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Cowboys News: Dak Prescott On Track For Historic Rookie Season

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Latest Cowboys headlines: Dak Prescott's one-of-a-kind rookie season; why Jason Garrett is the "true captain" of the Cowboys; does Tony Romo still have value as a franchise QB?

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Here's what 10 stats tell us about Dak Prescott's one-of-a-kind rookie season - Brad Gagnon, CBSSports.com
Gagnon provides a rundown of stats showing the incredible season Prescott is having. Here are the three most important stats out of that collection.

Entering Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens, it's safe to say the fourth-round Mississippi State product is on pace to put together a transcendent, one-of-a-kind maiden NFL campaign.

  • Prescott's completion percentage is higher than any qualified rookie passer in league history.
  • Prescott also has the best rookie touchdown-to-interception ratio of all time.
  • Prescott also has the highest rookie passer rating of all time.

Ravens don't consider Dak Prescott a rookie quarterback anymore - Jamison Hensley, ESPN
By definition, Dak Prescott is a rookie quarterback. But the Ravens consider him anything but.

"I don’t know after nine games if he is considered a rookie anymore," Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "This guy has seen a bunch of stuff now. They played three divisional teams that you know throw everything at them that they can throw at them, and nobody has rattled him. I don’t think of him -- don’t even look at him -- as a rookie. I look at him just as another quarterback that’s an excellent, excellent talent."

Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan agrees that Prescott doesn't look like a rookie.

"He is a big kid on top of that, and he is strong. He can run," Jernigan said. "They are doing a great job at putting him in positions to make plays. He definitely has to be accounted for."

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How Cowboys remind John Madden of his Super Bowl team - Steve Serby, New York Post
Madden recognizes a little bit of his Super Bowl team, and a little bit of the 90s Cowboys team in the 2016 Cowboys team.

No one appreciated the offensive linemen more than former Raiders Hall of Fame coach John Madden, and no one recognizes more than Madden how the latest version of The Great Wall of Dallas has imposed its will on the NFL.

"They got the young quarterback now that can do the Troy Aikman stuff, and they got the young running back that can do the Emmitt Smith stuff, and they have some linemen that can do the line stuff," Madden told The Post. "[Late Raiders owner] Al Davis and I used to have this argument all the time: How do you build a team? And Al always said you build a team through cornerbacks. And I said to build them through offensive line. And I think that’s what the Cowboys realized, and they went back and built this team through their offensive line."

"When you talk about that Jimmy Johnson offensive line, remember Erik Williams? He brought the nastiness to that group," Madden said. "And Mark Tuinei to a certain extent. I’m not sure this group if they have that guy, but they will get him if they keep going the way they are. I don’t know that they don’t, but that old Cowboy offensive line had a couple of nasty guys in there. Our older Raider offensive line had some nasty guys in there, and I don’t know these guys well enough to know if they do or they don’t."

Dallas Cowboys appear to be Jason Garrett's team, not Romo's or Dak's - Clarence Hill, The Star-Telegram
Garrett’s leadership has been steady and his message consistent. So much so that Hill describes him as the "true captain of this team."

"Jason has really got them believing," Jones said. "He’s got some young guys who hang on his every word and he’s doing a great job."

It’s not just the young guys who have bought into Garrett’s philosophy hook, line and sinker. The entire team, young and old, parrot his every word. When asked about the team’s winning streak, cornerback Brandon Carr said he hasn’t even thought about it.

"We are taking it one game at a time, one play at a time," Carr said. "That’s been our mindset throughout this whole season. We are not going to stop now. Just keep our heads down, continue to grind."

When told he sounds like a Garrett clone, Carr feigned surprise.

"Do I?" Carr said rhetorically. "He is rubbing off on me. He must be good at his job."

Sans pedigree, Garrett retains Jerry-mandated Landry status - Mac Engel, The Star-Telegram
Still think Garrett is Jerry's puppet? Not even the perennially critical Engel believes that anymore.

In Jerry’s history of running the Cowboys he has hired seven coaches and only twice previously did he grant them permission to build his toy to their desires.

The Jimmy Johnson Cowboys looked exactly like an NFL version of his teams at the University of Miami. The Bill Parcells’ Cowboys were the typical Parcells team — conservative but big, physical and hard.

The other Jerry coaches — Chan, Barry, Dave Campo and Uncle Wade — did not have the type of personality to push, or convince, Jerry to do something other than what he wished. And what he wished could often be influenced by the last person he talked to, or based on a gut instinct.

The results under Garrett have ranged from average to bad to good, but as evidenced by the way this team was built to the decision to bench Romo, Garrett has control of this team in a way few men do under Jerry.

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Does Tony Romo still have value as a franchise QB? - Bucky Brooks, NFL.com
Brooks asks a handful of NFL personnel types about where they think Romo could end up after this season, and also offers his own opinion.

I believe the team would be wise to explore the possibility of keeping Romo. In a league where good quarterbacks are hard to find, I would be reluctant to deal a quarterback who has won so many games for the franchise and still displays the skills to thrive when healthy. Naturally, Romo would have to want to stay in Dallas for that scenario to work, though, and I'd imagine the ultra-competitive quarterback might want another shot to guide a team. Thus, I would expect him to look at a "win-now" team like the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals or New York Jets. With each of those teams, he could come in as a short-term fill-in while the organization waits for a young quarterback to grow into the starter's role.

If I had to pick a perfect situation for Romo, I would opt for the Broncos or Cardinals. Each team features a nasty defense with championship-caliber talent, as well as offensive skill players gifted enough to take the pressure off Romo. With veteran coaches adept at working with older quarterbacks, I believe the veteran would thrive in either environment.

Final Thoughts: Preparing the Backup QB - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
With Romo now officially the backup QB, Broaddus provides some insight into how the Cowboys have gotten him ready for today's game.

Expect Tony Romo to be ready to play if he is called on. Dak Prescott didn’t lose any of his snaps to Romo during the week, but I was told the offensive coaches just added two snaps per group period in order to get him the extra work. With that being the case, Romo took all the scout team work plus an extra 12-to-15 snaps with the first offense in each practice.

How Cowboys' play-calling would change if Tony Romo plays - Staff, SportsDay
In a recent chart, Jon Machota explained that not much would change if Romo were to play.

It's not like Romo will be playing with a bunch of new teammates. The offensive line is the same, the receivers are the same. The only difference in Elliott. Romo didn't have a ton of time to work with him before getting injured, but I imagine they'd look very similar to 2014, just replace DeMarco Murray with Elliott. The only major difference would come in the red zone. Romo's obviously not running the read-option stuff like Dak. But as long as Zeke is in the backfield, defenses will honor the run game, opening up plenty of options for Romo as a red-zone passer.

Twitter mailbag: Who'll be the 2017 backup quarterback? - Todd Archer, ESPN
Archer looks at the Cowboys' backup situation in the event Romo leaves after this season.

Mark Sanchez is an unrestricted free agent. So is Kellen Moore. If your scenario plays out the way you say, I can see the Cowboys trying to keep one or both. They will want a veteran presence of some sort behind Prescott. Go back to 2007 when Jason Garrett came in as offensive coordinator and Romo was entering his first full season as the starter. The Cowboys signed Brad Johnson. To me, Sanchez and/or Moore would fill that role. Moore is a favorite of offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, so he could be back. Sanchez is well-liked in the room and has a good relationship with Prescott.

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Should Cowboys Rookie Anthony Brown Start Over Orlando Scandrick? Marcus Mosher, Fanrag
Mosher takes to the tape to examine how Anthony Brown fared against the Steelers and likey what he sees.

After slowing down Antonio Brown, the Steelers moved their star wideout away from Anthony Brown in favor of newly-signed Leon McFadden. Brown scored his touchdown on the fake spike when McFadden was assigned to him. That move alone tells you how much the Steelers respected the rookie after repeatedly challenging him earlier in the game.

The Cowboys are in an interesting situation with their cornerback position right now. Brown is clearly playing better football than incumbent Orlando Scandrick, but will the coaches have the guts to actually start him over the veteran? I’m not so sure.

Nevertheless, the Cowboys have to be extremely excited that they were able to snag a cornerback in the sixth round that not only looks like a player who may fit into their long-term future but is helping them win games right now. With Morris Claiborne out of the picture for it least another month or two, suddenly things don’t seem as bleak.

History on the line for Cowboys against division-leading Ravens - Todd Archer and Jamison Hensley, ESPN
In their illustrious history, the Cowboys have never ripped off nine straight wins in the same season. There's a chance that could change on Sunday, but both Archer and Hensley pick the Cowboys to win. Here's Hensley's take from a Baltimore perspective.

The Ravens can make a statement by beating the team with the best record in the NFL, but they’ll need a big game by Flacco to do so. He’s been too inconsistent, especially on the road. Flacco hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in his last 13 quarters away from home. That’s not going to cut it against a Cowboys team that is averaging 26.7 points per game at home. The Ravens’ defense is championship-caliber, but their offense is far from it. Cowboys 24, Ravens 17