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Cowboys News: Ezekiel Elliott Looks Ready To Go Against Seahawks This Week

Latest Cowboys headlines: Cowboys fans likely to see Elliott at Seattle; Cowboys brass tapping brakes on Dak Prescott hype; Alfred Morris out to prove Washington made mistake.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys fans likely to see Elliott at Seattle - David Moore, SportsDay
It looks like Elliott will have his debut against the Seahawks this week.

"I think it looks good right now,'' executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "I don't want to speculate. We have a good week of practice and we'll see what happens.

"Obviously that's the goal is to let him touch the ball a little bit against Seattle and we'll see how much and how long.''

Jerry Jones hopes Ezekiel Elliott plays Thursday - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Elliott has been slowed by hamstring tightness throughout training camp, but looks to make his NFL debut in the Cowboys’ "dress rehearsal" at Seattle on Thursday.

Owner Jerry Jones said the hope is that Elliott increases his practice reps enough this week to allow him to play in the game. Elliott missed two weeks of training camp with a tight hamstring, and returned in limited capacity last week.

Ezekiel Elliott under intense pressure - Bucky Brooks,
Bucky Brooks says no rookie faces more pressure to produce than Elliott.

But before I can even discuss why the Cowboys' offense will be their best defense, I think we should look at how Elliott's presence could impact the rest of the unit. Tony Romo, in particular, will benefit from a more balanced offensive approach built around a powerful running game. A dominant ground attack commands eight-man fronts from opponents, leaving one-on-one coverage on the outside. This makes it easy for the quarterback to play pitch-and-catch with wide receivers on early downs, when defenses are loaded up to stop the run. It's no coincidence Romo led the NFL in completion percentage (69.9), yards per attempt (8.5) and passer rating (113.2) in 2014, with Murray absolutely killing it as the Cowboys' feature runner.

On a related note, Dez Bryant led the NFL that season in TD receptions (16) and averaged 15.0 yards per catch on the strength of 22 receptions of 20-plus yards and five of 40-plus yards. That's strong production from a WR1 playing on a run-first team with a game plan that's built around the premise of handing it to the workhorse 20 to 25 times.

This is why Elliott has more pressure on him than any other rookie in the league.

The Ohio State product is not only expected to help the Cowboys return to their winning ways, but his performance will directly impact the play of the team's other stars. If he is a legitimate playmaker with the ball in his hands, Elliott will attract the kind of defensive attention that Murray commanded a couple seasons ago.


Have Cowboys escaped Backup QB Hell? - Lorenzo Reyes, USA Today
After months and years of questions about the backup QB position, the Cowboys aren't quite ready to proclaim the issue solved just yet.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said he didn’t "want to get into those discussions right now" when asked if Prescott had done enough to claim the backup job. Team owner Jerry Jones, and his son and executive vice president Stephen Jones, also deflected.

The Cowboys are being coy. After toiling in Backup Quarterback Hell last season – when the Cowboys went 1-11 in games when Romo sat out with two separate collarbone fractures – Dallas knows how important the position is.

"I don't see a veteran quarterback on the scene or coming in," Jerry Jones said Friday night during the team’s TV broadcast of the game, "as long as we’ve got the uptick arrow of Dak Prescott."

Dak Prescott has earned the hype, but Cowboys brass tapping brakes - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
There is no question that the Cowboys have lucked out with Dak Prescott - so far.

Even though they’re playing coy publicly right now, the Cowboys have to be beyond pleased with the promising signs shown by Prescott. What more could they want to see after Prescott posted a perfect passer rating against the Dolphins on Friday?

"That’s hard to say," Stephen Jones said. "It’s preseason. It speaks for itself. So far he’s done a really nice job leading the team. I think he is being productive. His production speaks for itself. It’s still preseason. We will have to continue to evaluate his progress."

Cowboys not saying it, but rookie Dak Prescott looks like the (backup) man - Brandon George, SportsDay
The Cowboys must be tickled pink about Dak Prescott, but their keeping a calm demeanor about it, at least publicly.

Jerry Jones and club officials are downright giddy behind closed doors about what they've seen so far from Prescott. Publicly, they're doing all they can to maintain poker faces, saying they won't rush to name Prescott the backup quarterback and dismiss any possibility of adding a veteran as teams make their final cuts Sept. 3.

"There's an old adage that if you've seen it and you've seen it pretty good, well then you know it's there, you know they can do it," Jones said after the win over Miami. "The question of many college quarterbacks is can they operate in the pro game, in the pro system. We've seen him do it at practice. We've seen him do it in meeting sessions. We've seen him carry that now to games.

"There is an energy that comes with him to the field. That same energy, surprisingly, comes with him to the classroom. That same energy comes with him in many different ways. You got to add that up, but on the other hand, let's don't get ahead of ourselves here. That would be a mistake. Of course we don't have to. We are in a situation where we can have a developing but adequate -- because of the excellence of Tony Romo -- we can have that behind him. To me that's what you're ideally striving for."

Dak Prescott credits Mississippi State’s offense for fast start with Dallas Cowboys - Roger Kuznia, SEC Country
What’s the secret of his success? Simple - college preparation.

"The offense we ran at Mississippi State was nothing short of an NFL offense," Prescott said, per a report from USA Today’s Lorenzo Reyes. "The only thing that was different is that we didn’t go under center. I swear to you, in (pre-draft) visits, every play they showed me, I could name it. We just called it something different. At another team I visited, they ran the exact same stuff we ran. "Knowledge-wise, I think I’m the smartest quarterback that came in this class. I would love to go on the board and go head to head with anybody else. That’s how I feel. That’s how confident I am."


Scout's Eye: Frazier, Traylor Among Impressive Rookies; Other Game Notes - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Even if it was the Dak Prescott Show on Friday, other players showed up too, and Broaddus shares some of his notes about those players. Here's what he has to sa about safty Kavon Frazier and TE Austin Traylor.

Kavon Frazier continues to find ways to make plays in order to make a case for a roster spot. The rookie safety was matched in one-on-one coverage on the outside and was able to come up with a nice play on 4th-and-2 to get the defense off the field. What made the play special for him is that the Dolphins tried to use a rub route with their slot receiver and he had the awareness to not get picked. Frazier was able to fight through the traffic, stay inside and prevent Dominique Jones from getting his hands on the ball.

I am curious about what this front office and coaching staff decide to do with Austin Traylor? If there is a tight end on the roster that has the ability to do what James Hanna does at the point of attack as a blocker – it is him. There were several snaps where he was clearly winning on the edge and it didn’t matter if he was blocking linebackers or defensive ends -- the job was getting done. What I really like about Austin Traylor is that he understands how to play with power and leverage to get the job done. He has this knack for capturing the edge and staying on his feet. There is just something with him that is catching my eye.

Scout's Notebook: Brice Butler Shows Up, Chaz Green Improves; More - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus was busy writing yesterday, and has something for everyone in this article, in which he looks at Brice Butler, Alfred Morris, Kyle Wilber, Chaz Green,  Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr, Shaneil Jenkins, Terrance Williams, Vince Mayle, Keith Smith, Jack Crawford, and Andy Jones. Here's his take on Wilberforce and Shaneil Jenkins, whose friends call him "Grady", from 'Sanford and Son.'

Think again when you want to get rid of Kyle Wilber. His performance was inspiring for a defense that had limited numbers along the line. Wilber struggled badly in camp with a back issue that limited his practices, and he only just recently returned to the field. He took very few snaps in those practices at the end, but when the time came for him to step in -- he was ready. Wilber was explosive and disruptive during his opportunities and once again showed why he's a reliable piece to this defense.

Another game, another sack by Shaneil Jenkins. His technique isn't always perfect but his effort is. What really stood out about his play was how quickly he was able to get off the ball and into the blocker. There were several snaps where he and Cedric Thornton were right there, side-by-side, before the Dolphins linemen had a chance to react -- and he was in the backfield. Jenkins continues to get work at that all important under-tackle spot and proving to this staff that he deserves a spot on this roster.

Dallas Cowboys' Sean Lee closer to being ready for regular season - Todd Archer, ESPN
Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee isn't quite ready for the regular season, but he feels like he's getting close after seeing his first preseason action.

Lee saw his first preseason action Friday against the Miami Dolphins and played 12 snaps.

"I did 17 plays in the preseason last year and I think I was ready," Lee said. "I was a little rusty early in that game, but as it went on I felt better and better."

"I'm going to plan on playing more next week and continue to improve," Lee said. "You need to play. I think playing only helps you, so I'm going to push for more next week."

Mark Nzeocha Strains Achilles In Win Against Dolphin, Will Be Evaluated - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Considering the circumstances, this is good news about The Nez.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he was hopeful the injury wasn’t too serious.

"Obviously he had a tweak there in his ankle, Achilles area," he said. "It’s certainly no catastrophic injury – we don’t think at this point. It’s something we’ll have to look at and we’ll evaluate as we go."

Alfred Morris out to prove Washington made mistake - JJ Taylor, ESPN
Alfred Morris' numbers declined each year in Washington, but the Cowboys running back says he's still the same player who ran for 1,613 yards in 2012.

Dallas Cowboys running back Alfred Morris will tell you he doesn’t have anything to prove after the Washington Redskins let him go in the offseason.

Don’t believe him.

Watch the way he runs. Listen to his words. Angry is probably too strong, but he certainly isn’t happy about the way his time in Washington ended.


NFC East NFL betting preview and picks: Cowboys lead a tight race - Matt fargo,
The betting experts at break down the odds in the NFC East.

Why to bet the Cowboys: Dallas is the favorite to win the NFC East as the talent of this team is the best in the division. It has won three division crowns in the 10 years with Tony Romo at quarterback and that’s not a very good percentage considering the expectations every year. Still, when the team is healthy, the Cowboys are successful. Since 2014, they are 17-5 with Romo behind center. Taking Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth-overall pick was a risky move but he’s the type of player that can make a huge difference right from the start. The Dallas schedule is tied for fourth easiest in the league based on preseason rankings.


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