prescott who he is. Does our perpetrator here not remember that Dez Bryant missed three games? The Cowboys traveled to San Francisco, hosted Cincinnati, and went to Lambeau Field all without #88 suiting up. Dak seemed to not completely fall apart...

  • San Francisco: 23/32, 245 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, win.
  • Cincinnati: 18/24, 227 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions, win.
  • Green Bay: 18/27, 247 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, win.

To belittle Dez Bryant's importance to the Dallas Cowboys would be silly, but let's really pump the brakes on just declaring that Dak had a "true No 1 WR". The only metric in which Dez Bryant actually finished first in on the team was touchdowns (8). He was second in yards (Cole Beasley) and third in receptions (Beasley and Jason Witten). Dez Bryant is a huge part of the Cowboys Offense, but this is a ridiculous blanket statement.

Did The Dallas Cowboys Offense Drastically Change From 2015 To 2016?

The 2015 Dallas Cowboys were a train wreck in many painful ways; however, from a roster perspective - specifically the offensive starters - not a whole lot changed when Dak Prescott took over.

Andy Benoit on Twitter

Almost hard to evaluate Dak Prescott because his conditions are so favorable (OL, run game, etc.) That's incredibly rare in NFL.

Andy Benoit is attesting that it's difficult to evaluate Dak Prescott... because the conditions are so favorable?! These same exact conditions - for the most part, Dez Bryant missed more time in 2015 - existed for Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore just one year before Prescott's arrival. Were the Offensive Line and stout run game (Darren McFadden finished 4th in rushing, the Cowboys as a team finished 9th) a favorable environment then?

Also let's discuss how ridiculous this is besides Andy's ignoring of the common denominators across 2015-2016. Is the implication here that no NFL quarterback can be properly evaluated if their surrounding circumstances are favorable? Is it a non-negotiable qualifier that a quarterback has to be surrounded by ineptitude for a proper evaluation to be conducted?

I suppose we should all hope that someday Dak Prescott will be surrounded by the worst talent to ever suit up in the NFL so that we can FINALLY get a proper evaluation of who he is. Yea, that makes sense. This isn't dumb. Nope, not at all.

Tell us what you think about "Is Evaluating Dak Prescott Really This Hard?" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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2 Comments
  • dallas1966

    RJ, you hit the head of the nail, again, you’re batting 1.0000. Anyway, these so called experts, twitter, anything to receive followers, by throwing stuff, against the wall, to see if it sticks, in order, to influence public opinion.

    These so called experts, are like the blind leading the blind. Dak’s talent comes every fifteen years. I wonder did our friend Andy, twitter, those thoughts, on Tom Brady, Ben Rothenberger, or Russell Wilson. I don’t think so.

    With Dak’s mental toughness, those comments will not phase Dak. Being the quarterback of America Team, is the hardest job in pro sports. That in itself, is enough for a person to handle, let alone in being successful. How About Dem Cowboys!! Dak Attack!!

  • John Williams

    And yet, people have always been quick to evaluate Romo as an average quarterback even though he carried below average rosters to 8-8 seasons and when he finally had a very talented roster, 12-4.

    Yes, Dak has great talent around him. But that great talent around him also had a great talent around them. Dak.

    You are absolutely right in that 2015 should make any “Dak has great talent around him” arguments obsolete, but sigh, they don’t.

Game Notes

Cowboys Wishlist: Connor Williams Turns It Around

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Could Connor Williams Be Option at Tight End for Cowboys? 1

The Dallas Cowboys are on the road again as they travel to Indianapolis to face a hot 7-6 Colts team that's trying to sneak into the AFC Playoffs. It will be a tough challenge for a team that's struggled when playing out of AT&T Stadium but the Cowboys have changed a lot since they were a 3-5 unit. This time, they're one of the hottest teams in the NFL and are one win away from clinching the NFC East.

We surely are in for a great game. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy this week's edition of "Cowboys Wishlist."

Wish #1: Leighton Vander Esch Outplays Darius Leonard

As impressive as Leighton Vander Esch has been for the Dallas Cowboys, he's not alone in the Defensive Rookie of the Year race. On today's game, he'll meet his match in Colts LB Darius Leonard. A second rounder himself, Leonard leads the league in tackles with 135. He also is responsible for 11 tackles for loss, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception.

Vander Esch, otherwise known as "Wolf Hunter" doesn't have such incredible stats, but playing time is a big reason why. His play has been pretty impressive, though. Ranked as the top rookie linebacker by PFF, hell be out there to prove who's the better player. I really wish he outplays Leonard en rout to the DROY award.

Dak Prescott Clutch in 4th Quarter & OT in Win Over Eagles 3

Wish #2: No Turnovers From Dak

455 yards, three touchdowns and another game-winning drive were more than impressive from Dak Prescott. I really have faith in him as the Cowboys' QB. But we can't ignore the three turnovers he was responsible for in such a close game versus the Philadelphia Eagles.

This game will be different. The Colts are a legit threat in the NFL right now and the Cowboys won't be the home team. Without Martin on the field, Prescott is likely to be pressured. If that's the case, he needs to watch out and avoid fumbles in the pocket.

It's really important the team takes care of the ball if they want the win versus Andrew Luck and company. I specifically wish Dak Prescott has a good game and does something he's done fairly well throughout his career:  take care of the ball.

Wish #3: Connor Williams Turns It Around

Expectations were sky-high for second round pick Connor Williams. A starter in week 1, injury and poor play sidelined him in favor of Xavier Su'a-Filo. With Zack Martin out for the game, Williams has another opportunity to shine. This time he'll be lining up as the team's right guard between C Joe Looney and RT La'el Collins.

It's very important to remember Williams is only a rookie. Just because we're used to offensive line rookies to have immediate success for Dallas doesn't mean every one the team brings in will be as great starting off. A rough start is not the end of the world for Williams. Also worth noting, the majority of his playing time came under now-fired OL coach Paul Alexander. I'm convinced he'll turn things around and will become an important player for the Cowboys soon.

For now, I wish he takes advantage of the opportunity to play and does a great job to be considered again for the LG spot once Martin returns.

Sean's Scout: Resilient Prescott Inches Cowboys Closer to NFC East Title

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper (Richard Rodriguez / Getty Images)

Wish #4: Amari Cooper Keeps It Up

The impact Amari Cooper has had on this team is quite frankly unbelievable. He should really be seen as this season's savior for the Cowboys. While the defense is winning games, without Cooper the offense would still be terrible and results wouldn't be the same. He has more than justified the first round pick the Jones traded away to get him.

In a big, road game like this one, I hope he keeps it up and has another huge performance. Whether it is multiple scores or a 100-yard game, I simply want to see him shine again.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Wishlist: Connor Williams Turns It Around" 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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Game Notes

Cowboys, Colts Week 15 Injury Report

Jess Haynie

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Less Is More For Sean Lee And Cowboys' LBs?

The Dallas Cowboys can clinch the NFC East with a win this week, while the Indianapolis Colts are fighting to stay alive in the AFC wild card race. Only one team can accomplish their goal, and both have some big names on the Week 15 injury report.

We'll begin with the visiting Cowboys, who could be getting at least one star player back while another is already confirmed to miss the game.

Dallas Cowboys

  • TE Geoff Swaim (wrist) - OUT
  • G Zack Martin (knee) - OUT
  • DL David Irving (ankle) - OUT
  • WR Tavon Austin (groin) - Questionable
  • WR Lance Lenoir (illness) - Questionable
  • OT Tyron Smith (neck) - Questionable
  • DE Randy Gregory (personal) - Questionable
  • LB Sean Lee (hamstring) - Questionable

Yes, sadly, Zack Martin will be out tomorrow. The good news is that Connor Williams got the entire week to practice with the starters at right guard. You can read much more about this situation and it's impact on the game here, courtesy of our own Sean Martin.

Also ruled out, as they have been for a while now, are TE Geoff Swaim and DL David Irving.  Swaim is still recovering from wrist surgery but has not been placed on injured reserve, so the team must feel he could be back for the playoffs. Irving could return as soon as next week.

Speaking of returns, Sean Lee may be back on the field this Sunday. It's unknown yet how he'll rotate with Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, but Dallas has the luxury of working him in slowly thanks to the play of their young duo.

Tavon Austin could also return this week, creating another new offensive wrinkle. Austin has been injured since the Jacksonville game and has yet to play since the Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper. Not only could Tavon do some interesting things in the offense, but he should bring some additional sizzle to special teams.

While appearing on the injury report, Randy Gregory missed practice this week for "family reasons" according to Jason Garrett. He could still play tomorrow.

Indianapolis Colts

  • G Mark Glowinski (ankle) - OUT
  • LB Skai Moore (neck) - OUT
  • S Mike Mitchell (calf) - OUT
  • WR T.Y. Hilton (ankle) - Questionable
  • TE Ryan Hewitt (ribs) - Questionable
  • S Clayton Geathers (knee) - Questionable

The big name here is Hilton, the star receiver who missed all practice this week with an ankle injury. Indianapolis has not ruled him out, wanting to give Andrew Luck's favorite target every opportunity to play. But it's not looking good, and a bad ankle could limit Hilton's effectiveness even if he goes.

Also hurt among the passing options is starting TE Ryan Hewitt, but he did practice full on Friday and should go. Not playing, however, is starting right guard Mark Glowinski. That means third-year player Evan Boehm should start, who just joined the team in October.

Indy's hurting at safety this week. Not only did starter Clayton Geathers miss the whole week of practice, but veteran backup Mike Mitchell is already ruled out. The Colts would have to rely on undrafted rookie George Odum if neither plays.

Fun fact before we go; former Cowboy Jihad Ward was picked up by the Colts after Dallas included him in their roster cuts to start the season. However, he landed on injured reserve back in October so won't get a chance at revenge.



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Game Notes

Zack Martin Out, Connor Williams In at Right Guard for Cowboys at Colts

Sean Martin

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Zack Martin Out, Connor Williams In at Right Guard for Cowboys at Colts

The Dallas Cowboys offensive line depth will be tested as they play for a chance to clinch the NFC East on Sunday at the Indianapolis Colts. Suffering a knee injury last week against the Eagles, Right Guard Zack Martin will not be able to play. In missing his first career start, rookie Connor Williams rightfully returns to the starting lineup as Martin's replacement.

The 50th overall pick from this year's AT&T Stadium hosted Draft has started eight games this season at left guard. Williams' last start happens to be in the last game Dallas lost, a week nine defeat to the Tennessee Titans. This opened the door for Xavier Su'a-Filo to become something of a sensation for Cowboys Nation as the starting left guard throughout the team's current five game win streak.

David Moore on Twitter

Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin has been ruled out of Sunday's game with a sprained knee. Rookie Connor Williams will start in his place.

Zack Martin being unavailable is hardly how Marc Colombo wants to prepare for the Cowboys first road game since week 11. Having both Su'a-Filo and Williams in the lineup will be valuable for the Cowboys moving forward though, as Williams could earn his job at left guard back from the right side.

While he won't nearly be expected to play at the level of Martin, Williams looked poised coming off the bench against the Eagles and helping the Cowboys offense score their final three touchdowns. Williams was on the field for all three of Amari Cooper's scores, as Dallas rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries with him in the game.

Williams flashed some of the traits that made him a top left tackle prospect out of college, flowing to the second level with ease and creating movement with quick feet at the point of attack. The Cowboys have forced him to remain game ready despite losing his starting position by finding a few emergency snaps for him in recent weeks, as well as special teams looks. The team has every reason to believe Williams is an ascending young player still.

The same cannot be said of Su'a-Filo, who simply has to focus on continuing to hold up at left guard again this week. With each passing win, Su'a-Filo's LG spot has become more of a liability in a Cowboys offense in need of a jump-start late in this 2018 season.

Consistent offensive line play is one of the few things that's clearly hurting the Cowboys as contenders in the NFC behind a stellar defense and game breaking wide receiver.

The Cowboys won't be at full strength against the eighth best rushing defense and 15th ranked passing defense in yards per game. With three separate chances to clinch the NFC East starting at the Colts and extending until the end of the regular season, the Cowboys stand to learn all they need to know about the offensive line that will start in the playoffs.

Martin, who's elevated his game to a new level this season despite this lingering knee injury, should be on track to return when the Cowboys come home to play the Buccaneers in week 16.

Tell us what you think about "Zack Martin Out, Connor Williams In at Right Guard for Cowboys at Colts" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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