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Warts And All, Dak Prescott Shows Why It’s Not So Easy To Move On

Kevin Brady

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Warts And All, Dak Prescott Shows Why It's Not So Easy To Move On

Dak Prescott was far from perfect Sunday night in Philadelphia. In fact, at times, he was downright bad.

Prescott missed two potential touchdown passes to Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup on fly routes down the sideline, and might have left points on the board when he badly missed Ezekiel Elliott in the flat in the red zone early in the game. Prescott continued to panic in the pocket a bit during the first half, and took an absolutely horrendous sack on what would end up being the Cowboys' first touchdown drive of the night.

All of this is true. All of this is indisputable.

Where things get tricky, however, is that while these flaws continue to show up in Prescott's game, so do his strengths. A particular set of strengths and skills that the can be highly valuable in today's NFL, especially if deployed correctly.

Beginning with the final drive of the first half, Dak Prescott played the type of football we've rarely seen from him over the last calendar year. He was comfortable in the pocket, seldom abandoning clean looks or running into sacks. He utilized his legs and ability to extend plays when necessary, and delivered some absolute strikes to help the Cowboys offense get into scoring range multiple times. Prescott also picked up some key third downs with his arm to answer Eagles' scoring drives, something we haven't seen from these Cowboys in quite some time.

Dak was far from perfect on Sunday night, but he did show why he is so hard to move on from. When the offensive line is clicking and Prescott can have that comfortability (that is all-too-rare in the NFL), he looks like his Rookie of the Year self. But, we all know that when things really break down, he isn't able to put the offense on his back the way the true "top" quarterbacks are.

I am a Dak Prescott fan. I'll make no mistake about it. But what do we call it when a quarterback is good enough to keep you competitive, can have wildly impressive plays/drives/games while also having wildly frustrating and bad plays/drives/games?

We call that quarterback purgatory. We call that the Cincinnati Bengals.

The only thing which separates Dak and Dallas from being in full purgatory mode, to be quite frank, is Prescott's youth. Because of that youth we can still hope that he can develop as a passer and quit being so gun-shy and timid to make tight window and anticipation throws.

But how long can a team truly wait before they become Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton losing by 30+ points at home?

It's a question which is tough for every team to answer. Dak Prescott is too good to easily replace with a random quarterback off the street, but it's hard to imagine he's good enough to get your team over the hump without significant help around him.

So, in the end, here we are. With the Cowboys at 4-5 fighting with an Alex Smith-led team for what will most likely prove to be a rather irrelevant division title.

But hey, it's always fun to win in Philly isn't it?



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 have been with ITS since 2016.

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14 Comments
  • Bruce Hood

    Dak also need great coaching! Brady = Belichek. Brees= Payton. Rodgers= McCarthy. Even Mahomes got Andy Reid. Point I’m making is you writers don’t go far enough to give true fans the entire picture. Dak has great upside with great coaching. Jason Garrett is nothing more then a get it boy, Jerry’s pawn. All the coaches I listed above don’t have ownership interference and they far…. exceed Garrett ability to coach. Dallas has flaws in its OC who failed at head coaching, DC who failed at head coaching and a QB coach who was NEVER of NFL quality. When Dak gets surrounded by quality coaching he will rise to the top because that kid is a winner not a quitter.

    • Ethan Chazin

      Ummm, no. He exhibits all the qualities of a QB who cannot adapt as his year 3 midway season status suggests. Incapable of throwing the long ball with accuracy, all those stutter steps throwing off balance kissing wildly feeling phantom pressure taking stupid sacks not being able to read the field or throw receivers open… these are all “QB” killers and the team is one season away from having to make a contract extension on him for @ $120+ million.

      • William Pep Hatcher

        He was 72% last game.

      • Bruce Hood

        Ethan, you’re proving my point and it proves that he doesn’t have adequate, stellar, coaching. Football is not something that you do from the perspective of microwaving food. Microwave food sucks and if you get a guy that doesn’t have the proper coaching around him he will exhibit some things that coaching, good coaching can correct. I do believe some of the thing that Dak does can be corrected, like holding on to the ball too long and knowing how to make proper reads and throw the football deep. He has exhibited throwing a deep ball in a game just look up Michael Gallop when he caught the long 49-yard touchdown pass. Personally I feel if you’re not a true Cowboy fan don’t make comments on this page or blog. Go and find your team and be critical of them and not this team. I’m rooting for Dak and will continue to root for the guy because I believe we’ll get some coaching in here that will utilize Dak skills and make a lot of you guys eat crow.

        • Sexcdex Xfact

          Amen Bruce

        • Ethan Chazin

          Brice I will root for the Boys as I have done for 40 years and post whatever I want wherever. You make absolutely no point other than you hate microwaveable food. What is your point?!? That Dak has had poor coaching. Unlike thank you my argument was based on logic and what we have seen the past season and a half of Dak’s Erratic and often horrible performance. What games are YOU watching? He is not a QB to plan your future in this team has made every effort for him to succeed now he has to perform and he is taking major steps backward we have one more season to make a decision on him. I suggest you learn how to have civil conversation with your fellow fans instead of making these attacking hostile replies.

          • Bruce Hood

            My name is Bruce, don’t give opinions about me when you are stating opinions yourself. Your response is incompetent and every American has the right to post things within the guidelines of the social page. We all have flaws and you’re magnifying Daks flaws and you have them too. Jerry Jones is in charge of paying his players not you. Fans/ fanatic are just that! If you’re a beat writer be balanced in what you write and not totally negative. I’m a man in my fifties and don’t look the part, however a Cowboy fan sink or swim. Dak will succeed with great coaching!

      • Sexcdex Xfact

        I’m an avid Dak Prescott fan
        But
        He’s not worth a top tier QB contract yet
        But also
        No QB has carried his team without 2-3 years on the bench learning accept Big Ben & Tom Brady etc
        &
        They had better weapons & coaches around them

        Dak lost both his top weapons & QB coach
        Dak’s in his 3rd & 1/2 o line
        Dak JUST got a true #1 & no time to get as other QB’s
        Dak has NO tightend like an Ertz, Graham, Olsen, etc to date
        Zeke has been a constant either & this is his team
        This team has yet TI be Dakfriendly & we all know this
        With coaching facing unemployment Dak finally got creative playcalling

        Now we see the receivers have been getting open, just nothing like Amari Cooper

        Now Zeke’s getting lanes & Dak better protection
        But
        The same o line that failed Zeke has been failing both he & Dak &the receivers
        &
        Coaching could’ve & should’ve been coaching this way all along

    • Nick Russo

      I personally agree with you Bruce. I think that Dak has all of the physical ability to be a franchise quarterback but he has not gotten the coaching necessary to reach that potential. Some of the mechanics that he has, such as the studded steps and the jump throwing are very fixable. We saw him step into throws Sunday night and deliver them on the money. Furthermore, the offensive gameplan typically is abysmal. And that’s just as important as the physical play. If I can tell you that when we go into 12 with Noah brown on the field we are going to run, what makes anyone think that DCs around the league don’t know that? Fact is that coaching will show us Daks full potential. If then he still isn’t cutting it, you move on. But we have not given him a fair chance with this coaching staff and the kid didn’t forget how to play the game after the greatest rookie season ever.

      • Bruce Hood

        Agreed, a lot of the naysayers don’t see that it’s coaching that’s the problem. Kellen Moore is not a quarterback coach I would want coaching any professional. Maybe a pop warner team possibly High School. And some of these what I call haters who aren’t paying Dak Prescott one dime treat him as if money is coming out of their pocket and they’re jealous because they don’t have an opportunity to get a hundred million dollar contract. I heard a very special guy that’s a mentor mind say haters hate because that’s what they do and if the shoe fits take it off.

        • Leonard Brown

          I swear you couldn’t have said it any better. If your QB coach is Kellen Moore then I expect you not to grow. If we get a Lincoln Riley or an offensive guru, Dak would grow tremendously. I’m not saying he’ll become a Pat Mahomes, but he could become a Jared Goff who relies on Gurley and the Defense, but can throw it really well. Goff was horrible with Jeff Fisher and when Mcvay showed up he looked like a pro bowl QB.

          • Bruce Hood

            Leonard, what a heck of an observation bringing in Jeff Fisher and Jared Goff. I believe we still have to look at Pat Mahomes who’s having a great first year as a starting quarterback and I believe he’ll continue to have great years because of Andy Reid who knows how to put him in a scheme or a place that will cause him to have great success. Bravo my brother with that observation of Jeff Fisher and Goff because Goff was horrendous when Fisher was there. And some of us think that coaching doesn’t matter, please get good coaching and you have a great quarterback.

  • Travis Diggs

    Wasn’t Romo 9-7 in year three?? Relax on all the Dak hate you delusional bandwagons. So soon we forget Romo gave us 12 years of uhhhh??, not much outside of records. Jason Garrett could have Tom Brady and the Cowboys would still be average. Dak needs real coaching. I can’t judge Dak fully until a real “qualified”coach gets in here

    • Bruce Hood

      I agree Travis, look out here come the haters to say otherwise.

Star Blog

Time to see What Darius Jackson can do as Zeke’s Backup?

Brian Martin

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Will RB Darius Jackson Stick With Cowboys Second Time Around?

I hate to say it because I really like Rod Smith, but I think it may be time for the Dallas Cowboys to reevaluate the running back position as it pertains to Ezekiel Elliott's primary backup. Smith just hasn't been good this year, which is why I think it may be time to see what Darius Jackson can do if given the opportunity.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting the Dallas Cowboys move on from Rod Smith or demote him right now, but I would promote Darius Jackson from the practice squad to the active roster as insurance in case something were to happen to Zeke. It just seems the right time to make that move after #21's injury scare Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles.

You may have forgotten, but Ezekiel Elliott had to spend some time in the medical tent Sunday against the Eagles. He was luckily able to return to the game not long after, but it did shine a spotlight on Rod Smith and the lack of depth behind him.

Despite how much I like Rod Smith, and I do, he just hasn't been the same player this season as he was last year as Zeke's fill-in. He is just not running with any kind of authority and has been too apt to run east and west instead of north and south. I think it's one of the reasons why the Cowboys have continued to give Zeke such a heavy workload, despite him being banged up.

Rod Smith

Dallas Cowboys RB Rod Smith

Now, Rod Smith did look a little better against the Eagles, but I still believe it would be wise for the Cowboys to promote Darius Jackson to the active roster. Having more depth at such a physically demanding position is just smart football.

With the Dallas Cowboys playoff spot all but secured, it might be time to start thinking about lightening Ezekiel Elliott's workload just a little bit. Whether it's Rod Smith or Darius Jackson, the Cowboys have to find someone who can step in and be productive.

Rod Smith has had his opportunities this year, but hasn't really been able to capitalize like we believed he could. It might be time to turn to Darius Jackson, a fan favorite, who unfortunately just hasn't been able to prove what he can do as of yet in a meaningful game. I think it's time we change that.

As much as I like Rod Smith, I might like Darius Jackson just a little bit more. I think he is kind of like a poor man's Ezekiel Elliott. He is just as athletically gifted and can be a threat as both a runner and a receiver out of the backfield. He just needs the opportunity to prove it.

There's really no way of knowing if I'm right or wrong about this, but I believe he is worthy of a roster spot on game day if nothing else. I'd rather have him and not need him then need him and not have him.

Do you think it's time to see what Darius Jackson can do?



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Star Blog

Cowboys Lassoing NFC East Title as NFC Dark Horse

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Cowboys Lassoing NFC East Title as NFC Dark Horse

Well don’t look now but the Dallas Cowboys are in control of their division and anything short of a catastrophic collapse will see them hosting the first round of the playoffs. Dallas strengthened their grip on the NFC East by knocking off a divisional rival and the reigning Super Bowl champions with a 29-23 overtime win over the Eagles.

Those who have a favorite online sportsbook and wagered on the Cowboys were ecstatic to see Dak Prescott hit Amari Cooper for a 15-yard touchdown pass in overtime, thus covering the 3 ½ point impost that oddsmakers hung on Dallas.

The Cowboys have now won five consecutive games, with three of those over divisional opponents Philadelphia (twice) and Washington. But before we celebrate, we must consider that there's still a mathematical possibility of either Philadelphia or Washington stealing the division crown away from the Cowboys.

The Giants' only hope is an outside shot at a wildcard berth if they win outright but they've been eliminated from contending for a division title due to their 1-4 record against NFC East teams.

Essentially, all the Cowboys must do is win one of their three remaining games in order to celebrate a division crown. If Philadelphia or Washington loses any of their three games they will be out due to tie breakers that go in the Cowboys’ favor.

As of this moment, the Redskins are a disaster with no one under center to captain their rudderless ship, and the Eagles must defeat the Rams in LA, which would be considered a stunning upset seeing as any reputable online sportsbook is offering the Rams as 9 ½ point favorites as of this writing; then they must win at home against Houston and on the road against the Redskins.

Of course, the Cowboys are counting only on themselves to reel in the division title and with games at Indianapolis, home against the Bucs, and wrapping their season in New Jersey against the Giants, at least one win seems likely.

The addition of Amari Cooper to the Dallas offensive arsenal has been a game-changer as the former Oakland Raider hauled in 10 of 13 targets for 217 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winner last Sunday against Philadelphia. He was the top-tier receiver Prescott had been lacking and his presence on the field improves both the passing game and running game by virtue of his dynamic playmaking abilities. Ezekiel Elliott has eclipsed the century mark in rushing yards in four of the six games since Cooper has been on the Cowboys roster.

Furthermore, Dallas has averaged 24.4 points per game over their last five wins with Cooper in the lineup, which is more than five points improved from where they were prior to their winning streak without him in a Dallas uniform.

In addition, Prescott has morphed from a game manager at 202 passing yards per game to a game breaker as evidenced by his 285.7 passing yard average in six games with his new target at his disposal.

Ultimately, the Cowboys will be tasked with turning all of this good mojo into a deep run into the postseason. We can now confidently say that there is one other team to consider besides the Rams, Bears, and Saints as this year’s NFC entrant into the Super Bowl. However, Dak Prescott will need to eliminate turnovers and interceptions if Dallas is truly going to contend against the powerhouses they will face in the playoffs.

Last Sunday, Prescott caught fire in the fourth quarter and ended with 455 yards passing, connecting on 42 of 54 passes with three touchdowns, but his two interceptions were converted into nine points by Philadelphia. As we move forward, Prescott will need to lead right from the get-go and understand that one poor decision can cost his team what is now a realistic shot at a championship season.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Sí, Amari Cooper Lo Valió

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys' Revenge Against Atlanta Hinges on These 3 Key Matchups 1

Cuando los Dallas Cowboys sorprendieron a la NFL mandando una selección de primera ronda por el receptor Amari Cooper de los Oakland Raiders, la respuesta fue muy dividida. Al final de cuentas, Cooper estaba pasando por una temporada bastante mala junto a su equipo. Sus números iban en decline y muchos habían perdido la fe en la ex-estrella de la universidad de Alabama y cuarta selección global en el NFL Draft del 2015.

Pero sorpresa, sorpresa. Desde que se unió a las filas de los Dallas Cowboys, Amari Cooper ha demostrado que la decisión que tomaron los Jones fue una muy buena.

En esta liga, es muy complicado justificar el deshacerse de un pick de primera ronda.

Estamos hablando de la oportunidad de tomar a un novato joven con muchísimo potencial para convertirse en un jugador calibre All-Pro en algún punto de su carrera. No es fácil renunciar a una posibilidad así en esta liga. Sin embargo, Amari Cooper no ha hecho más que justificar el trade por parte de los Cowboys. Si continúa así, al final de la temporada podríamos estar hablando de que Dallas pagó de menos por él.

Es importante recalcar que Amari Cooper tiene 24 años de edad. Para el NFL Draft del 2019, los mejores prospectos en esta posición tienen a lo mucho cuatro años menos. A.J. Brown de Ole Miss tendrá 21 años cuando pise el emparrillado por primera vez en la NFL.

Y no, ninguno de estos receptores está cerca del nivel de talento con el que cuenta Cooper.

#DALvsPHI: Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott Key to Clipping the Eagles Wings?

¿Qué tan grande ha sido el impacto de Amari Cooper?

Desde la semana 9, cuando los Cowboys consiguieron a Cooper, este ha tenido 30 recepciones. 23 de las cuales han resultado en un primer down o en un touchdown. Es el receptor con más atrapadas en tercera oportunidad. Podríamos hablar de las grandes estadísticas que el wide receiver ha conseguido vistiendo la estrella individualmente. Pero realmente, ha tenido un impacto en la ofensiva entera.

Desde su llegada, los Cowboys son el tercer mejor equipo en porcentaje de pases completos, el segundo en yardas después de la recepción y el tercero a la hora de convertir terceras oportunidades y mover las cadenas.

Simple y sencillamente, ha tenido un impacto que ningún otro novato del 2019 hubiera tenido en este equipo. Si, los Cowboys tendrán que pagarle una extensión cara en el futuro, pero cuando este sea el caso, lo habrá valido.

Amari Cooper es el ejemplo perfecto de porque la NFL es un deporte de equipo. Con los Raiders, todos lo tachaban como un jugador que ya no era bueno e iba para abajo. Pero bajo los Dallas Cowboys, se ve como un jugador que promete mucho para esta joven franquicia que necesitaba un verdadero #1 en la posición de wide receiver.

La ofensiva de los Cowboys tiene mucho talento. Es cuestión de mejorar en zona roja para que Dallas sea una amenaza bastante considerable en los playoffs de la NFL.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Sí, Amari Cooper Lo Valió" 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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