The Dallas Cowboys had a large contingent at the Pro Bowl. Jason Garrett and staff were coaching and seven Cowboys players were on the NFC team. The AFC won the game 20-13, and the Cowboys players had a relatively quiet night.
Dak Prescott was the starting quarterback and went 7 for 13 for 52 yards and a rating of 63.6. Dez Bryant had the best statistical night for the Cowboys with five catches for 59 yards on nine targets. Sean Lee made one tackle, and the trio of Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin all did their thing on the offensive line.
But leave it to Ezekiel Elliott to have the most eventful night of the Cowboys. His stat line wasn’t all that much. He had eight carries 20 yards one catch for two yards. On the downside, he got stuffed at the goal line on a fourth and goal.
But he played special teams and might have saved a TD by running Tyreek Hill out of bounds on a punt return.
He also managed to tackle a fan who ran out on the field and then sprinted past him on the way to the end zone. It’s never dull with Zeke around.
The Tony Romo watch is on, and now we have a potential player, but only under special circumstances.
If it should happen that Tony Romo is eventually released to the free-agent market, the Denver Broncos may express interest in the veteran quarterback.
A source in the Broncos’ football department did not dismiss the possibility of bringing in the Dallas Cowboys quarterback -- providing the situation reaches the point where Romo is no longer Cowboys’ property.
For financial and salary cap purposes, the Cowboys’ first preference likely would be to trade Romo, who was the team’s starting quarterback for 10 seasons until he lost his job this season to a back injury and the terrific performance of rookie Dak Prescott.
I’m sure a few teams will “express interest” in Romo if he hits the market, the Cowboys would still like to swing some kind of trade and not give away an asset.
The draft is supposedly strong in just the positions the Cowboys need, as expressed by Bryan Broaddus.
What's position is most likely to be available for the Cowboys at 28?
Bryan Broaddus: It's gonna stretch at defensive end, and it's gonna stretch at cornerback and I think you're gonna be able to stretch at wide receiver. The spots that Dallas is really looking at ... if they sit and let the board fall to them, I think they're gonna be OK.
Dak's wild ride: Cowboys' QB posts historic rookie year - Shreveport Times
A good retrospective of Dak Prescott’s rookie campaign.
Amazingly, the end to the 2016 season was just as surprising as the journey.
Somewhere, the questions surrounding Prescott transformed into expectations. However, Rodgers’ unearthly play and a pair of 50-plus-yard field goals by Green Bay’s Mason Crosby squashed Prescott’s dream of becoming the first rookie starting quarterback in Super Bowl history.
“This ranks at the top and the bottom (in my life),” Prescott said of the 2016 run. “(Bottom) because of the feeling and losing and knowing this same team won’t be back together. But it’s also definitely up there at the top — the season we had, the run we made, the investment we put in each other. The investment in this game, the playbook, the coaches – it was special and fun to be a part of.”
Prescott also took some time during Pro Bowl practices to show off his trick shot passing, and scorch Jason Garrett in the process.
Randy Moss thinks he knows just what the Cowboys need to take the next step to the Super Bowl. It’s not a pass rush specialist, but a lockdown corner.
Randy Moss on Pro Bowl pregame show talking about the Cowboys: pic.twitter.com/GduODJTXLz— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 30, 2017
More on the Cowboys season, especially how the rookies kind of rejuvenated the whole thing.
What made this season magical for the Cowboys?
Jane Slater: When the guys talked about they never saw themselves as rookies, it was so true. The way that Ezekiel Elliott handled himself. To have the rookie season that he had, to lead the league in rushing. The way this team responded in the absence of Tony Romo. I thought it was great to see Dak Prescott, this rookie, get these guys to buy in ... guys like Jason Witten to buy into his leadership and to follow him. I talked to so many guys that wanted to see Dak succeed. I thought that was the mark of a true leader. Chemistry was genuine. There really is a swagger about this Cowboys team that I haven't seen in a long time.
Remember way back when everybody laughed at Dallas for taking Travis Frederick in the first round? Yeah, that was funny. This happened a few days ago but is worth revisiting; PFF voted Frederick ad the top run blocker in the league. And it’s his amazing versatility that sets him apart.
No team in the NFL combined wide stretch runs with straightforward gap runs quite like the Cowboys in 2016. They had the fifth-most yards of any team on outside zone (787) and the second-most yards of any team running dive plays (596). Those two blocks couldn’t be more different from a technical standpoint at the center position. Outside zone requires the center to run laterally and control a nose tackle or linebacker to overtake his gap. The dive asks the center to fire straight forward off the ball, usually as part of a double team, and take the nose tackle off the line of scrimmage into the linebackers. They are two diametrically opposed skills — agility and power — yet Frederick sits among the league’s highest-graded at both. That sort of versatility is what allows Dallas to pick and choose run concepts to matchup with what a defense struggles with instead of being put into a box as a certain type of running team.
To really appreciate Frederick’s greatness though, you have to watch him against the best of the best. In the four games he played against arguably the top three nose tackles in the NFL — Damon Harrison (twice), Danny Shelton and Linval Joseph — Frederick came away with an above-average game every time. In fact, if you extrapolate out his grades from those games into a full 16-game season, he still would have finished as one of the five-highest-graded centers in the league. That sort of consistency and prowess is unrivaled at the position today.
Nobody’s laughing now at the Cowboys for this pick.
There is only one guy who can tackle Zeke one-on-one, and that’s Dez Jr.