Dak Prescott was in command of the huddle last year in Dallas from the very start. It was clear that he had that one intangible quality called leadership despite the fact that he was a down draft prospect in his first professional season who was working with a group of established Pro Bowl veterans. There is good reason for that.
His time in college was spent studying the art of being a leader.
"I was learning the motivation, the different personalities and traits that either motivates them or puts them down. Knowing how each guy reacts to something different I think helps me the most." - Dak Prescott
Sure, Dak Prescott had an impressive debut season as the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Big deal. There are plenty of people that will remind you of Nick Foles in Philadelphia and RGIII in Washington. They came out with a bang, but where are those guys now?
It is true that the same thing could happen to Dak, but the Cowboys quarterback sees things differently. Prescott too has seen what happened to Foles and Griffin. He is working one improving every aspect of his game from the physical to the mental aspects to insure that his run in Dallas does not end like those of the other guys. Dak is driven by the chip on his shoulder. He has committed to not being the next one hit wonder in the NFC East.
When the conversation moves to his second season, the words "sophomore slump" are often mentioned. Names such as Robert Griffin III and Sam Bradford often follow.
Prescott explained Wednesday why he's not worried about taking a step back.
"For me, it's just continuing to work," Prescott said. "I know what I've done to get in this position. I know what it takes to continue to get better for me."
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said he's not concerned about a potential sophomore slump.
"I think that would be true for any position if you started getting comfortable," Linehan said. "I don't think that quarterback is different than any other position."
Last week we spent some time with defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli. This week Scott Linehan gets his five minutes in the news links. The Cowboys offensive coordinator shares with us a few of his thoughts on the state of the Dallas offense and what has transpired during OTAs.
With J. J. Wilcox and Barry Church moving on, the door has been opened for Kavon Frazier to see more playing time with the Dallas defense. Although he has been held out of some work thus far in the off-season, the second year defensive back figures to be called upon more frequently this season. His challenge will be to remain healthy so that he can seize the opportunities that come his way.
He is counting on the experience he gained in a limited role last season to give him a leg up this time around.
"Coming out of my rookie year, I can look back and see where I played a little tight at times, a little too nervous and passive. When you come out of college, I think a lot of players don’t realize that adapting to the speed of the game, doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to get faster.
"It’s realizing that at this level everyone is just as fast or faster than you and it’s about being confident and playing more aggressive." - Kavon Frazier
Questions have been asked about Jaylon Smith ever since the Dallas front office took a gamble on the linebacker they knew would not see a single snap during his first season in the league. Little doubt was expressed about what his potential was, everyone saw that during his time in college, it was the impact of his recovery that was a big concern.
Every news item heard from the Star regarding Smith has been as positive as possible. Perhaps too positive. From some of the talk you might expect Jaylon to be All Pro from his first professional snap. That is setting the bar too high, but where should that bar be set.
He is making progress every time on the field, but fans should be careful not to set unrealistic expectations either.
Again, going through drills in OTAs and minicamp are different than training camp and games when the pads are on. That is what everyone is waiting to see.
Said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, "Pads are everything. He's going through Stage 1 here and it's good stuff so far. But, to me, it's just step by step ... progress. Try not to see it more than what it is. It's just day-by-day progress."
The Cowboys are expected to remain cautious with Smith in next week's minicamp, likely having him go through two limited practices with one rest day.
Moore is looking for a rebirth of what was once a promising career by returning to the area that gave him his start. From the looks of things the Cowboys are planning to use him as a jack of all trades at defensive end and as a special teams player. DeMontrae has another opportunity to make a name for himself, after multiple prior chances he knows how not to make it happen. This time he is looking for the way that will work.
"Everything happens for reason, Like Drake said, ‘It’s better late than never’…and like Einstein said, ‘There are 300 ways to not make a light bulb. Once I got that one way, then I can make it.’ This is my one way to make that light bulb." - DeMontrae Moore
And, no doubt, there will be forthcoming Aggie jokes about Moore not knowing it was Edison, and not Einstein, who invented the light bulb. As long as he can contribute, I don't care if he credits Henry Ford.