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Cowboys News: Cowboys' Winning Formula Revealed!

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Latest Cowboys headlines: What Dak Prescott adds to the Cowboys offense; how the Cowboys O-line was built; Ezekiel Elliott vs. Dak Prescott for NFL MVP?

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Ed Werder describes Dak Prescott as 'key element' to Cowboys' winning formula - Staff, SportsDay
Werder recently joined KESN-103.3 ESPN Radio to talk about what Dak Prescott adds to the Cowboys.

Werder: One of the things Dak Prescott has done, and likely more than anything else has won him the permanent job is, he is a natural protector of the football. He recognizes its value. He does not jeopardize it. And he doesn't make all the big plays that might be there, but he very seldom makes a mistake. He does not force the ball into coverage.

And that's something that - Tony Romo was a risk taker throughout his career, he had to learn to protect the football, and he did, he improved at it, but he's never been as good in that regard as Dak Prescott naturally is. As Jerry Jones has said, it's just part of his DNA.

If you go back and look at the way he played at Mississippi State, it was the same thing. He had 23 interceptions in nearly 1,200 passing attempts - which was a record for the school in terms of interception avoidance, and one of the best in the history of SEC quarterbacks. So, it's something that he does naturally, and it's something that, quite honestly, is maybe the key element in their winning formula.

How The Dallas Line Was Built, Why The Jets Should Follow The Blueprint! - David Wyatt, Gang Green Nation
Sometimes it can be fun to read how envious other teams' fans are about the Cowboys. In this article, the Jets SB Nation site takes a look at the Cowboys' O-line, another part of the winning formula for Dallas.

The Dallas Cowboys offensive line was sculpted with an enormous amount of patience and an enormous amount of investment in terms of both money and draft picks. Every single player starting on that line was either a draft pick or UDFA signing by the Cowboys. They built this dominant unit over multiple years, using an excellent scouting department to place a higher value on certain players than others (Fredericks), taking a chance on injury concerns (Leary) or off the field concerns (Collins) and finally taking the best players available that fit their rebuilding process.

Remember that Dallas didn't have a winning season from 2010 to 2014. A period where a lot of this restructuring was taking place. The fans had to be patient and so did a notoriously impatient owner in Jerry Jones. However sitting at 10-1 right now, I'm sure every single Cowboys fan will say it was worth it. They needed to make a decision on an area of the team that needed their focus and investment, they made it the offensive line. As mentioned above, having a dominant offensive line enables other positional groups to thrive. It makes the QB better, the RB better, the TE better and the receivers better. I'm an old school guy who firmly believes that games are won in the trenches.

Jimmy Johnson Has Extremely High Praise for Ezekiel Elliott, Compares Rookie to Emmitt Smith - Aaron Mansfield, Complex UK
Winning Formula, Part 3: Johnson thinks very highly of Ezekiel Elliott and compared him to Emmitt Smith.

Former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson weighed in on comparisons between Elliott and Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith during an appearance on Jason Whitlock’s Fox Sports 1 show, Speak for Yourself.

Johnson says no—we aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. Elliott really is that good.

"Elliott’s bigger, stronger, maybe even a step faster than Emmitt Smith," Johnson said. "But they’re both very similar. I think, you know, Ezekiel Elliott is a more powerful runner. He runs over people. Both of ’em can make people miss, so you don’t really get a big shot on ’em. But Elliott will take on tacklers, whereas, you know, Emmitt never did this."

NFL MVP tracker: Could race be Ezekiel Elliott vs. Dak Prescott? Nate Davis, USA Today
Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott have both emerged as viable candidates in the USA Today writers poll. This is from prior to the Redskins game, but it's hard to imagine either player lost ground after the Thanksgiving game.

1. RB Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (21 points): He's our top vote-getter for the second straight week. But is the young superstar approaching the proverbial rookie wall? Elliott remains the league leader in carries (223), rushing yards (1,102) and yards from scrimmage (1,382). However he's slowly falling off the pace to surpass Eric Dickerson's rookie rushing record (1,808 yards) and has failed to crack 100 three of the last four weeks — though he's surpassed 90 in every case, so this is a bit of a nitpick. Perhaps slightly more telling, Elliott's 3.88 yards per carry in Week 11 was his lowest output since Week 1.

3. QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (11 points): Third place represents a new high-water mark for Prescott, who's steadily gained momentum in recent weeks. Beating the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens the past two weeks arguably marks the rookie's two best showings of the season — he threw for a combined 620 yards and five TDs (0 INTs) in those victories. If nothing else, Prescott has shown he's developing into more than a game manager and is becoming just as important a factor in Dallas' success as Elliott.

How Dez Bryant won his one-on-one matchup with Josh Norman - Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus
The box score might indicate that Norman got the better of Bryant in Dallas' victory - but the folks at PFF say something different.

There were multiple plays in which Bryant had Norman beat but never had the chance to take advantage of it and put stats in the box score.

Of the three catches Norman did allow to Bryant, two of them moved the chains and the other picked up nine of the necessary 10 yards on first down.

It may not have been a great night for Bryant fantasy owners, and the stat sheet might look like Norman got the better of the matchup between the two, but throw on the tape and you find a very different result. Bryant was too much for Norman to handle this time, and deserved the win even if he didn’t get the stats.

Twitter mailbag: Cowboys defense is what it is at this point - Todd Archer, ESPN
In response to a reader question, Archer argues that If the Cowboys are to make any improvements on defense, it will likely have to come from within. And the offense can still help too.

As Bill Parcells liked to say, you can’t just dial these things up and get a player. Every week it seems as if people ask about Antonio Cromartie. The Cowboys have not shown any interest in adding him the entire year, and I don’t expect that to change. As far as pass-rushers are concerned, if any were any good, they would not be available at this point in the season.

The Cowboys are what they are at this point. They will be helped by the fact that they won’t see a pass offense as deep as Washington’s, unless they meet in the playoffs. Matthew Stafford is the best passer remaining on the schedule. Eli Manning has done damage to the Cowboys in the past. The Cowboys have to hope they improve from within. I don’t see rookie Charles Tapper returning from his back injury, but it wouldn’t be fair to expect a fourth-round pick to energize a pass rush after not doing anything. Randy Gregory is not an option either. The returns of Barry Church

this week and Morris Claiborne a few weeks down the road will help. But, more than ever, the Cowboys will need their offense to help their defense.

Odds Narrowly Favor a Change of Scenery for Tony Romo in 2017 - Daniel Cypra, SportsLine.com
One online sports book has opened action on where Romo will play next season. If you think he's as good as gone from Big D, think again.

BookMaker.eu posted odds for what team Romo will suit up for in 2017, and while the Denver Broncos lead the way at +135 (bet $100 to win $135), the odds of him staying with the 10-1 Cowboys are nearly the same at +145 (bet $100 to win $145).

From BookMaker: Tony Romo team in Week 1 of 2017-18 NFL regular season:

Denver Broncos +135
Dallas Cowboys +145
Chicago Bears +450
Los Angeles Rams +650
San Francisco 49ers +700
New York Jets +900
Retire (does not play in 2017-18 season) +1600

Redskins' Baker 'hates' Cowboys, wants one more shot at them after latest loss - CBSSports.com
Washington defensive lineman Chris Baker thinks the third time will be the charm against Dallas.

As it stands, Washington is currently the sixth seed in the NFC. If that holds -- and Dallas remains the No. 1 seed -- and the Redskins win their wild-card matchup, guess who they'll face in the divisional round? How 'bout them Cowboys, indeed.

Dallas Cowboys dominating NFL TV ratings - UPI.com
America's TV audience has voted on the NFL's most popular team.

Of the NFL season's five most-watched games, the Cowboys have been in four of them, with the Thanksgiving Day game leading the way. Dallas also drew big numbers against the Steelers (28.9 million) earlier this month, against the Green Bay Packers (28.0 million) in October, and against the New York Giants (27.5 million) in September's season opener.

The only game in the top five this season that didn't include the Cowboys was Thursday's early game matching the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, which drew 27.6 million.

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Hartman: Close losses leave Vikings in need of help for playoffs - Sid Hartman, Minnesota StarTribune.com
The Vikings started off hot with five consecutive wins, but have since lost five of their last six and scoring an average of just 13.8 points in their five losses.

It’s not going to get better in Week 13. Thursday, the Vikings face the best team in the NFL in the Dallas Cowboys, and with the way that offense produces points — and the Vikings’ lack of scoring capabilities — there’s no shot that the Vikings can get the win, even though they’re at home.

Vikings QB Sam Bradford completing plenty of passes but not downfield – Chris Tomasson, Saint Paul Pioneer Press
Bradford taking a page out of the Carson Wentz playbook.

After completing 31 of 37 for just 224 yards in a 16-13 loss at Detroit on Thursday, Bradford said the Vikings must "find a way to create some explosive plays.’’ Bradford, who averaged a season-low 7.2 yards per completion in the game, said it’s "hard when you’re only picking up five, six, seven (yards) at a time.’’

An inability to convert on third down played a key role in Minnesota not scoring much Thursday. The Vikings, excluding two first downs they got on penalties, were just 2 of 10. On those 10 tries, nine times Minnesota sought to get a first down by passing. Seven times Bradford threw short of the sticks and didn’t get a first down.

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New Mexico family’s entire home Dallas Cowboys themed - Cheyenne Cope, KRQE News 13
One family in eastern New Mexico has taken home improvement to an entirely new level.

"The only place that’s better than the stadium is our house," said Danielle Olivas.

Their silver and blue home used to be green. With a rock hand painted for almost every Cowboys player and a Cowboys’ wishing well, this house is hard to miss. That’s just the outside — take a step into their home and you’ll get lost in a sea of blue.