A Dream Come True! Let's Do This Cowboys Nation #Blessed #135
This isn't a dream, Cowboys Nation. This is real life. Through two preseason games it looks like Dak Prescott is the real deal. And you know what? It's totally and completely understandable/cool to buy into that. Let's discuss.
Where Did This Come From?
If I told you on April 28th, the night Ezekiel Elliott was selected 4th Overall by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2016 NFL Draft, that at one point in time there would be a Cowboys rookie who would be at the center of the NFL universe that wasn't him there's no way on earth you would have believed me.
The NFL Draft served as a moment in time where the Dallas Cowboys actually did everything they could to get someone else other than Dak Prescott. This is a subject that I touched on earlier this week here at Inside The Star when I discussed how Dallas lucked into Prescott. Sometimes lucky is better than good, so hooray!
So Dak Prescott has seemingly come from nowhere this preseason period. Except that he came from Mississippi State where, at one point, his Bulldogs were deemed the best college football team in the country. Having played in the SEC, Dak Prescott is aware of what the heat feels like on the big stage... a great tool for a Dallas Cowboys quarterDAK to have.
What Has Dak Prescott Even Done?
In the Cowboys preseason opener, and the NFL's return to Los Angeles mind you, last week Dak was 10 of 12 for 139 yards with two touchdowns to boot. You know that. Duh.
Last night Dak Prescott said great isn't great enough and he started cooking with gas. Against the Miami Dolphins, Dak Prescott was 12 of 15 for 199 yards and another pair of those things that earn you six points and a chance for a seventh. Oh and did I mention that Dak rushed 3 times for 28 yards and another pair of touchdowns?
My fantasy football draft is tomorrow (fellow leaguemates... you suck). In standard fantasy football leagues this would've been good for 29 points. 29! That's absurd!
Prescott has, under the noted caveat that this is preseason, completely obliterated any and all expectations that Cowboys Nation loyalists could have possibly had of him. To this point, the football has literally gone from his hands to the endzone more times than it has gone to the ground. THAT IS AMAZING.
Why It's Okay To Buy In
Just a season ago Cowboys fans worldwide were well-experienced in sadness. We tuned in week after week to watch the Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, and Kellen Moore blended cocktail disappoint us in new, innovative, and spectacularly painful ways.
On the RJOShow Cowboys/Dolphins Postgame Episode I said that this is the most talent we've ever seen in a Tony Romo backup quarterback. That is not hyperbolic. Is it only two preseason games that we're basing this off of? Yes. That's how horrible the talent behind Romo has been, that two preseason games are enough to justify Dak Prescott being better than them.
What makes Prescott and his hype so unique to the Dallas Cowboys is that the coaching staff is completely catering to his play style. Garrett and Co. are not forcing Dak to play to the beat of their drum. They're turning on Dak's music, getting out a disco ball, and dancing like it's New Year's Eve and they're seeing incredible results from it. This is perhaps the biggest reason why it's safe to believe in what Dak is so far... the coaching staff is going to keep feeding it.
Where Do We Go From Here?
At this point, Dak Prescott is the cemented backup quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. In addition to that (no big deal just the position that defined the 2015 season), Dak Prescott is the closest thing that the Cowboys have ever had to an heir for Antonio Ramiro Romo.
Cowboys Nation needs to sit back, turn on that Dak music, grab some snacks... and enjoy the ride.
This is a foreign experience to us. Don't question it. Enjoy it. Believe in it.
For what it's worth if anyone out there suggests to you that Dak Prescott should at any point in time take over for Tony Romo... well, you know what to do.
Show them the tape. Tell them the facts. Tony Romo is the indisputable leader of the Dallas Cowboys. We've just got some insurance now, which we drastically needed a season ago.
Suck it, 2015. We're never doing that again. Not now. NOT EVER!
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
What to Expect from Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Group in 2019
In a span of a week, the Dallas Cowboys have solidified their wide receiver group with the resigning of Tavon Austin to a one year deal and the signing of former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb. Despite the loss of Cole Beasley, the Cowboys have a created a really good group of receivers for Quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.
Cobb joins a really nice group of players that includes incumbent starters on the outside in Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup as well as solid depth players in Austin, Allen Hurns, and Noah Brown. Throw in Cedric Wilson, the Dallas Cowboys sixth round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft and the Cowboys may have one of the deeper receiving corps in the NFL.
The question is, how will the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff delineate the roles?
Let's take a look.
As I mentioned before, the Dallas Cowboys are returning their top two options on the outside in Amari Cooper, who is the X wide receiver and Michael Gallup, the Z receiver. Both players will go into week one as the starters at their respective positions in two-wide receiver formations.
Despite some of the overthrows from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup, Gallup had a really nice rookie season and got better as the year went along, even leading the Cowboys in receiving in the playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In that game, Gallup recorded the first 100 yard game of his career. Sure, it was in an attempt to comeback by the Dallas Cowboys, but it is impressive nonetheless. His touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks the week before was clutch. The Cowboys needed that to take the lead at the end of the first half. 2018 was only the beginning for Michael Gallup. He showed an ability to win with a full offseason to work with Dak Prescott, their chemistry and connection should only improve.
As for Cooper, his presence was felt right away as the offense just looked different once he stepped on the field. It's no coincidence that Dak Prescott's two best career games in terms of passing yardage came with Cooper in 2018. He's such a threat that he opens up space for the rest of the wide receiver group. His route running, speed, ability to run after the catch make him a threat to score any time he's targeted.
Behind Cooper and Gallup, you have options in the event that one of them gets hurt. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Noah Brown are all players who took snaps on the outside for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 and did so with effectiveness. Hurns best game of the year came just before the Cooper deal was made as he went for five receptions for 75 yards.
Tavon provided down field speed on several occasions and provides some gadget quality that the Dallas Cowboys love to have. Noah Brown is a player that the Dallas Cowboys love to deploy as a blocker in the running game. While it looked like he might get more run in the passing game in 2019, the depth additions will limit him again to a specialty role. If needed, though, he could be an option to take snaps on the outside as his big frame allows him to box out defensive backs down the field.
There will be snaps on the outside for someone when the Cowboys go to 11 personnel, because of Amari Cooper's ability to slide into the slot.
Obviously, the writing is on the wall with who the Dallas Cowboys are planning on deploying in the slot as things stand right now, and that's Randall Cobb.
While Cobb should be penciled in as the starter in the slot, I doubt that he's going to get 100% of the snaps there in 11 or 10 personnel groupings. Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, Noah Brown, and Cedric Wilson could all push for playing time from the slot.
Last month, I wrote a piece about Allen Hurns and his effectiveness in the slot and why the Cowboys should feature him there. With Cobb coming off an injury laden season, the Cowboys would be wise to give some snaps to Hurns along with Tavon Austin.
In Jacksonville, Hurns was incredibly effective from the slot running posts, slants, and ins and outs. His size and route running made him an effective mismatch against linebackers, safeties, and cornerbacks alike. Remember, it wasn't long ago that Hurns had a 1,000 yard season with Blake Bortles at the helm.
Tavon Austin's quickness is an asset that could be very effective in the slot as well. Though he lacks size, he's a player that opposing defenses have to account for because of his ability to make big plays once the ball's in his hands.
✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭
The Cowboys haven't been shy about carrying seven wide receivers on their 53-man rosters and it's possible, though unlikely that they could do it again in 2018. As things stand now, I see Noah Brown and Cedric Wilson as the potential odd men out. Of course, this could all get reshuffled if the Dallas Cowboys use a top 100 pick on a wide receiver in the draft.
With Amari Cooper, Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin, and Randall Cobb only under contract through the 2019 season, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to invest at the position despite the strength of the position in 2019.
Report: Dallas Cowboys Set to Meet with Safety George Iloka
As the Dallas Cowboys continue the process of building a roster capable of taking them back to the playoffs, and hopefully to a Super Bowl, this next season, they’re bringing in another safety to try and strengthen their top 10 defense. This time it’s free agent safety George Iloka, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings.
Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Dallas Cowboys are set to meet with
The #Cowboys are hosting former #Vikings and #Bengals safety George Iloka for a visit tomorrow, source said. They're still looking to add in the secondary.
It will be the third meeting this week that they’ve had with a veteran safety after hosting recently resigned Indianapolis’s colts Safety Clayton Geathers and former Kansas City Chiefs Safety Eric Berry.
The Cowboys feel really good about Xavier Woods at safety, but definitely could use some depth at the position as they head toward the 2019 NFL Draft.
Iloka is coming off a season where he was relegated to a reserve role for the Vikings. In five of the last six seasons, Iloka’s played all 16 games, and the one season he didn’t, he played 12. He has nine career interceptions, and has three seasons with more than 70 total tackles.
Back in August of last year, Brian Martin argued that the Dallas Cowboys should pursue Iloka after being released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He would play the strong or box safety role in the Cowboys defense if they were to come to an agreement.
Stay tuned for more Free Agency coverage from us here at InsideTheStar.com.
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