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Cowboys News: Giants Defense Picks Its Poison, Chooses Dak Prescott Over Ezekiel Elliott

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Latest Cowboys headlines: The Giants want to "ruin" Dak Prescott's NFL debut, but perhaps they should be more worried about Ezekiel Elliott.

Giants planning to 'ruin' Dak Prescott's debut - Kevin Patra, NFL.com
Giants linebacker Keenan Robinson has big plans for Dak Prescott on Sunday.

"He's a rookie so we have to treat him as a rookie," linebacker Keenan Robinson said, via NJ.com. "That means that we have to get him rattled. It's his first big game. He's played preseason games, but he hasn't played on Sunday in the NFL yet. So this will be a test for him."

Added Robinson: "We basically have to ruin this kid's debut in the NFL."

"We'll make sure that we pressure him and if he does scramble, be there to make him pay," Robinson said. "Obviously in the NFL everybody is fast, so if he thinks he's going to get away from us, we have to make sure that our presence is felt and he knows that he has to get out of bounds or slide right away if he is going to scramble."

Bold predictions for Giants @ Cowboys - Staff, NFL.com
Keenan Robinson and the Giants defense may be focusing on the wrong rookie, Connor Orr of NFL.com explains.

Ezekiel Elliott will eclipse 200 total yards on Sunday against the Giants: Jerry Jones may have wanted Joey Bosa at pick No. 4, but what he got was something much more. Elliott will puzzle the Giants' green linebacking corps and benefit from a rookie quarterback who will be eager to check down to a running back that could be on the field all three downs throughout the game.

Watchability Rankings: The rookie running backs - Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com
Rosenthal also sees Elliott as the rookie the Giants linebackers should watch in Dallas on Sunday.

The Cowboys are the most quarterback-friendly team to join in football. The offensive line might be the NFL's best since the early-2000s unit in Kansas City. Unlike the Cowboys' backup QBs last year, Prescott has a healthy, edgy Dez Bryant. Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott showed more in seven preseason carries than some running backs show in seven years. Putting Elliott behind this offensive line is stacking strength on strength the same way that Jerry Jones built this line of first-round picks in the first place. Elliott is so smooth that he could make Prescott an afterthought.

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Dallas Cowboys in good hands with rookie QB Dak Prescott - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
Don't worry, writes Gil Brandt, the Cowboys are in good hands with Prescott.

I knew Prescott would need some re-tooling coming from Mississippi State's spread system, but he had the size, arm strength, intelligence, athleticism, and overall talent to one day succeed in the NFL.

The Cowboys are fortunate the way things have worked out. So is Prescott. He's landed in an ideal situation, with two former quarterbacks as coaches. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who I brought to Dallas as an undrafted free agent out of Idaho in 1987, and quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson, who enjoyed an 18-year career in the NFL, have done a tremendous job getting Prescott ready in short order.

While I don't anticipate Prescott having the same success as he had in the preseason, he should be able to hold the fort down in Romo's absence. And he'll have the benefit of working behind the NFL's best offensive line, a strong running game, and security blankets in WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten. I don't think a .500 record is out of the question before he hands the ball back to Tony around midseason.

In the end, this could turn out to be a huge blessing for the Cowboys. If nothing else, in two months they'll know if they have their quarterback of the future.

Giants-Cowboys player spotlight: Dallas QB Dak Prescott - Chris Pflum, Big Blue View
Plum offers a well-written and well-researched piece on Prescott and wonders why nobody saw Prescott's preseason performance coming.

Nobody really saw what Prescott was able to do coming. I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t. Dak Prescott was probably my favorite quarterback to come out in the 2016 NFL Draft — not the most highly rated, but my favorite.

But while I cant, and won’t, say that I saw his 38-of-50, 454-yard, 7 TD (5 passing, 2 rushing) performance coming, neither can I say that I’m particularly stunned. I had followed his career at Mississippi State, and saw a player who grew tremendously over his time as a Bulldog. He transformed himself from a young player who was more running back who could throw the ball to a quarterback who was also able to threaten defenses with his legs.

Bart Scott says Cowboys are better off with Dak Prescott over Tony Romo - John Breech, CBSSports.com
The former NFL linebacker for the ravens and Jets now makes his money as a CBS analyst, and says Romo should stay on the bench all season.

According to Scott, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott actually gives Dallas a better chance to win than Romo.

"This could be the Drew Bledsoe/Tom Brady passing off [sic] the guard because Dak Prescott brings a different element to the game that Tony Romo can't. His body can't. He can't be reckless with his body like that," Scott said during an interview with CBS Sports Radio's "The DA Show."

Scott expects Prescott to add an element to the Cowboys offense that's just not there with Romo.

"[Dak] has live legs, he has a live arm and he has confidence -- and he has the support of his team," Scott said. "His teammates know that he can play. Everybody wants to discredit what he did during the preseason, but I can remember them doing that to another young, athletic quarterback that was drafted after the second round in Russell Wilson, and he just continued to improve and improve."

AUDIO: Trent Dilfer: I don't know if Romo will ever see field again for Cowboys - ESPN Video
Trent Dilfer is very confident in Dak Prescott's potential to unseat Tony Romo for the starting quarterback position. He explains why in this short audio.

Mississippi State Buys Billboards Around DFW To Support Dak Prescott - Josh Clark, CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Mississippi State is honoring Prescott with five billboards across Dallas ahead of Sunday's game against the Giants.

The billboard reads "wherever you go, we go with you," an ode to a thank you video Mississippi State unveiled earlier this year after Prescott thanked the school in a letter written for a Sports Illustrated magazine issue.

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14 stats to know for Week 1 of 2016 NFL season - Sean Wagner-McGough, CBSSports.com
Straight from the NFL's PR Department come two stats about the Cowboys for opening weekend

The Cowboys host the Giants on Kickoff Weekend in an early-season NFC East matchup. The contest will feature two of the NFL’s most successful teams in season openers. The Cowboys’ .673 winning percentage (37-18-1) is the highest of any team in NFL history, while the Giants have the third-most wins on Kickoff Weekend (49). The teams with the best winning percentage on Kickoff Weekend:

Cowboys:. 673
Broncos: .655
Bears: .593
Packers: .576
Chargers: .571
Texans: .571

The Cowboys are 1-13 in the past three seasons without Romo under center. According to Sports on Earth's Kenneth Arthur, the Cowboys are 78-49 when Romo starts and 10-23 without him in the past decade.

The NFC East Will Be An Ugly, Magnificent Bloodbath, As Usual - Neil Payne, FiveThirtyEight
Payne explains that "the perpetual disaster that is the NFC East" may be on the up.

If we've learned one thing from this division in recent years, however, it’s to expect the unexpected. (Washington’s rise last season was the norm in a division that’s changed hands in each of the past 11 seasons.) The NFC East probably won’t be pretty in 2016, but it could once again be the most competitive division in the NFL.

NFC East preview: Romo's injury leaves division wide open - Amy Parlapiano, SI.com
Tony Romo's absence makes the NFC East fun to watch, but maddening to try to predict, writes Parlapiano, but that doesn't stop her from making some other predictions, including the potential breakout player, Byron Jones.

As a rookie in 2015, Jones put together an extremely impressive season, starting 11 games at four different positions. He finished the year with 47 individual tackles, eight pass deflections and zero turnovers. This year, he’s moving to safety full-time, which will give him the chance to further improve on his already excellent range and come into his own at a set position. "He gives us unbelievable versatility and as a safety he can go cover a slot, he can go cover a tight end," defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said after the decision was made. "He’s got that skill. That’s what you want at that safety position."

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Sturm's mailbag: Under-the-radar Cowboys - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
Asked about players that stood out but that nobody is talking about, Sturm offers five players for your consideration.

The most under-the-radar players for me right now are Jack Crawford, Anthony Brown, Mark Nzeocha, Kevon Frazier and Brice Butler. They all bring real value to the team in different ways. Crawford should play a massive amount early, but the rest of those names provide some decent depth going into the season.

Tony Romo’s injury keeps him from being one of Cowboys’ five captains - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
The Cowboys elected Sean Lee, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey, Travis Frederick and Barry Church as captains.

Lee said the captains take their leadership role seriously.

"When you’re voted a captain, you have to step up every single day; you have to lead by example every single day," Lee said. "You have to take your game to another level, so it’s something that I’m proud of, but I know it’s something I have to work to live up to."