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Cowboys News: Dak Prescott named rising star in the NFC East by only two out of four ESPN writers

Latest Cowboys headlines: Why Dak Prescott is a rising star; why hold camp in California; why the Cowboys drafted a “freak” athlete.

Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Who is the rising star of the NFC East? - NFL Nation, ESPN
The NFC East writers gathered for a round table to discuss who the rising star of the NFC East is. Oddly, the Giants beat writer picks a Redskins wide receiver who didn't even reach 1,000 receiving yards last year, while the Eagles writer picks a QB who ranked 25th in quarterback rating. The Cowboys and Redskins beat writers make the correct choice and go for Dak Prescott. Here are Todd Archer and John Keim with the explanation.

Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys reporter: It has to be Dak Prescott. He was named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, when he seamlessly took over for Tony Romo and led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record. He had 23 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He ran for six scores. The Cowboys needed to go through a long list of quarterbacks after Troy Aikman’s retirement before finding Romo. In almost every way, they got lucky with Romo. In almost every way, they have gotten lucky again with Prescott, a fourth-round pick. There are high expectations on Prescott, who has shown this offseason he is willing to take on more leadership and more offensively. The quarterback of America’s Team always will get a ton of attention. When he is a second-year quarterback with a strong resume already, it makes sense that he is the rising star.

John Keim, Washington Redskins reporter: Prescott. He’s probably an easy name to say after last season and even though I think running back Ezekiel Elliott is the player more feared because of the trickle-down impact, Prescott is the quarterback of the Cowboys. That alone makes him a potential star. It’s not just that Prescott threw for 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Rather, it was how he went about his business in doing so. He was difficult to stop in key situations -- eighth in the NFL in third-down passer rating; 12th in red zone passer rating. Prescott’s ability to move in the pocket was critical, but he does so while staying poised -- and while keeping his eyes downfield. For a QB who can run, he did so only 57 times.

Bryce Harper and Joe Buck were talking about Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott during the MLB All-Star Game - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
If you think you and your friends are the only ones with football on your minds, think again. Nationals RF Bryce Harper talked Cowboys even during the All-Star Game! And he was definitely not talking about Jamison Crowder or Carson Wentz.

During the top of the fourth inning Bryce, who’s mic’d up, brings up America’s Team to Joe Buck, who served on call for many of the games across Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott’s rookie seasons. The two have quite the chat about the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year:

Bryce: How do you think Dak’s gonna be this year?

Buck: I think he’ll be... I have not met a more impressive young player coming into the NFL in the time I have covered the NFL.

Bryce: He’s fun to watch. I mean, watching him on Sundays and Mondays, Thursdays, I mean... that guy... him and Zeke, I mean... unbelievable.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott Are Finalists For ESPY Awards - Rob Phillips, Dallas Cowboys
Again, no mention of Jamison Crowder or Carson Wentz anywhere.

Prescott is one of five nominees for Best Breakthrough Athlete, joining Giannis Antetokounmpo, Laurie Hernandez, Aaron Judge and Christian Pulisic. A fourth-round draft pick by the Cowboys a year ago, Prescott led the team to 13 regular-season wins with a 104.9 passer rating.

Elliott, the league’s rushing leader as a rookie, is nominated for Best NFL Player along with Tom Brady, Khalil Mack, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Hosted by Peyton Manning, the ESPYs will air Wednesday, July 12 at 7 p.m. Central on ABC.

Dan Mullen: “Hard to say” teams missed on Dak Prescott - Josh Alper, ProFootballTalk
Shortly after the draft, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen appeared on PFT Live and said he was “shocked” Prescott lasted until the fourth round because Prescott “was a winner” in college. But he took a slightly different path when answering a question recently about whether teams had missed on Prescott.

“Why did they miss on him in the draft? I have no idea. … I think when you get to the NFL, everybody is looking for something different and you might not be looking for a quarterback, or someone of his style,” Mullen said, via Chase Goodbread of NFL Media. “That’s very unique, where you might slot a quarterback in [the] draft or what they’re looking to get out of that quarterback position. It’s hard to say teams missed on him because you don’t know what their strategy going into that draft was.”

NFL analyst predicts Cowboys winning the next Super Bowl over the Texans - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
An all-Texas Super Bowl? Dave Dameshek of NFL Network and believes it’s happening, and that the Cowboys are winning it.

Dameshek proclaims that America’s Team will meet its little brother in Minnesota for all the marbles in Super Bowl LII. Dave goes not just one, but a few steps further by adding many details to his proclamation throughout the video:

- Ezekiel Elliott wins Super Bowl LII MVP while rushing for 130 yards and a touchdown.

- The Cowboys go 11-5 in 2017, winning the NFC East for the second straight year.

- The Cowboys avenge their past by beating the Packers in the Divisional Round

Mailbag: Why Hold Camp In California? - Bryan Broaddus & David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
There are lots of reasons why holding camp in Oxnard is a great idea, here's what Broaddus and Helman said in response to a reader question.

Bryan: When your squad doesn't have to worry about surviving the weather conditions - - your practices are better. The idea is to get the team ready for the season not run them into the ground like we did in the early 2000s when we practiced in that oven that was Wichita Falls. Coaches want to work outside and on the grass. Texas can provide the grass but the heat does nothing but cause problems.

David: The weather is probably the biggest factor, because there is a big difference between practicing in 80 degree heat and 105 degree heat – or inside of an air-conditioned dome. But on top of that, I think the trips to California are important culturally. The Cowboys have practiced out on the West Coast for decades, so they have a presence there. It’s a fun nod to the “America’s Team” mystique that the Dallas Cowboys have a passionate and devoted fanbase out in California. This team is based in Texas, but it’s important to people all across the world. I think it’s fun to get outside the state and pay some service to those fans.

Cowboys' best CB right now: Would you believe ...? - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
If you're wondering who the best cornerback on the roster is right now, Hairopoulos has an answer for you.

This may not have an obvious answer. Think about it - there's a lot of buzz about the rookies, particularly Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, but they've only been through a minicamp. Lewis still has to deal with a trial for his misdemeanor domestic violence charge on July 24 in Michigan, as training camp begins. As with many things we'll discuss here in mid-July, we'll know more when training camp starts in a couple of weeks. Nolan Carroll's availability is in question after a DUI arrest. Anthony Brown showed a lot as rookie, but can still grow. So would you believe Orlando Scandrick? Does that make you nervous? When the 30-year-old is healthy he can still get the job done. Will he be able to remain healthy for the entire season?

A big season from Demarcus Lawrence could be the key to defense's success - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
In a recent chat with readers, Hairopoulos was asked which defender outside of Sean Lee the Cowboys need a huge season from to be successful on defense?

Kate Hairopoulos: I'll go with DeMarcus Lawrence here. The defensive end is coming off a roundly disappointing season, when he dealt with suspension and a back injury and produced exactly ONE sack. Instead of building of his eight-sack season in 2015, it went the other way. This is a contract year for Lawrence, will he finally deliver on his potential?

Cowboys drafted 'freak' athlete in Taco Charlton - Brandon George, SportsDay
One of the points in this summary of recent chats George had with readers is Taco Charlton.

George: "I thought they needed to take a defensive lineman in the first round so I agreed with the pick. I like the pick as far as who was left among the defensive linemen. I don't know how much impact he's going to have right away. When you look at him, he obviously is a pass rusher first. He struggled a little bit against the run at Michigan. He's long and they love his length. He has almost 3-foot long arms. You'll hear about his length all the time. He's 6-6, 277, 34-inch arms, 33-inch vertical. So he's a freak athlete. They like that. But he can grow into his body more. I think he can put some more work in the weight room. He can put on a little more weight and carry that. I think he will be on the right side, defensive end. Now, does he start there right away?

"I think that the freak athleticism is what turned the Cowboys on to him and just the fact that they feel like he's on the rise. Basically you haven't seen the best of him. He started that one year at Michigan and that's partially a concern because he only got that one year to start but that first year he started he had 9.5 sacks. He was a difference maker so maybe this guy has a lot more to offer."

Dallas Cowboys hope ex-Oregon State DL Stephen Paea can revive his career - Geoffrey Arnold,
Paea is coming off two consecutive disappointing seasons.

Paea seemed to suggest he wasn't being used correctly in Cleveland in 2016 and ready to take his game to a new level in 2017.

Paea played in a 3-4 defensive scheme in which he spent the majority of time at defensive end in Cleveland. He's back in a 4-3 scheme under Marinelli. Paea is expected to be the Cowboys anchor in the middle to stop the run by occupying blockers, holding firm on running plays and allow linebackers to make plays.

'I had road rage,' Cowboys LB Damien Wilson told Frisco police before arrest - Naheed Rajwani, Dallas News
According to court documents, Damien Wilson told Frisco police he "had road rage" after he backed his pickup into one tailgater and brandished a rifle last week in Frisco.

"I had road rage," he allegedly told police when they asked why he took his gun out of his truck, police wrote in his arrest warrant affidavit.

Police then went back to the man who made the complaint and asked him to explain what happened. The man said he and his sister-in-law were saving a parking spot for a relative when Wilson backed into the spot, while the sister-in-law was standing in it.

The man said Wilson got out of his truck with a rifle and put it in the back seat of the truck, the affidavit says. The man told police he feared that Wilson would open fire with his AR-15 if he discovered any damage to his truck.

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