As the Dallas Cowboys enjoy their well-earned bye week, it gives us an opportunity to review the five most important players on the Cowboys as they begin the NFL playoffs.
Number Five: Jason Witten
The Cowboys offense is as impressive as there is in the NFL but it's their diversity that makes them particularly difficult to defend. There will be a tremendous focus on Ezekiel Elliott, there will be safety help on Dez Bryant and there even might be a spy on Cole Beasley. This leaves Jason Witten as the money target on out and slant routes as first down conversions will be ever so valuable.
Number Four: Dan Bailey
Every point matters in the playoffs and 2016 has seen a record number of extra point field goals missed. Dan Bailey had been a staple with the Dallas Cowboys and ranks as one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. Given that there are many prolific offensive teams in the playoffs this year, there is no room to leave field goals or extra points on the table during this playoff run.
Number Three: Dak Prescott
As the former fourth-round pick makes his much anticipated playoff debut, he will do so against a quarterback with far more experience than he has. Frankly, what's new? Throughout Dak Prescott's rookie season, he has found his niche as a leader in the huddle and has made a knack of avoiding any fatal mistakes. His decision- and play-making with both his arm and mobility will provide Dallas a chance to advance to the NFC Conference Championship Game.
Number Two: Ezekiel Elliott
The Jones' could not have predicted or hoped for a better rookie season from their first-round pick. It is clear that Zeke’s rushing style and tenacity was built for a long playoff run and the team will always take its chances with his talent behind that world-class offensive line. His ability to make first downs and bleed the clock will be critical as Dallas attempts to keep the opposing quarterback on the bench for as long as possible. In addition to his on the field attributes, his laid back approach and playful attitude add a unique element in the locker room.
Number One: Sean Lee
Regardless of who the Dallas Cowboys play next weekend, they will play against a prolific offensive attack featuring multiple pass catchers and skilled quarterbacks. Sean Lee is unequivocally the most important player on the team because it is his in-game adjustments that ensure his teammates are in the right position play after play. His ability to lead by example and swarm the offense will remain crucial if the Cowboys are able to advance to the next round.