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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

14 Comments

  1. Bruce Hood

    November 13, 2018 at 7:51 am

    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

      November 13, 2018 at 10:13 am

      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

        November 13, 2018 at 11:42 am

        He was 72% last game.

      • Bruce Hood

        November 13, 2018 at 11:52 am

        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

          November 14, 2018 at 1:43 am

          Amen Bruce

        • Ethan Chazin

          November 14, 2018 at 6:16 am

          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

            November 14, 2018 at 9:38 am

            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

        November 14, 2018 at 1:41 am

        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

      November 13, 2018 at 11:38 am

      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

        November 13, 2018 at 11:44 am

        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

          November 13, 2018 at 12:14 pm

          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

            November 13, 2018 at 12:24 pm

            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.

  2. Travis Diggs

    November 13, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    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

      November 14, 2018 at 9:43 am

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

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Star Blog

Could Loaded FA Safety Market Drive Down Earl Thomas’ Value?

Brian Martin

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Could Loaded FA Safety Class Drive Down Earl Thomas' Price Tag?

It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys and Earl Thomas share a mutual interest in one another. Thomas has publicly stated his desire to join America's Team and the Cowboys did their darndest to make that happen last offseason. Nothing ever materialized a year ago, but it's looking as if the stars have finally aligned and a union between the two could merely be just weeks away.

Surprisingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys may have dodged a bullet last year when the Seattle Seahawks refused to part ways with their All-Pro safety. Not only would they have had to surrender a high draft pick, but they would've also had to extend Thomas' contract. Fortunately, timing is everything and now the Cowboys might just have to do the latter.

A potential contract between the Cowboys and Thomas is of course what I want to dive in today. I'm not going to get into numbers right now, because it's nearly impossible to project any kind of contract for any safety this offseason, especially for the former Seahawk, Earl Thomas.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Right now, it's a little difficult to know who might have the advantage in contract negotiations, Earl Thomas or the Dallas Cowboys. A lot of times the one that has the leverage, however slight, is the one that gets the better of the deal. As surprising as it may be, the Cowboys might just have the advantage here and I'll tell you why.

First off, this year's market for free agent safeties is pretty stacked with starting caliber players. See below:

  • Earl Thomas
  • Landon Collins
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Adrian Amos
  • Clayton Geathers
  • Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
  • Glover Quinn
  • Tre Boston
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • George Iloka
  • Jimmie Ward
  • Adrian Phillips

Earl Thomas is obviously the headliner here amongst the free agent safeties, but having so many starting caliber players available could drive down Thomas' market value just a bit. This is especially true when you take into consideration the market for FA safeties just a year ago. It was almost a complete standstill last year, with only Kurt Coleman signing a three-year $16.5 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Not even the "Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu could get more than a one-year deal.

With all of these safeties available in free agency, we could be looking at another stingy market. This of course could be good or bad news for the Dallas Cowboys, especially as it pertains to Earl Thomas. Since he is the top FA safety available, everything could once again be at a standstill until he is signed.

Earl Thomas

Free Agent FS Earl Thomas (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Of course, we all know this will ultimately come down to determining Earl Thomas' market value. There is no denying he is still arguably the best free safety in the game today, but there are concerns about his age (30) and the two lower leg injuries he's sustained in the past three years.

Even with the loaded free agent market of starting caliber safeties and Thomas' age and recent injury history, he's still likely to receive a contract that earns him $10 million annually, give or take. It wouldn't surprise me at all if he gets another four-year deal worth $40 million, $25.7 million guaranteed, with a $9.5 million signing bonus like he signed with the Seahawks back in 2014.

The Cowboys of course would probably find a four-year $40 million deal for Earl Thomas acceptable. They would more than likely frontload the contract with a lot of protection in the details. They have the cap space to make this happen and still be able to sign their own, so money shouldn't be a problem.

Now, whether or not Thomas' market value may dip a little due to all of the above mentioned reasons will be something we will have to wait and find out. Regardless, I'd be a little shocked if Earl Thomas doesn't finish his career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Do you think Earl Thomas' market value will take a little hit this offseason?



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Star Blog

Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

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Acquiring Brown Will Give Dallas Twin Turbo Terrors

What a difference a receiver makes, right? As Dallas fans, we know the impact of a player who can shake coverage, get open, and catch the ball. How was the season going before the Cowboys pulled the trigger for Amari Cooper in the deal with the Raiders? Cooper proved to be the lightning rod and a turning point in a season that was growing increasingly dismal. Dak Prescott and Cooper went together like peanut butter and jelly, while the Cowboys stormed to a division title and a postseason berth.

Now, imagine all of that times two… maybe even two and a half if Antonio Brown could be had from the Steelers. Scary right? We understand there’s only one ball to go around but that didn’t stop Kevin Durant from joining the Warriors, did it?

As of this writing, the best online sportsbooks like Intertops, are dealing Dallas as the seventh of 16 choices to win the NFC championship at odds of 12-1. Imagine how those odds would shrink if Brown wore a Cowboys uniform next season, giving Prescott the luxury of not one upper echelon wideout but that plus an elite receiver. Hut, hut, hut and a few clouds of smoke later the Cowboys would be moving the chains or celebrating in the endzone.

Brown and Cooper would be a devastating combination with Ezekiel Elliott coming out of the backfield. Brown was made for Dallas, it gives him an even grander stage than the one he shared with Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.

Despite the fact that the 'Boys haven’t won a Super Bowl since Barry Switzer was roaming the sidelines in the mid-90s, America’s Team still resides in Dallas. But we need a game-changer and Brown is just such an athlete. But what do we give in return and will that cost be worth whatever productive years Brown has left after this one? Let’s not forget that the mercurial Miami native will be 31 when the season begins and men who make a living with their legs don’t get better at that age. But Brown is so good and so unique that, even if he drops half a click, he's still amongst the best in the game.

That level of talent is hard to replicate and it could be the missing piece which allows Dallas to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender next season and the year after.

However, up to this point, we’ve been very good at dreaming of a Brown to Dallas trade but haven’t quite worked out the details. It takes two to tango and if we expect to get the Steelers’ attention we need to give them something valuable in return. Dallas surrendered their first-round pick (27th) this season when they traded for Cooper so that’s no longer an asset.

Pittsburgh would be vying for a first-round pick (and likely more) for Brown's services but some have speculated Dallas would consider dealing rookie-standout Leighton Vander Esch.

Wait... what? We know, you’re clutching your pearls, and the words are stuck in your gasp. We get it. The kid was a home run this past season, leading the Dallas defense in tackles and earning a Pro Bowl invitation in his inaugural NFL season. But this would be a Faustian deal.

The Cowboys give up a player who is poised to be a stud for years to come for a playmaker in Brown that could render a Super Bowl in the immediate future. Brown's expiration date will surely turn his milk sour sooner rather than later, but in the here and now, Antonio Brown could be the bell cow who leads the Cowboys to the promised land before he’s put out to pasture.

Just something to think about...



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Star Blog

2018 In Review: CB Anthony Brown Bounces Back

Kevin Brady

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Anthony Brown's Resurgence A Great Sign for Cowboys Defense
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

To say it's been an up-and-down start to the career of young cornerback Anthony Brown would be an understatement.

As a sixth round pick in 2016, everything Brown contributed during his rookie season was a plus. Due to injury he was asked to step into a greater role as the season went on, and he performed well enough to make the front office comfortable allowing multiple veterans to walk for nothing in free agency the following Spring. Brown looked like a legitimate starting cornerback in the league, and when Dallas brought in Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis during the next draft, the young secondary seemed set.

Then 2017 happened. And Anthony Brown struggled. Really struggled.

These struggles, coupled with the emergence of both Lewis and Awuzie during their own rookie seasons, made Brown's status heading into 2018 rather uncertain. Some wondered if they would trade him for a day three pick, others thought Brown could even end up being cut. Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown were slated to compete for the nickel cornerback job in training camp, and as it turned out, all Brown needed was that one extra chance to compete.

Brown won the job outright during the preseason, and began 2018 as the starting nickel. A fan favorite, most thought Lewis would reclaim his rightful spot on the depth chart sooner or later, but Anthony Brown's play (and Kris Richard's preferences) kept Lewis on the bench for much of the season.

Simply put, Anthony Brown balled in 2018, and was the Cowboys' second best corner for most of the year. By the end of the season Chidobe Awuzie had regained form, but Brown and Byron Jones were the most consistently reliable corners on the roster all of 2018.

Brown tallied 44 tackles, 2 sacks, and an interception in 2018, and finished third on the team in pass breakups with 8. As the slot corner Brown had an excellent season, especially for a former sixth round pick.

Now he enters a contract year, and with the Cowboys having so many guys to pay over the next two offseasons, he could find himself as an unrestricted free agent in 2020. And if he can keep up his play from last year moving forward, he could be in for a nice payday that Spring.



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