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Cowboys News: Why You Shouldn't Expect Dak Prescott And The Cowboys To Decline In 2017

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Don't Expect a Dak Decline - Ben Grimaldi, Cowboys Nation
Grimaldi tackles the topic of a potential Dak Prescott regression and strikes down upon Dak Doubters with great vengeance and furious anger.

Of all the convenient excuses to knock the Cowboys, this is the worst. Dak Prescott showed that he was a special player and person last year, why would any of that change in year two? Because defenses have a “book” on him now?

Defenses have a book on Carson Wentz too, but there’s no mention of him regressing. Apparently, only Dak will take a step back. By the way, teams also had a book on Andrew Luck, Derek Carr, Peyton Manning, and a whole host of other quarterbacks that have come through the league. Bring up the name Robert Griffin III all you like, but comparisons to Prescott rings hollow. Dak has a much better build, feel and mind for the game than Bob did, so that assessment is lazy and inaccurate.

There’s another prevailing thought that has been thrown around the NFL for the last 20-30 years; a player makes the most improvements from year one to year two. But again, that doesn’t seem to apply to Prescott.

It’s a complete joke to say the Cowboys are going to take a step back because of Dak Prescott.

Dak: ‘This is my team’ - Roy Lange, Shreveport Times
It often takes teams years to transition from one QB to the next. Dallas is a year into their new QB, and everything went about as smoothly as is possible.

Even prior to the start of official offseason work, the changing of the guard inside the Cowboys locker room was evident.

“Dak’s earned that,” veteran tight end Jason Witten said. “With what he did as a rookie, Dak understands you have to go back at it, recommit and establish it again. A guy in his second year has to do that, and I have to do that in my 15th year.

“He’s the quarterback; that voice needs to be heard. As he moves forward, he’ll be more comfortable with that. He’s done a great job. All of us need to empower him and help him.”

Prescott embraced his role as the miracle worker last season, and appears comfortable even though success and leadership are now demanded.

“I’m having fun now that it’s my team,” he said.

“I’m one season in,” Prescott said. “My whole game can get better. I can study film better, my drop backs can be better, I can be more accurate – a lot I can get better at.”


Cowboys Improvement Falls On The Shoulders Of The Youth On Defense - Dawn Macelli, Blogging The Boys
The upside of youth is talent, the downside is lack of experience, Macelli explains and wonders how tat will impact the Cowboys' 2017 season.

There will be times when we are going to be amazed with the playmaking ability of this defense; there will be times when we shake our heads in frustration. The Dallas defensive unit will be young and talented in 2017. Their success will be determined by how often the talent is on display vs. how often it is the youth that prevails.

Top Five Draft Picks all expected to have significant impact from Week 1 - SportsDay Staff
In a recent chat, Jon Machota answered a question about expectations for the top five rookies.

How many of the Cowboys rookies - and which ones - do you see getting significant playing time in Week 1?

Machota: "Their first five draft picks: Taco Charlton, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Ryan Switzer and Xavier Woods. I'm not saying all will start, but I think all five will play significant roles immediately if healthy."

Best NFL players under 25 on offense - Brett Whitfield, PFF
Which NFL players under 25 years old stand out most? Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott lead their positions on offense.

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (2016 PFF overall grade: 84.9)

Seemingly a contrarian pick right of the gate, but no QB currently under 25 earned a higher grade than Dak Prescott did in 2016. Some will say he wasn’t asked to do much, but I don’t believe it matters, as he played nearly-flawless football. Only Patriots QB Tom Brady took better care of the ball in 2016, and Prescott’s nine turnover-worthy throws were significantly lower than both Winston and Tennessee Titans QB Marcus Mariota. What’s more, Prescott’s 14 big-time-throws were right on par with Winston’s 16.

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys (86.0)

In 2016, Elliott took the league by storm, leading the NFL in rushing his first season. His 86.0 overall grade ranked second among RBs, and he also contributed in the passing game, finishing 15th in receiving grade, at 77.0. Elliott is as close to a prototypical running back as there is, possessing size, speed, agility and power. His 2.91 yards after contact ranked seventh overall.

Laufenberg: Cowboys' O-line will remain a dominant front - SportsDay Saff
The Cowboys' O-line is a source of much angst for many a Cowboys fan. How will the team ever be able to replace Doug Free and Ronald Leary? Babe Laufenberg addressed that question in a recent chat.

Do you think Dallas still has the NFL's best offensive line even without Doug Free?

Laufenberg: No question. It is a dominant front. We all know how good Zack Martin and Tyron Smith are, but I think something that got overlooked last year was the mind of Travis Frederick. He is an extremely intelligent guy, and his calling out fronts and protections proved invaluable with a rookie quarterback. Give Dak all the credit in the world, because ultimately, he is the guy who has to pull the trigger each and every play. But throw a few bouquets at Frederick, as well.


Vikings' Terence Newman learns to adapt in an ever-changing NFL - Minnesota StarTribune.com
Newman is entering his 15th NFL season, and looks back on how the league has changed over those 15 years.

“When I first came into the league I had Roy Williams and Darren Woodson at safety,” Newman said. “I used to play outside leverage and their guys would come inside because those are two big hitters,” he said. “Then a couple years later they made the emphasis on illegal contact, which obviously made it a lot tougher on the DBs and we used to chuck guys down the field a little bit and ride them, but it wasn’t a big deal.

“I think people want to see more long touchdown passes, more passing, it’s a little easier for sure for the receivers and whatnot, and also when a guy used to get hit across the middle it used to be the quarterbacks fault for throwing it and now they’re trying to help with the head injuries, which I understand. It’s just a different game than when I came in.”


Should New York Giants be the team to beat in the NFC East? - Jordan Raanan, ESPN
Raanan, the Giants writer for ESPN, wonders whether having swept the Cowboys in 2016 means the Giants are the favorites to win the East this year, but offers three reasons why that isn't the case: Vegas odds, Football Outsiders' analytics, and Dak Prescott.

"I know we can win every game that we lock in and we focus, and we understand that we're the team that they have to beat,” Prescott said on "The Doomsday Podcast" with Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. “It's not the opposite way.”

Giants vs. Cowboys: Spread and Prediction - Tony Finn, Wagertalk
More bad news for the Giants:

Week #1 Outlook

The Giants were fortunate to make the playoffs a season ago. Of their 11 wins only two were by double digits and one of those was over a much less talented Cleveland Browns team. The Giants could easily have lost more than they won a season ago and have a history of falling flat in seasons following a playoff appearance. The Cowboys opened the NFL Futures market as roughly a 5-point favorite in this Week #1 contest but once all of the information is in on the Giants and their projected starting lineups, on both sides of the ball, the point-spread in this event will likely close closer to minus-seven than minus-five.

Prediction: Dallas Cowboys 31-19 New York Giants

Eagles News: Joe Banner says Philadelphia can win the division - Bleeding Green Nation
High comedy in Philly.

“I would not even hesitate to think the Eagles have as good of a chance, if not better, than anybody in that division to win it,” Banner said Wednesday, just hours after the Birds signed running back LeGarrette Blount, on the 94WIP Carlin & Reese Show.

Pierre Garçon believes Kirk Cousins is a franchise quarterback - Niners Nation
More funny stories out of the NFC East.