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Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys All-In on Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Though It Might've Been Inevitable, Dak Prescott Has Earned A Contract Extension

For the last year, there hasn't been a topic in sports as hotly debated as the future of Dak Prescott with the Dallas Cowboys. In Cowboys circles and across the NFL landscape, everyone has an opinion on Dak Prescott. Prior to the Amari Cooper trade, the debate surrounded Prescott's future as the Cowboys franchise quarterback. Since then, Cowboys fans and media alike have wondered how much Dak Prescott is worth.

To me, the answers should be obvious. He is a franchise quarterback and he's about to get paid a lot. Regardless of what we think, however, the group of people that matter the most are ready to move forward with Dak Prescott as their future at the quarterback position. And by move forward, I mean they are about to write him a big check.

Yesterday, Cowboys Owner and General Manager went on the Rich Eisen Show and expressed his faith in Dak Prescott's present and his future with the Dallas Cowboys.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones talking about Dak Prescott today on the @RichEisenShow: "We're sold on Dak and we do want to have him for the long term. We think he's worthy of investing in for the long term. ... We see real upside in Dak. You don't have it all yet.

The best part of this quote, is that they see upside in Prescott. He's already accomplished a lot in his short NFL career. Two Pro Bowls, two division titles, two divisional round playoff appearances, rookie of the year, MVP consideration (in 2016), and a playoff win.

Though QB wins aren't a stat that adequately assesses quarterback play, the fact remains that the Cowboys have gone 32-16 with Dak Prescott at quarterback since 2016. In fact, only one team has won more games in the regular season from 2016-2018 than the Dallas Cowboys; the New England Patriots.

Query Results Table
Game Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass Pass
Rk Player Draft Tm GS Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD Int Pick6 TD% Int% Rate Yds Y/A AY/A ANY/A Y/G 4QC GWD
1 Tom Brady 6-199 NWE 44 1051 1583 66.39 12486 89 21 1 5.6 1.33 103.5 435 7.89 8.42 7.79 283.8 4 5
2 Dak Prescott 4-135 DAL 48 975 1475 66.10 10876 67 25 4 4.5 1.69 96.0 675 7.37 7.52 6.56 226.6 8 14
3 Drew Brees 2-32 NOR 47 1221 1698 71.91 13534 92 28 3 5.4 1.65 106.4 450 7.97 8.31 7.75 288.0 10 13
4 Ben Roethlisberger 1-11 PIT 45 1140 1745 65.33 13199 91 43 3 5.2 2.46 95.2 446 7.56 7.50 6.99 293.3 7 9
5 Russell Wilson 3-75 SEA 48 972 1526 63.70 11650 90 29 2 5.9 1.90 98.7 970 7.63 7.96 6.73 242.7 8 9
6 Matt Ryan 1-3 ATL 48 1137 1671 68.04 13963 93 26 4 5.6 1.56 105.7 687 8.36 8.77 7.87 290.9 4 6
7 Philip Rivers 1-4 SDG 48 1056 1661 63.58 13209 93 43 4 5.6 2.59 96.1 512 7.95 7.91 7.22 275.2 6 6
8 Alex Smith 1-1 TOT 40 874 1322 66.11 9724 51 18 2 3.9 1.36 95.0 468 7.36 7.51 6.73 243.1 4 6
9 Jared Goff 1-1 RAM 38 772 1243 62.11 9581 65 26 1 5.2 2.09 94.7 617 7.71 7.81 6.85 252.1 5 5
10 Marcus Mariota 1-2 OTI 43 785 1235 63.56 9186 50 32 4 4 2.59 88.7 572 7.44 7.08 6.16 208.8 7 9
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/7/2019.

Dak Prescott is the only player in the top five to have not won a Super Bowl (yet). Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Russell Wilson have all won a Super Bowl. Three of those four have been to multiple Super Bowls. Matt Ryan's appeared in a Super Bowl and been to the playoffs several times.

Prescott's the only player in the top eight who's been in the league for only three years. Jared Goff is the only player in the top 10 in QB wins since 2016 who came into the league at the same time as Prescott.

Nobody has more game winning drives in the last three seasons than Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. Only Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints have more 4th quarter comebacks than Dak Prescott's eight fourth quarter comebacks.

Prescott's 11th in passing yards in that time frame and 13th in passing touchdowns. If you include his 18 rushing touchdowns, Prescott's accounted for 85 total touchdowns in his three seasons in the NFL. 20 quarterbacks have thrown more interceptions than Dak from 2016-2018, including Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz, Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins and Ben Roethlisberger.

The only players to throw for more touchdowns and fewer interceptions than Dak Prescott are Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Two of the best quarterbacks of all-time.

We've seen Dak Prescott be really great. He's also had some stinkers in his NFL career, but more often than not, he puts the Cowboys in position to win the game in the fourth quarter. So much of what's great about Dak Prescott are things that you can't measure or look at on a spreadsheet. Though the spreadsheet is pretty good too.

Prescott's shown to be a leader, to be mentally tough, and to not be rattled by game situation. Does he have things to work on? Yes, every quarterback does. With good coaching this offseason, he'll improve his footwork, which will only improve his accuracy. Every quarterback misses throws, even the good ones, but Dak's great at the things that you can't teach him.

Those immeasurable things combined with his play on the field make Dak Prescott a quarterback "worthy of investing in."



Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could. Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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Report: Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott Planning Training Camp Holdout?

John Williams

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Ezekiel Elliott: NFL's History with Domestic Violence Shows Inconsistency, Hypocrisy 2

All offseason, the possibility of a new contract for Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott has been a hot button issue among media and fans alike. Not because Ezekiel Elliott isn't a great player and worthy of top running back money, but because the idea of paying running backs north of $15 million a year isn't as simple as, "Is he worth it?"

There is significant evidence that the running back position experiences a significant decline in production around their age 28 season and few running backs play into their 30's with good to elite production. Ezekiel Elliott, though he's experienced heavy usage in his first three seasons, could be the exception to the rule.

Well, knowing his worth to the Dallas Cowboys he's expecting a heavy payday at some point in the next couple of seasons. Elliott is under contract through 2019 and the Cowboys picked up his rookie option for 2020. So, technically, Elliott wouldn't be a free agent until the 2021 offseason. However, much like in the case of Todd Gurley, Elliott's looking to get paid early to maximize his prime years as the Dallas Cowboys running back.

Within the last hour, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk released a report that Ezekiel Elliott is planning on holding out of training camp if he doesn't receive a new contract, per a "league source." It should be noted that Mike Florio has had some missteps in his reporting of Dallas Cowboys news, most notably the perpetuating a rumor that Dez Bryant was caught on videotape doing something at a Wal-Mart, that would have a "Ray Rice type of impact." A tape that has never been discovered or produced and a story that's completely died off since it was originally reported in 2015.

Given the recent news that Melvin Gordon is planning a training camp hold out, it should come as no surprise that Elliott is being mentioned similarly. ESPN even mentioned the idea of Elliott and a looming contractual holdout in a piece earlier today, but their prediction pointed to 2021 and wasn't a report based on fact or a source, but a prediction for next year.

The two-time NFL rushing champ is scheduled to count $7.9 million in 2019 and just over $9 million in 2020 against the salary cap. His salary for 2019 is only $3.8 million. Elliott certainly has earned the right to be paid like Todd Gurley ($14.37 million per year), Le'Veon Bell ($13.13 million per year), and David Johnson ($13 million per year) despite having two more years on his deal.

In looking at the long-term impact of Elliott's contract, I've advocated that if the Dallas Cowboys intend to pay Elliott, now's the time to do it. A contract extension now, that adds three or four more years onto his existing deal would get Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys to his age 28 or 29 season. In a well-structured contract, they'd have opportunities to get out at the back end if Elliott experienced a significant decline in production.

Ezekiel Elliott's contract is going to continue to be a hot button issue until he's either signed to an extension or it's made known that the Dallas Cowboys have no intention of extending him. Currently, there aren't any other sources confirming Elliott's plan to hold out of training camp, which starts July 27th, but it's a story that we'll continue to follow here on InsideTheStar.com.

Update: 7/16/2019 10:42 am.

Charles Robinson, Senior Reporter for Yahoo! Sports provided some insight into the thinking of Elliott and his representation.

It certainly seems like holding out is on the table for Ezekiel Elliott and his representation, but no decision has been made at this point.

Check back with us for updates on Ezekiel Elliott's contract extension. 



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Can Xavier Woods Take the Next Step into Dallas Cowboys Stardom?

John Williams

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Xavier Woods' Ascension Will Make Everyone Forget About Earl Thomas 1

The Dallas Cowboys have always been a team that has had lots of star power. Even in their down years in the early 2000s or the 8-8 teams of this decade, the Cowboys have always had names that struck a chord with NFL observers. Heading into the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys have household names on both the offensive and defensive sides of the football, but there are several players who can still take the leap to join that list of stars for America's Team. The staff over at DallasCowboys.com discussed who they thought could be an emerging star for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019.

Surprisingly, none of them mentioned Xavier Woods.

Along with Byron Jones and Anthony Brown, Xavier Woods helped to solidify the Dallas Cowboys secondary that helped the team become one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2018. Woods became a physical playmaking free safety for the team last year and gave the front office and coaching staff enough reason to not make a significant upgrade at the position.

After what the Cowboys didn't do in the offseason, it's obvious that they are confident that Woods will continue to take steps toward being the free safety they've been longing to find since Darren Woodson retired. They felt good enough about Xavier Woods that they opted not to pursue any of the big name free agents in Eart Thomas, Tyrann Mathieu, Landon Collins, or Tre Boston. In the draft, with pre-draft visitors Juan Thornhill and Taylor Rapp staring them in the face, the Cowboys instead drafted Trysten Hill to be their 3-tech defensive tackle for now and the future.

Per Pro Football Focus, among safeties that played at least 352 snaps in coverage, Xavier Woods finished tied for sixth in the NFL with a passer rating allowed of 62.8. He was seventh in the NFL among safeties in yards allowed per coverage snap, 10th  in snaps per target, and 12th in snaps per reception allowed at 31.1. Woods allowed the 12th fewest receptions and the seventh-fewest yards in the NFL among safeties. He tied for the team lead with two interceptions on the season to go along with his nine pass deflections, which finished third on the team.

What doesn't show up in the boxscore are the bone-jarring hits that he put on receivers coming over the middle of the field. Several times during the 2018 season did Woods lower the shoulder on a player to separate him from the ball after the reception was made.

Xavier Woods physicality combined with his ability to make plays on the football is something the Dallas Cowboys haven't had in years. If Woods can take another step forward in his play in 2019, there's no reason to think he can't contend for a Pro Bowl spot and be the next player to join the Dallas Cowboys group of stars.



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REPORT: Cowboys DE Randy Gregory to Request Reinstatement on Monday

Jess Haynie

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Randy Gregory

Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan is reporting that Randy Gregory, the Dallas Cowboys' defensive end currently under indefinite suspension, will request a full reinstatement from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell this coming Monday. Gregory hopes to rejoin the team and be a full participant in Dallas' 2019 Training Camp and preseason.

Last February, Gregory was hit with the suspension after another violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy. It is unknown what sort of violation occurred; Randy's probationary status means several different possibilities for what triggered the suspension.

mike fisher ✭ on Twitter

EXCLUSIVE: Cowboys Gregory To Appeal For Reinstatement To NFL On Monday With Specific Proposed Plan https://t.co/qSx2nf5IQl

The Cowboys have expressed confidence throughout this offseason that Gregory would be able to return for the 2019 season. This may due to the league's softening stance on marijuana use, or their belief in Randy's genuine efforts to confront his issues.

According to Fisher's report:

"The application will include an update on Gregory's process as a result of his in-depth treatment in behavioral and substance-abuse clinics and will feature a continuing "personal responsibility'' plan that will likely have him living with family members in DFW."

If it works out for him, Randy Gregory will return to a much more crowded defensive end position than last year.

The Cowboys have loaded up at DE this offseason. They added veterans Robert Quinn and Kerry Hyder, then drafted Joe Jackson and Jalen Jelks. These four join DeMarcus Lawrence, Taco Charlton, and Dorance Armstrong as returning players.

Gregory has the talent to be factor regardless of who else is around. Hopefully he's done enough to earn his way back onto the team and avoid future suspensions.



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