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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Zeke Feels Like A 'Target', Dak Prescott 'Targets' His Debut Against New York

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The season is set to begin, and Zeke Elliott is realizing that the NFL means you're a target and Dak Prescott can't believe it's true.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

At The Culmination Of A Lifelong Dream, Dak Prescott Is Determined To Be Ready - David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott has his whole career in front of him and, still, he doesn't seem to be nervous at all.

In the time since he lost her, Prescott has never let his mother slip far from his mind. He has a tattoo honoring her memory, and he writes her notes on his phone during reflective and important moments in his life.

Cowboys’ Championship Quest: What Are The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Roster? Part 2 - Defense and Special Teams - VaFan, Blogging The Boys
In Part 1 of this roster breakdown, we looked at the offense. Now it’s time to look at the defense and special teams specialists.

The 2014 defense was middle of the pack. Sean Lee missed the season. Jeremy Mincey led the team with six sacks. Yet the team was in the playoff game in Green Bay, and might have won if the offense had made a couple more plays (for example, the Murray fumble and the field goal before the half) or the officials called the game differently (the Dez catch).

Turnovers were the difference with that defense, and could be again. The defensive line is younger, with more upside. The defensive backs are deeper. And there is Sean Lee as the key linebacker rather than Rolando McClain. This 2016 unit could be better than the 2014 one.

Eli Manning says Dak Prescott has a "bright future" with the Cowboys - Charean Williams, The Star-Telegram
Giants quarterback Eli Manning, an Ole Miss product, knows Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott, a Mississippi State product, through his family’s Manning Passing Academy. Manning and Prescott face each other Sunday.

"I watched Dak, got to know him a little bit," Manning said on a conference call with the Dallas media. "He came down to our Passing Academy, and he was a great counselor and a good person – lot of fun to be around, great energy. He had a terrific career at Mississippi State, and he seems to have had a great training camp and obviously thrown into the starting role. But he’s a good player, and I think he has a bright future ahead of him."

Ezekiel Elliott of Dallas Cowboys admits lessons learned in aftermath of investigation - Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN
One day after learning that potential domestic violence charges against him will not be pursued, Ezekiel Elliott said Wednesday that "the past is the past. I'm focused on now."

"I'm a target," Elliott said Wednesday in his first public comments. "That's what I've realized from all of this, and I have to conduct myself that way, so I cannot have any distractions so I can just focus on ball."

Dallas Cowboys: Anonymous scout dishes on Dallas Cowboys' most overrated, underrated players - SportsDay
From Donovan McNabb-like to not-quite-yet-Troy Aikman, there has been no shortage of opinions on rookie Dak Prescott since he was thrust into the starting role.

"The personnel people in the organization got it right by all accounts with Prescott thus far, and that's going to be huge. He's coming from a spread system at Mississippi State, so there were a lot of conversations about how his game was going to translate at a pro level. But he's been really dynamic."

Big Picture: Cowboys, Giants Set To Meet In Week 1 For 4th Time In Last 5 Years - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Each week, the staff of DallasCowboys.com will present "The Big Picture" for the upcoming game, presenting an overall update for each team as they head into the upcoming contest. This week, the Cowboys and Giants square off in a Week 1 matchup at AT&T Stadium.

A good portion of the Cowboys’ roster is familiar with this division rivalry, but two projected rookie starters are getting set for their first-ever matchup with the New York Giants. Quarterback Dak Prescott – filling in for injured starter Tony Romo – and running back Ezekiel Elliott are poised to become the franchise’s first Week 1 rookie quarterback/running back combo in the starting lineup since Roger Staubach and Calvin Hill in 1969.

Cowboys Position Breakdown: What Players Will Surprise You? - Danny Phantom, Blogging The Boys
There are a lot of players on the Cowboys roster that could surprise people this year, but can you figure who they'll be before the season begins?

It’s hard to decide what the favorite part was of the Cowboys pick-six against the Houston Texans in the final preseason game. Was it that my pet cat, Anthony Brown, caught it or that Brandon Weeden threw it? Nah, it’s got to go to the rookie. The Cowboys sixth-round pick has been playing well right from the beginning of camp. He’s been strong in coverage and will make a nice fallback should one of the Cowboys starting corners get hurt. While he possesses a lot of good traits to make him a good corner, the most appealing one is that he keeps making a play on the ball. And as he showed us last week, good things happen when you make plays on the ball.

Dak Prescott believes hard work will turn him into successful NFL QB - Drew Davison, The Star-Telegram
Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott said his work ethic has gotten him to the NFL, and now believes it will carry him into a successful starter in the league.

"I didn’t grow up as the most athletic or best football player out there. It was definitely from the hard work, the work I put in over time, just preparation," Prescott said. "Work hard and prepare. Put yourself in that moment before that moment happens, and it’ll be like you’ve done it before."

Jason Garrett: Tony Romo is healing up - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys continue to keep Tony Romo on the active roster with the hope that he can be ready sooner than if he was designated for the IR.

"In Tony’s case, the IR term is for eight weeks and we feel like, given what the injury is and the progress he’s made, we feel at this point we want to do that," Garrett said. "We don’t want to eliminate him from eight weeks of our schedule. He’s making progress. We take his situation day by day and week by week and we’re optimistic he can return."

Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott: 'I'm a target'; what Cowboys RB had to say about drug test texts - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott on Wednesday said that he wants to move on now that officials in Ohio have announced that he will not be charged after a woman alleged abuse in July.

"I knew I didn't do anything wrong," he said. "I don't really want to get into it. I want to talk about football. I want to talk about why I'm here. ... We were very confident since Day 1. Wasn't really worried that much. Honestly I was just focused on ball, I let my lawyers and representatives handle the rest. "

Cowboys Practice & Injury Report: Tony Romo Plus Two Others Absent - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys are practicing and preparing for the New York Giants. The latest on their injury situation plus a new arrival to the practice squad.

Also missing from practice were Mark Nzeocha and Charles Tapper. Nzeocha is still dealing with the Achilles strain that occurred during a preseason game. Tapper, meanwhile, is healing from his own vertebra fracture.