There Is a Quarterback Controversy in Dallas - Danny Kelly, The Ringer
Kelly goes for the clickable headline, but quickly points out that the only QB controversy in Dallas is whether Prescott is the greatest rookie signal-caller the league has ever seen.
Rookie fourth-round quarterbacks have never done this before. They’re not supposed to put up these kind of stats. They’re not supposed to make these types of throws. But week after week, Dak Prescott marches on with his cool demeanor, precision downfield passing, and efficient, deadly running.
No matter the teammates, not many quarterbacks in the NFL — let alone a rookie fourth-rounder — can consistently make throws that require a marriage of timing, touch, and awareness. But Prescott’s been making these plays all year. It’s one thing to limit Elliott and the Cowboys’ run game, but when you also have to stop Prescott from converting on key third downs and throwing dimes to Bryant in the end zone, opposing defense start to get into "cross our fingers and hope" territory. Through 16 weeks, the Cowboys quarterback has been a revelation — unlike anything we’ve seen in NFL history. And just in case you were starting to sleep on Dallas’s Super Bowl chances, Monday night was Prescott’s wake-up call.
Cliff Harris: How Dak Prescott leads Cowboys reminds me of Roger Staubach - SportsDay
High praise for Prescott from former Cowboys safety Cliff Harris, talking on 96.7 FM The Ticket on Wednesday:
"Also at one of the Cowboy games I had a chance to sit by Dan Mullen, his coach from Mississippi State in one of the Cowboys suites. The guy is a great guy. He was really doing a great job of analyzing from a free safety position what Dak was going to be running. I said, 'Man you'd been a great free safety.'
"But he told me what a good young man he was. I said, 'What's going to happen if [Tony] Romo comes back and he replaces him?' He said, 'He's going to support the team. He's going to support the team and support Romo. He's that kind of guy.' Man, that is the kind of guy that is a winner for ya. He's got the character and obviously ability. I think the team is rallying around him. They see something that we saw when had with Roger Staubach. 'Hey defense, stop these guys and get the ball back to Roger. He's going to win this game.' That's what I think this whole team [has]. They're thriving on him. Everything is growing and growing and growing.
" ... The thing that's good is that you can see players excited. You see less individualism. You see more team. That's just observations I was seeing subtly out there. So you've got a cohesive team this year that believes that they can win."
Travis Frederick explains how rookie Dak Prescott earned Cowboys veterans' trust - SportsDay
Frederick also had some nice words for Prescott on Wednesday's Norm-a-thon on 96.7 FM.
On how Prescott can be a leader as a rookie still:
"That's a very interesting dynamic you bring up because it's difficult to command a group of guys, especially that has some older players in it, some guys that have been around a long time. So that puts that person in a tough spot. But I think one of the things that Dak's done the best is he came in and he put his nose to the grindstone. He earned people's trust by how he was playing and how he was approaching the week. Once you earn that trust, it's a little easier for guys to start following and for guys to take on that leadership. I think Dak's done a great job throughout the year of increasing his leadership role as guys trust him more."
Winningest rookie QB ever? Prescott has a chance ESPN Stats & Information
Ben Roethlisberger set the standard for rookie passers, but now Dak Prescott has a chance to re-write the record book.
He has led the Dallas Cowboys to 13 victories this season, tying Ben Roethlisberger (2004) for the most by a rookie quarterback. One more win, Sunday at the Eagles, would put the Mississippi State product alone at No. 1 in this category. ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Cowboys a 45 percent chance of winning.
Cowboys' pass rush continues to emerge at just the right time - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Sturm doesn't want you to get overexcited or to cause any alarm, but he points out anyway that the Cowboys are ranked 12th in sacks.
It happened very quickly, and I don't wish you to be alarmed. So, allow me to tell you again. They are top half in the league in getting to the QB in 2016.
How about this one: In December - a span of 4 games for every team in the league, the Cowboys are at the top of the NFL in sacks with 14 (tied with Joey Bosa and the Chargers at the top, if you want to get technical). Now, that should remind us that September through Thanksgiving also happened, and during that span, the Cowboys were at a far more normal spot of 25th in the league. But then they went on a tear.
The Cowboys have found a defensive line. Nobody move.
Benson Mayowa, David Irving lead Cowboys' rejuvenated pass rush - JJ Taylor, ESPN
Over the past four games, Dallas' pass rush has produced 14 sacks and contributed to 10 turnovers, a formula it hopes to ride to the Super Bowl.
If the Cowboys, the top seed in the NFC, are going to make a deep playoff run, they need a strong pass rush, because some of the league's best passers have qualified for the playoffs.
Marinelli would tell you he's not surprised by the improvement in the Cowboys' pass rush because of the effort his players give each day.
Marinelli is old school. Football is a game of repetition, and he's relentless about teaching technique. Master the techniques, give relentless effort and eventually the results will come.
Well, the day Marinelli has been talking about since the start of training camp has finally arrived, just in time for the playoffs.
Dumping losers like Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain helped Dallas Cowboys chemistry - Mac Engel, The Star-Telegram
There's nothing about the Cowboys that Mac Engel isn't able to somehow finagle into some kind of Jerry-bashing. But putting aside that tired old spiel about Jerry Jones, Engel does correctly point out that the Cowboys' camaraderie got a big boost by subtracting two major distractions.
History shows that teams function better when the players get along and like coming to work. History shows that guys like Hardy and McClain may work out for a short while, and accumulate some seductive statistics, but in the end are not worth the hassle because they are losers who bring down a locker room.
The decision not to bring back the talented, and self-destructive, Hardy for a second season might have hurt this team’s statistical sack numbers but helped in other areas that cannot be quantified on a stat sheet. It never hurts team morale to jettison a starting player who blows off practices, like Hardy. And meetings. And doesn’t return phone calls from coaches. And is a terrible influence on already troubled defensive end Randy Gregory.
Neither the players nor the coaches wanted McClain back; he’s a talented player, but he didn’t want to practice. He wanted his own rules in order to be enticed to play. He took care of his presence on this team by repeatedly failing drug tests.
Dez Bryant: Scott Linehan deserves to get head coaching offers, 'but he's a Cowboy' - Jon Machota, Dallas Morning News
One thing that is as certain as death and taxes is the fact that the coaching carousel will spin over the next few weeks, and one name that will likely get serious consideration is Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. There will be an opportunity; there always are when your team experiences success. The biggest question will be whether Linehan wants to be the man in charge again, and will there be an offer from a franchise where he feels he can find success?
If Linehan takes career advice from one of his star players the answer will be a resounding ‘NO!’
"He got this thing rolling," Bryant said. "That's everything. But you know, not to be selfish, that's a great accomplishment for him. He deserves it. But he's a Cowboy."
Scott Linehan talks Cowboys trick plays, meeting Ezekiel Elliott for first time at Little League game - Kate Hairopolous, Dallas Morning News
Sticking with the man in charge of running the Cowboys offense, here is a look at the thought process behind the play call that led to #88 becoming the eleventh man to throw a touchdown pass to Jason Witten.
VIDEO: Witten On Dez TD Pass - DallasCowboys.com
That was a nice segue into this video clip of Witten speaking on several topics including the trickeration from Monday night.
Dallas Cowboys rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott locked in hilarious prank war - Cameron Da Silva, Fox Sports
Two rookies leading their team into the playoffs, and regardless of the pressure they may feel on the gridiron, when it comes to locker room shenanigans they are playing like seasoned veterans.
On Wednesday, Ezekiel Elliott shot straw wrappers and spitballs at Dak Prescott during an interview. To get him to stop, Dak gave Zeke a bag of candy — the cure-all for a badgering teammate, apparently. Prescott wasn’t satisfied with just getting Zeke to stop, though.
He pulled a prank on his running back Thursday, filling his locker and helmet with candy. Lots and lots of candy — M&M’s, to be specific.
Things are getting serious at the Star.