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Reel Talk: Dak Prescott Has Total Control Of This Offense

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Romo Got Dak: QB Situation a Good Problem to Have

After the 2016 NFL Draft, I took the time to review the film of each of the Cowboys newest players. The most intriguing of those players, without question, was quarterback Dak Prescott.

After watching more film on Dak than I had watched of any other college player, I felt like I was left with more questions than answers. Sure, I liked elements of his game and I loved his personality and mind-set, but there were legitimate problems evident which gave me pause.

I wondered if he had consistent enough footwork to make it in the league, or if he had the accuracy to make the necessary throws to win games at the next level.

I thought at best he could be a serviceable starter in a few seasons, but I did not think he had any real shot to win us games in 2016.

Boy, was I wrong.

While both the season and Prescott's career are still young, Dak has checked nearly every box required to prove he can be this team's franchise quarterback.

Last week in San Francisco, he took a great step forward.

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The first quarter was rough, arguably the worst quarter of his young career. Dak struggled, missing open receivers down the field, and failing to be accurate consistently. Here we see Dak roll out as Terrance Williams gets wide open on a comeback route.

Dak holds the ball too long, allowing defensive backs to start to converge on Williams. By the time Dak gets the ball out, he sails it over Williams head and gets him hit hard.

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Once again, Dak blatantly misses Williams down the field. Yes, right tackle Doug Free does get bull-rushed right into his face, but Dak should have released the ball before that point anyway.

Down 14-0 on the road and struggling more than he has ever struggled before, Dak was faced with an incredible amount of adversity. The Cowboys had to win this game, and it was going to be up to him to bring them back.

Dak delivered, and it is why we can now say he has total control of this offense.

Let's take a look.

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This throw only went for a short gain, but was really impressive nonetheless. The 49ers show blitz pre-snap and Dak recognizes it, alerting his receivers and sliding the protection.

It turns out to be a bluff, however, and the 49ers come off the other side instead. Dak immediately recognizes the change, snaps his eyes quickly to the hot read, and hits the receiver who replaces the blitzing defender.

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Remember a few plays earlier when Dak missed Williams down field as Free was pushed into his lap? Here is a prime example of what Dak can do even when his linemen get beat.

Dak is unable to really step into the throw and must get rid of the ball quickly. Despite this adversity, he remains calm and still delivers a strike on target outside the numbers. His accuracy on this play is important. If he was off target and forced the throw short or behind the receiver, it very well could have been intercepted and taken all the way back the other way.

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Once again, Dak can't step into throw, but delivers an absolute strike for a touchdown. What also impressed me about this play is how Dak was able to throw across his body accurately. On a designed roll-out, you would usually like a right-handed quarterback to be rolling to his arm-side. Instead, he rolls left, but shows no issue hitting Brice Butler in the back corner of the end zone.

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I suggest Washington sending this film to Kirk Cousins, because he couldn't make this throw once in four tries week two against the Cowboys.

Sure it ends up being incomplete, but this is perfect ball placement on a back shoulder throw. Dak allows Butler to go up and get the ball, keeping it away from the defensive back and only allowing for two options, touchdown or incomplete pass. The timing of this throw is fantastic as well, as Dak puts the ball on Butler as soon as he turns around and is ready for the ball.

Brice Butler should have hung on to this ball for the touchdown, but it is still a great throw from the young quarterback.

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This last clip isn't a touchdown pass or even a first down run, but it is incredibly important to Dak's development in this offense. He reads the San Francisco defense pre-snap, changes the protection, and flips Ezekiel Elliott to other side. Not all rookie quarterbacks can do this, or even have the power from their coaching staff to do this. You can tell that Dak Prescott has total control over the offense, and is very comfortable in it.

I have no doubts that Dak will continue to improve this week against Cincinnati, and I can't wait to see what the future has in-store.



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
  • http://www.beirutwedding.org Bobby Bermea

    Love the piece. Good insight.

    DAAAAK!!!!

    • https://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      Thanks for reading, Bobby!

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Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp

Sean Martin

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Will the Dallas Cowboys "Get Lucky" at Defensive End?

The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.

From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.

Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.

They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.

Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

https://t.co/za0u3lWgaY

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract

Jess Haynie

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Which 2018 Free Agents Will The Cowboys Retain? 1
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportwire

DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future  beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million

This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.

Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.

This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.

Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.

There is risk on both sides, of course.

Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.

Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.



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Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?

Sean Martin

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Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster? 2
(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.

This group includes Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Lance Lenoir, Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Michael Gallup, KD Cannon, Mekale McCay, and Marchie Murdock.

The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.

One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.

Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.

What Happens if WR Allen Hurns Doesn't Pan Out?

Dallas Cowboys WR Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Allen Hurns (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.

This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.

Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.

Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.

Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.

Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster?

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.

It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.

Tell us what you think about "Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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