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What if Dak Prescott isn’t Dallas’ Franchise QB?

Brian Martin

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What if Dak Prescott isn't Dallas' Franchise QB?

Depending on who you talk to, Dak Prescott is a bit of an enigma right now as a professional quarterback in the NFL. Some people believe he is already the Dallas Cowboys franchise QB, while others still need to see more from him before he gets anointed with that title. It's a debate right now with no clear answer, which is why Year 3 will be a big season one way or another for the young QB.

I don't know where you personally stand on this topic, but I think I'm a little on the fence. I like Dak Prescott, but I would like to see more consistency from him than I've seen so far. As a rookie he was simply fantastic, but last season he seemed to take a step back. That may not be entirely his fault, but before I anoint him as Dallas' franchise QB, I would like to see someone who can carry this team when the chips are down.

With all of this rolling around in my mind, I started wondering what would happen if Dak Prescott isn't the Dallas Cowboys franchise QB? What would that mean for the Cowboys moving forward and what would be the ramifications in the short term?

Obviously, nothing good would come if Dak Prescott isn't the real deal. But, let's dive into this little deeper. Below are a few of the short-term ramifications I think would happen if Prescott falters this season.

Jason Garrett Gets Fired

Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett

I think the first thing that would happen if Dak Prescott fails to become the Dallas Cowboys franchise quarterback is Jason Garrett would likely be fired as the head coach. We all know that Garrett is walking on thin ice right now with the Cowboys, so how the team performs in 2018 probably correlates with his job security.

Garrett went all in with Prescott in 2016. At first he didn't have much of a choice because his options were limited when Tony Romo was hurt in preseason and again when Kellen Moore sustained his untimely injury. But, he decided to stick with the rookie all season, even when Romo returned. You can't really fault him for that decision, but it definitely impacted the future of the organization.

I think as Prescott's 2018 season goes, so does Garrett's. Garrett's head-coaching job may not entirely depend on Prescott's success this season, but it could have a huge impact on whether or not his coaching career continues in Dallas.

New QB Search Begins

Will McClay, Jerry Jones

Will McClay & Jerry Jones

Again, if Dak Prescott proves to not be the long-term franchise QB, the Dallas Cowboys once again have to try and find someone who is. We all know how long it took them to replace Troy Aikman, and I doubt any of us want to live through that nightmare again.

Unfortunately, it's hard to believe that either Cooper Rush or Mike White are the long-term answer right now. Neither have really proven anything in the NFL and no one is really for sure if they can even be successful as Prescott's backup this season. There is more questions surrounding them then No. 4.

To makes matters worse, there aren't a lot of veteran QBs around the league they can snatch up. Even if there were, that would likely be a short-term solution. The best way to find a franchise QB is to draft one. But, the Cowboys aren't likely going to have a draft pick high enough to select one of the top QB prospects. That means they would have to move up in the draft, which would require a lot of draft equity. Even then, nothing is guaranteed.

Cowboys Take Giant Step Back as a Franchise

Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones

Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

If Dak Prescott is indeed a bust, this would severely set back the Dallas Cowboys as a team and franchise. This may be a young team, but they are built to win a championship relatively soon. They have all of the pieces to do so, if Prescott is the real deal.

They have one of the best offensive lines and running backs in the league, but without a quarterback to operate the offense, it means diddley squat. That's why the quarterback position is arguably the most important one in the NFL. It's why they are drafted so highly and paid an extraordinary amount of money.

This would really set the coaching staff back as well. Like I mentioned earlier, Jason Garrett and his coaching staff would likely be looking for another job, which means an almost entirely new set of coaches would be coming in. Unfortunately, new coaches rarely succeed right away in the NFL. It takes them a few years to not only put their system in place, but to get their players to buy into it as well.

Let me hear what you think. Do you believe Dak Prescott is a franchise QB?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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28 Comments
  • Travis Diggs

    “What if, What if”??, Last time i checked Tony Romo was a franchise qb, and how far did that get us(Just ONE playoff win in 12 seasons) Enough Said!!

    • TreFKennedy88

      When Romo was carrying this team until his body literally gave out on him, and he won 2 playoff games

      • Travis Diggs

        I apologize, TWO playoff wins for the “franchise qb” I forgot about the Lions game the referees gave us

  • Andrew Forh

    On the fence?!? Such a prisoner of the moment. I didn’t hear this coming from philly fans after Carson Wentz extremely mediocre 1st season or even from LA fans with Goff and those guys are 1st rd picks. Truth is, there isn’t a fence. You just don’t want Dak to be the cowboys QB. This guy use words such as a bust?!? How can a 4th rd pick, last QB of his draft class selected, on a rookie contract, that we used a comp draft pick on be a bust?!? He literally can’t, stop it man. Also I’m tired of this he took a step back nonsense. He (and the entire offense) struggled towards the end of the season last year true but I wouldn’t call 2017 a washed season. He actually got better after playing the QB position pre and post snap. He called all the adjustments and set pass protection things he didn’t do in year 1 as a rookie. He’s progressing and that’s all you can ask for from a young passer. Honestly guys the organization has already committed to Prescott, baring some horrific injury he’s getting his extension regardless if the team goes 7-9, 8-8 or 12-4.. accept it and move on people or go jump on Houston bandwagon.

    • Joe Conti

      Exactly noone mentions they had prescott calling all the protections and audibles like Tony was doing in year 10. What ppl also fail to recognize is most rookies do yhis in their rookie year not their second year so that is why they show improvement and not perceived regression as Dak did

      • kabob

        What team has successfully been able to dump calling protections and audibles on a rookie QB and not have them be overwhelmed. Nobody that I know. That’s hyperbole bordering on malarkey.

        • Joe Conti

          I see reading comprehension is not a strong suit with most Cowboys fans. Id like to see where i said it was successful. I really cant believe im part of this fanbase. Most cant read and most are soo entitled its ridiculous

          • Sexcdex Xfact

            Whatever it is said to be,,,,
            Dak Prescott is 22-10 in his first 2 years starting at QB with year 2 being a first place schedule

            Then he did his part to secure his first year playoff win vs Green Bay , but the defense faltered along with other bonehead mistakes beyond his control

            If that’s not successful,,,,,
            ,,,,,what exactly does that make every other QB with a lesser win/loss record?

            Wentz, Goff, Mariotta, Aikman, newton, Wilson, Manning, etc

            Google it first before you answer it
            Point(s) well-taken

          • kabob

            Then why mention it like it matters, mr holier-than-thou enlightened fan. You say stupid things then expect to get called out for them.

        • Sexcdex Xfact

          HMMMM

      • Sexcdex Xfact

        YESSIREE

    • TreFKennedy88

      Sounds like every explanation of why Dak is never at fault smh

      • Sexcdex Xfact

        Oh Dak’s the very first to admit his faults & failing his teammates
        He’s also hardervin himself than we are

        So yeah, keep syh

        • TreFKennedy88

          Since when??

    • TreFKennedy88

      8 games, half the season under 180 yards passing, lead the league in pick 6’s, how many games without a passing touchdown?? Than on top of that he got Dez out cause he never really wanted him, keep that same energy if Saint Dak continues to throw for 120 yards and he stuck looking silly

      • Sexcdex Xfact

        He had much help from teammates accomplishing those stats
        But
        Not without help also from the same coaching we all been blaming
        Not to mention calling for their jobs

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      About the best “best or bust” case & point made for Prescott
      Dak Prescott could’ve went higher than the 4th round
      But
      Regardless, he was drafted as a developmental project QB for the future
      Although his future began almost immediately, Dak Prescott is leaps & bounds beyond where he was projected when drafted
      Sooooo,
      How can he be a bust when he’s out-preforming himself?
      He’s a diamond in the rough that’s making those who ranked not it Qb’s, but NFL players at large for the draft look very foolish
      Your dead on point, my man, for pointing out most who don’t feel Prescotts the real deal simply just don’t want him as such anyway
      Truth be told that is

  • Eric Vaughn

    What I have been thinking exactly. But I’m higher on Cooper Rush and Mike White…we either have a Tom Brady Jimmy G situation coming or a RG3 Curt Cousin’s situation…Either way I think what’s in the cubbard is better then any QB draft pick in 2019 pick.

    • kabob

      Please tell me how a UDFA and a 5th rd pick who started off OTAs floating balls (Rush) and missing targets completely (White) are more NFL ready than a 22-10 record starting QB.

  • Christopher Speirer

    It would be fantastic if Dak could take a step forward and play like a franchise QB this season, but the reality is he will get his contract regardless. What potentially makes this scenario a sticky situation is that if he only plays well when Zeke is healthy and the Oline is tip-top then the team will always be wild card bound. There is only so much room under the cap. The entire Oline is getting paid, the Dline is the 5the highest paid in the league (according to spotrac), DLaw is on the fracnchise tag (or getting a deal), and Dak WILL get his contract and a boatload of guaranteed money. If he isn’t consistently probowl caliber his contract will hamstring the franchise for the foreseeable future. So let’s all hope he continues to improve, or pray that Mike White is the next Tom Brady.

    • Sexcdex Xfact

      #1
      There’s my 1 Tom brady
      1 AR, 1 Peyton Manning, 1 Troy Aikman in a lifetime

      If Dak never reaches their plateau, but acquires what other franchise Qb’s who are in the top half have, then so beit

      Plus where were you guys when all these other Qb’s, (Tony Romo) got all this such money & never promised IR were 1 & done?
      Finally, Dak’s assumed payday will only be a portion of what hamstrings us
      Smh
      You named every position group & player that’s making kit contract wise but only placed blame on Prescott
      SMH 4sho

      • Christopher Speirer

        Where to start with this?? First of all, I never compared Dak to any of the QB’s you mentioned. He does, I don’t. I only said he needed to be a consistent probowl QB to justify his hit against the cap that his contract will surely dictate. Look at the situation in Seattle with Russell Wilson. He got paid and then the franchise went south fast due in large part to cap issues. They have struggled with the Oline and have been trading and letting defensive players leave in FA. They took a gamble on Wilson and it doesn’t look like it’s going to payoff, and he is actually playing well. Drew Brees and AR are examples of two more franchise QB’s that play at a high level and their respective teams can’t seem to get back to the super bowl. None of these theams pay the Oline the way the Cowboys do. All of these teams have a huge percentage of their cap space allocated at QB, but they all have one ring. Safe to say we would all be happy with a ring. As far as the blame being placed at Dak’s feet if the team doesn’t perform, that’s part and parcel of being a QB in the NFL. the Oline has three All Pro’s. Can’t fault any of those guys. When they are healthy three of them are the best in the league at their position. If Dak can’t move the chains and win playoff games with those guys in front of him (and he does have a probowl under his belt) then yes, his contract will be a problem. If DLaw gets paid and doesn’t produce then the team can cut him and look for another pass rusher. A bad situation, but not nearly as difficult as cutting a QB and finding someone to replace him. My final point is this: DLaw, Zeke and Any of the big 3 on the Oline would have a line out the door if they were available to other teams. would Dak? There would be definitely be interest, but at what price? With a huge guaranteed contract? Not so sure about that. There are questions about his arm and his ceiling as a QB.

        • Sexcdex Xfact

          Great clarifications
          I assumably understood as much from my take except assuming you were looking past Dak

          The only thing I’ll say to them making the team Dak-friendly is this :
          They scrapped the WR Corp
          Which to me says he’s better off with unprovens

          This also breathes calm into my psychi for
          How is surrounding a “questionable QB” when unknowns & even more questions friendly???

          I’m prayerful it speaks to credit both to Prescott & the Wr’s

          Other than this
          People are priming Dak for failure in thatif the WR Corp is faulty he’ll be the blame
          I’m hoping, like you & other substance-mature fans, that they all prove each others worth & the assessments of the Brass/Front Office to be well invested

          I’m shell-shocked by the unfounded allegations & disparity in many commentors that my replies tend to be surreal in tone
          I could just swear many naysayers & doubters are blowing in the winds of change vs being founded & grounded in their own careful study over several years instead of believing every article at face value

          If this team is Dak friendly the defense will cover the mistakes of Prescott like NE Patriots defense did for Tom Brady in their miraculous come from behind SB win in 16

          But also a vast amount of proven weapons surrounding him

          We have no Bill Bellichek but we have a better team in my humble opinion

          We still expected too much from Prescott with so many missing pieces

          Then, the sole blames on JG but then again Prescott
          Zeke’s absence but it’s all Prescott
          Chaz Green due to my Tyrone Smith yet Dak should’ve been Superman

          Defense lost most those games, but as usual d4ak played on that side of the ball too

          Feel me? We did the same with Romo
          By the time the team was ripe for Romo, he went down & eventually out

          Can’t wait til preseason

  • Christopher Speirer

    The Mike White being the next Brady is a prayer and nothing more. The chances of him ever being a top-notch Super Bowl champ are remote at best. He has the arm talent that Dak lacks, but there is far more to the position than having a talented arm. I would agree that Dak’s improvement is the most likely scenario for the Cowboys winning a ring. However, if he isn’t the answer, then having a QB on the roster, as opposed to having to draft or trade for one is by far the best option. The team spent a 5th round pick on him for a reason and it wasn’t solely to compete as a back-up. There was at least a small measure of insurance for Dak in that decision. A reasonable conversation about what he could possibly bring to the team is at least 6 weeks away. They haven’t even put pads on yet, or played one preseason game. To wrap-up the conversation about Dak needing to show improvement, the fact that the team has scrapped the receiving core and added FA’s and draft picks along with a new WR coach speaks volumes to the commitment the organization has shown to the development of Dak’a skill set. With a new found emphasis being placed on timing and route running (which Dez and TWiill are not very good at, but both Gallup and Wilson excelled at in college), and maintaining possession after contact (another issue with Twill and a strength of Gallup’s) along with a commitment to deploy more speed in the recieving core (Austin and Thompson) a good number of pieces have been put in front of Dak to empower him to succeed. Of course these guys are unproven, but so were the young guys drafted to retool the secondary last year. They struggles at first, but this year look very promising. I for one expect big things from Gallup in year two. But with an all-time Oline and a perennial probowl player in Zeke, put together with a “Dak Friendly” passing scheme, the pieces are there for Dak to take a jump forward. Even the Oline added a 2nd round pick and a stellar swing tackle to prevent a potential collapse if injuries strike. Some of these receivers will pan-out and some won’t. But the fact is, money and draft capitol has been spent to surround Dak with what he needs to be successful. It’s up to him at this point to create chemistry with his receivers and separate the good from the bad. He’ll have 7 or 8 defenders in the box and the best Oline in the game to provide time. With all of the investments the team has made to make the offense suit his abilities he has to show his rookie year is the Dak that will lead the franchise.

  • Ismael Ramirez

    If he takes this team to the second round of the playoffs this year then yes he is a franchise quarterback but if he fails to even get us a wild card then it’s time to change quarterbacks because I third year quarterback on his last year of the contract is when they put all the chips in for a big contract good luck dak

    • kabob

      Did you even read the article? You abandon Prescott now, the franchise takes a huge step back for years. The Cowboys had 10 years of nobodies (and Quincy Carter almost showing promise) between Aikman’s decline and Romo. Prescott will have to absolutely crater (I doubt he has that in him) for the decision to move on from him to make sense. They’d have to get lucky in the draft and then spend another 3 to 4 years developing that QB on the fly like they’ve had to do with Prescott.

  • Emilio Gonzalez

    That’s the question?I hope he is but to me right now he’s not want to see more accuracy on the throws down field and more. Thanks

  • Russ_Te

    Aside from Zeke missing games – which was patched up ok during his absence – the difference between 2016 and 2017 for the passing game was – time to throw and receivers winning their routes.

    Dak clearly did not get as much of either in his 2017 season. If the time comes when he’s getting 4 seconds and can’t get the ball to someone who beat their coverage, then I’d worry. Not before.

    And we have to ask Linehan to preside effectively. He has cogs outside and if Gathers does not emerge as a threat at camp, he has nobody inside to balance up coverages. But he has the mobility of both Dak and Zeke regardless. You write up the attack plan in that case. I’m doing more organized rolls & scrambles, and making LB’s stay with Zeke a lot in the pass patterns.

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Should the Dallas Cowboys Trade for These 2 Oakland Raiders?

John Williams

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Should the Cowboys Make a Trade for These Oakland Raiders?

The trade deadline on October 30th will be here faster than we know. It's the final opportunity that NFL teams will have an opportunity to make a significant upgrade to their roster. And if you're a frequent reader of the Dallas Cowboys, then you know that the Dallas Cowboys could use some help, especially on the offensive side of the football.

On Thursday, Marcus Mosher from The Raiders Wire on USA Today posed a hypothetical trade involving the Dallas Cowboys. In his scenario, he has the Dallas Cowboys trading for Wide Receiver Amari Cooper and thinks that Cooper could net the Raiders a top 75 draft selection.

Amari Cooper is a good wide receiver, but he's not a receiver I would trade a top-75 pick for. Cooper is a player that has a lot of talent, but has struggled with drops and inconsistency. Even now, with the Raiders he's having a hard time getting consistent opportunities.

Cooper's second on the team in targets, but third on the team in receptions behind a tight end and a running back. Cooper's also third on the team in yardage behind the two guys that I'd be way more interested in trading for; Tight End Jared Cook and Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson.

Yes, these guys are on the wrong side of 30, but they are guys that have been around a long time and can help your offense this season. Both would be upgrades at the position, even at their advanced NFL age.

Jared Cook - Tight End

You've heard the adage, "if you can't beat em, join em." Well, this is the reverse of that. "If he always beats you, acquire him."

That's what Oakland Raiders Tight End Jared Cook is to the Dallas Cowboys. Point of evidence.

Game Winning Jared Cook Catch Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

Uploaded by Kafin Walker on 2017-01-16.

That remarkable catch by Jared Cook still haunts me and many of you in Cowboys Nation. It was a perfectly thrown ball by Aaron Rodgers and Cook made an incredible catch along the sidelines that led to Mason Crosby's game-winning field goal at the end of regulation.

Jared Cook's Oakland Raiders team isn't going anywhere this season. They're already four games back of the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs and the AFC is looking deeper than it has in recent years. The Raiders and the Indianapolis Colts are the only teams in the NFC with less than two losses. That means there are 14 teams with better records than Jon Gruden's Oakland squad. This week the Raiders face a Seattle Seahawks team that beat the Dallas Cowboys and lost by only a couple of points to the undefeated Los Angeles Rams.

Cook has been one of the better tight ends in the NFL this season and would be a veteran presence that the Dallas Cowboys could add if they felt like they could make a run at the playoffs.

At 31, Cook is averaging six catches and 78 yards receiving per game. He'd give the Dallas Cowboys someone they could run on post, corner, and seam routes to challenge safeties deep. Something that they're lacking from the tight end position at the moment. Cook is leading the Oakland Raiders in targets, receptions, yards, and is second on the Raiders in touchdowns in 2018.

No offense to Geoff Swaim, who's been surprisingly good this year, but Jared Cook makes this offense better. He allows you to make Rico Gathers your TE3, which would allow Rico to continue learning the game without the responsibility of being a primary target on certain pass plays.

Jared Cook is in the last season of his deal, so you wouldn't have to be committed to him beyond 2018. The perfect rental who could step in and play pretty quickly.

Jordy Nelson - Wide Receiver

I know this team is allergic to adding veteran players, especially veterans over 30, but Jordy Nelson is another name that they should take a long look at.

At 33 years of age, Nelson leads the Raiders in receiving touchdowns and is second on the team with 15.9 yards per reception. He's also third in receptions and second in yards.

His numbers -- 20 receptions for 317 yards and three touchdowns -- would lead the Dallas Cowboys in all receiving categories.

Nelson's still got some juice left and he's always been a good route runner with good hands.

Here are some highlights from Jordy's week three performance against the Miami Dolphins.

Jordy Nelson Can't Be Stopped w/ 173 Yards & 1 TD vs. Miami!

Check out Jordy Nelson highlights, racking up 173 yards receiving! The Oakland Raiders take on the Miami Dolphins during Week 3 of the 2018 NFL season. Subscribe to NFL: http://j.mp/1L0bVBu Check out our other channels: NFL Vault http://www.youtube.com/nflvault NFL Network http://www.youtube.com/nflnetwork NFL Films http://www.youtube.com/nflfilms NFL Rush http://www.youtube.com/nflrush #NFL #Raiders #JordyNelson

Nelson doesn't have any guarantees left on the deal he signed this past offseason so if you cut him in the 2019 offseason, you'd get zero dead money added to your 2019 salary cap, but would get $7.2 million in savings.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Because of their age and the fact that they'd likely be one-year rentals, I don't imagine that you'd have to give up much more than a fifth round pick for either of these guys. And while I don't think the Dallas Cowboys would take a look at trading for either veteran, it's something they should do if they have aspirations of making the playoffs in 2018.

The Dallas Cowboys offense could use a boost.

What's the most you'd be willing to offer for either Jordy Nelson or Jared Cook?

 



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Cowboys’ Issues Are Deeper Than The Division Race

Kevin Brady

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Are The Cowboys' Players Unhappy With Their Playbook?
Louis DeLuca/The Dallas Morning News

Yesterday, Inside The Star staff writer Jess Haynie posed an interesting question: "could the wide-open NFC East help Jason Garrett's job security?"

The Dallas Cowboys started off their season a disappointing 2-3, but despite this rough start, they are right in the thick of things in the NFC East. The defending champion Eagles, who most expected to run away with the division, are now just 3-3. The lowly New York Giants are probably done at 1-5, and the Washington Redskins looked pathetic on Monday night, dropping to 2-2.

This division looks average at best, though I still somewhat expect the Eagles' talent to take over at some point and allow them to make a run. Still the Cowboys are alive, and if they can pull off the upset at home this Sunday, they may even be in first place come Monday morning.

So, Jess fairly asks, could this help Jason Garrett and the Cowboys' coaching staff keep their jobs? After all, it's rare you see an owner change coaches after remaining competitive within the division throughout most of the prior season. And given Jason Garrett's relationship with Jerry Jones, it might take an awful season to see any real change occur.

Here's the thing: this team could win the division at 9-7, and it would still be time for changes. Incompetence of others does not mean that you are competent, even if you are competent in comparison to those others.

The Cowboys have players openly questioning play calls, alluding to lack of trust in the quarterback, and pretty consistent drama swirling around the locker room. Yes, some of that is the media created Cowboy drama we always see, but there is disfunction within the organization without a doubt.

As a franchise the Cowboys need new blood in the building. To be honest, they could use a general manager separate from the Jones family name, but that is very unlikely to ever happen. So we focus on the coaching staff, specifically on the offensive side of the ball where the Cowboys have struggled the most.

Dallas is 29th in passing yards, 28th in passing yards per attempt, and tied for 26th in passing touchdowns through five weeks. Plainly put, they're horrible, and bringing back an offensive minded head coach and/or offensive coordinator who oversaw this terrible passing offense is counterproductive.

Regardless of where the Cowboys stand within this average division, they need to look themselves in the mirror this offseason. They need to be seriously comparing themselves to teams like the Rams (and not by lying to themselves like Jerry Jones did), not the 1-5 Giants.

The Cowboys should be striving for more than just being the best of a group of average football teams, and if that means cutting ties with Jason Garrett, then so be it.



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Opposition Outlook: Versatile T.J. Yeldon Too Much for Dallas Cowboys?

John Williams

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Opposition Outlook: TJ Yeldon Will be a Problem for the Dallas Cowboys

If you haven't heard the news yet, then let me be the first to tell you. Jacksonville Jaguars Running Back Leonard Fournette has been ruled out of this week's matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Jaguars. Don't let his absence fool you, though, T.J. Yeldon is a back that can hurt the Cowboys in many ways.

T.J. Yeldon was the Jaguars second round pick out of Alabama in the 2015 NFL Draft and was expected to be a featured back for them. That never really materialized and the Jaguars then went out and selected Fournette early in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Yeldon is now more of a passing game back for the AFC South contender, but with Fournette out, he's getting an opportunity in a full-time role. He's not at all the same back as Fournette, as Yeldon has much more ability in the passing game.

Already in 2018, Yeldon's caught 22 passes for 194 yards and three touchdowns, which is more than any Dallas Cowboys wide receiver this season. T.J. Yeldon's averaging 8.8 yards per reception to go along with his 4.4 yards per carry on the season.

He's averaging 90 total yards per game on 16 touches and a touchdown a game. Even when Fournette was active in weeks one and four, Yeldon still received 17 and 21 touches in those games.

He's not at all an afterthought in the Jaguars offense and shouldn't be as the Dallas Cowboys defense prepares to stop them in week five.

Here's how he ranks among running backs with at least 24 targets:

  • Tied for second in receiving touchdowns.
  • 11th in receiving yards.
  • 14th in reception percentage.
  • Eighth in targets
  • 10th in receptions
  • Fourth in yards per reception
  • Seventh in yards after catch
  • Fifth in yards after catch per receptions.
  • Sixth in receptions that led to a first down.
  • Second in drops.
  • He has the 10th highest quarterback rating among running backs when targeted.

T.J. Yeldon isn't the best back in the NFL, but as a dual purpose back, he's really good. He's 15th in the NFL in total yards and for two of those games he was sharing the load with a former top five pick.

The Dallas Cowboys have been really good against the run this season. They've allowed the 11th fewest rushing yards and their 3.4 yards per carry allowed ranks tied for second in the NFL. Where they've struggled is with running backs in the passing game.

Through five weeks this season, they've allowed running backs to go for 47.6 yards per game. In weeks one, two, and five, they allowed 66 yards receiving to Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and Alfred Blue.

If there's an area where the Jaguars can exploit the Dallas Cowboys defense, it will be in targeting T.J. Yeldon in the passing game. Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and (hopefully if he plays) Sean Lee will be enough to slow him down and make Blake Bortles take chances down the field.



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