Before the season started I wrote an article about what games the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott at quarterback? I broke down the first six games of the season before their bye week and had them finishing with a 3-3 record.
You have to remember Prescott was still an unknown commodity, but I think we can all agree that that is no longer the case since he has the Dallas Cowboys sitting atop the NFC East division with a 5-1 winning record.
I'm sure you've all heard by now that the Cowboys might have a quarterback controversy on their hands. So, I decided to do a follow-up post and break down the remaining opponents on the Cowboys 2016 schedule to see who gives the team the best chance to win between Dak Prescott and Tony Romo?
|Opponent||Can Prescott Win?||Can Romo Win?|
|@New York Giants||Yes||Yes|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Yes||Yes|
Do you Agree or Disagree with my assessment of these two QB's?
As you can see, whichever quarterback the Dallas Cowboys decide to go with shouldn't really matter. They should be able to make a strong push for the playoffs with either QB.
It may simply come down to who they believe gives the team the best chance to win or Tony Romo's health.
Having said all that, let me try to break it down further for you and explain my reasoning a little bit better.
Philadelphia Eagles - Week 8
It doesn't sound as if Tony Romo is healthy enough to take the field yet, so that means Dak Prescott has two weeks to prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles. If Romo was healthy however, I think he is more than capable of winning this game.
The Eagles started off hot, but in recent weeks they have struggled to maintain their intensity, especially on offense. The running game is pretty much nonexistent and they don't really have that go to wide receiver in the passing game. That puts a lot of pressure on rookie QB Carson Wentz.
Division games are always hard to to predict, but I think Prescott can do enough against the Eagles to come away with a victory.
@Cleveland Browns - Week 9
This could possibly be the first week we see Tony Romo healthy enough to be back on the field, but with the way Prescott is playing, it would be hard to justify making the change at QB given the momentum and winning streak the Cowboys are on.
This could be the most winnable game on the schedule for the Dallas Cowboys in 2016, especially considering the injuries the Browns have suffered at the QB position.
There is nothing about the Cleveland Browns that scares me and I think the Dallas Cowboys should completely dominate this game in all three phases.
@Pittsburgh Steelers - Week 10
I think Tony Romo gives the Cowboys the best chance to win this game if he is healthy, especially if Ben Roethlisberger is back playing QB for the Steelers.
Don't get me wrong, Dak Prescott has been playing outstanding, but if Roethlisberger is playing this game, it will probably come down to whose offense can score more points. Prescott has been more of a game manager so far, but Romo has the experience to play in these types of games and has done so with success in the past.
If Ben Roethlisberger isn't playing though, I think Prescott is capable of winning this game, even in the hostile environment. But, given the choice I would feel much better with Tony Romo under center.
Baltimore Ravens - Week 11
The Baltimore Ravens seem like a middle-of-the-road team, but one that is capable of being sneaky enough to come away with a victory.
The Ravens don't seem to have a lot a star power on offense or defense, but have still managed to play in some really close games this season. They nearly beat both the Washington Redskins and New York Giants the last two weeks, and only lost by less than a touchdown.
I think Dak Prescott and Tony Romo are both capable of beating the Ravens, but I think this is the definition of possibly being a trap game. Luckily, the Cowboys will have the home-field advantage and that could be the difference maker.
Washington Redskins - Week 12
The Dallas Cowboys have already defeated the Redskins once this season on their home turf, and I don't see why they shouldn't be able to do so once again with the home field advantage.
The Redskins are on a four-game winning streak since losing to the Cowboys, but I don't think they are good enough to sneak a win away from Dallas.
I do think that this is a must win game for the Cowboys and could have huge implications as to who wins the NFC division. I expect a close scoring game, but in the end I have the Cowboys coming out on top with either Tony Romo or Dak Prescott leading the charge.
@Minnesota Vikings - Week 13
The Minnesota Vikings have absolutely had the best defense so far in 2016, and I don't really think there is a team close to challenging for that title. The surprising thing about the Vikings though is how well Sam Bradford has been operating the offense.
This is a game that I think Tony Romo's experience makes him the best man for the job in order for the Cowboys to come away with another victory.
The Vikings do a lot of things on defense to put added pressure on opposing QB's with not only their pass rush, but with their defensive coverages as well. It's one of the reasons why they have been so good this season.
Romo is outstanding at reading defenses pre-snap, and that is the reason I think he gives the Dallas Cowboys the best chance of winning on the road against the Minnesota Vikings.
@New York Giants - Week 14
Dak Prescott nearly did just enough in his first game in the NFL to beat the New York Giants earlier this season, but when time expired was on the losing end of the stick.
Although Prescott is more than capable of beating the Giants on their home turf, I think Tony Romo increases the odds of the Cowboys coming away with a victory on the road.
At this point of the year I think Romo's experience is an invaluable and he knows how to put his team in the best position to win these division rival games that seem to always come down to the last few plays.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Week 15
I know I said that the Cleveland Browns might just be the easiest team for the Cowboys to beat on their schedule in 2016, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are definitely a close second.
There is nothing on the offensive or defensive side of the ball for the Buccaneers that should scare the Cowboys, and this is another game they should completely dominate in all three phases.
I don't really think it matters if Romo or Prescott is in the lineup. This should be a cakewalk.
Detroit Lions - Week 16
The only thing really going well for the Detroit Lions seems to be their passing attack. This is somewhat surprising considering the fact Calvin Johnson retired and Matthew Stafford is operating the offense at a high level without Megatron for the first time in his career.
Dak Prescott is certainly capable of winning this game, but at this point in the season he would be playing the most football he has consecutively played in his entire career. College and high school seasons aren't as long as the NFL season, so you have to wonder if Prescott will hit a rookie wall.
Tony Romo is used to the long NFL season and I personally think he gives the Cowboys the best chance to win.
@Philadelphia Eagles - Week 17
The last game of the regular season is on the road against a division rival and this game could have major implications as to whether or not the Dallas Cowboys make the playoffs. But, if Dallas continues to play the way they have, this game could also mean absolutely nothing.
Regardless, I stand firm in the belief that Tony Romo gives the team the best chance to win this late in the season. He has the experience and knowledge of how to handle these late-season games. That simply can't be discounted.
Are you Team Romo or Team Prescott?
Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions about which quarterback gives the Dallas Cowboys the best chance to win the remaining games in 2016.
Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp
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.
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:
Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract
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.
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.
Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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