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Cowboys News: If you were building an NFL franchise, Dak Prescott is a great way to start

And guess which sports franchise is the most valuable in the world?

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys-OTA
It’s that man again.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The PFF Foundation Draft: Who would you choose to start a franchise? - Football Focus
The staff at Pro Football Focus held an exercise on how they would build an NFL team from scratch, and the fifth player taken was none other than the Dallas CowboysDak Prescott.

Why him? Prescott has been the most accomplished NFL quarterback under the age of 26. He was in the top five in terms of PFF grades for a rookie quarterback that we’ve seen, and this early in the draft a franchise quarterback is more valuable than any other position. – Nate Jahnke.

What if every NFL quarterback was available in a draft? - Adam Stiles,
Meanwhile, our own flagship site looked at how the quarterbacks would be drafted if every single one in the NFL was available, and Prescott comes in as a high pick again.

4. Los Angeles Rams — Dak Prescott

This is a boom-or-bust selection and it feels really early, but it sets the Rams up with the 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year who turns 24 later this month. The question is how much the dominant offensive line of the Cowboys and the help of Ezekiel Elliott helped Prescott during his remarkably efficient rookie season. Todd Gurley should help that transition, though.

Dallas Cowboys: NFL team is world's most valuable - Scooby Axson,
Stop me if you've heard this one before.

The Dallas Cowboys are the world's most valuabla sports franchise, according to an annual list complied by Forbes Magazine.

The Cowboys are worth $4.2 billion and lead the list for the second straight year. They received an extra boost by posting $700 million in revenue during the 2015 season.

NFFC finally to take off with Ezekiel Elliott, David Johnson, others - Todd Archer, ESPN
After two years of legal battles with the NFL, the National Fantasy Football Convention (partly the brainchild of former Cowboys' QB Tony Romo) is finally going to happen, although in a smaller format than originally envisioned.

Roughly 50 players, including 20 Dallas Cowboys, will be on hand for the two-day event that is being hosted by ESPN fantasy expert Matthew Berry. Fans will have the chance to interact with players, take part in fantasy football symposiums, and conclude with the Ultimate Fantasy League Draft in which five fans and five players will pick teams to compete against each other this season.

“It’s Comic-Con for football fans,” NFFC co-founder and CEO Andy Alberth said. “That’s what we’re trying to grow into.”

Tony Romo, Mark Mulder favored to win American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament - David Purdum, ESPN
While his long-delayed NFFC is going on in Dallas, Tony Romo will not be there, as he has some other business to attend to.

Tony Romo's golf game will be on display again this week at the American Century Championship celebrity tournament, and oddsmakers have high expectations for the retired Dallas Cowboys quarterback.

The same cannot be said for Charles Barkley.

Romo and former pitcher Mark Mulder, the two-time defending tournament champion, are the co-favorites at 3-1 at the sportsbook at Harveys Lake Tahoe Hotel and Casino.

A look at what made Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith a special prospect - Joseph Hatz, Blogging The Boys
Jaylon Smith is likely to be the most scrutinized player for the Cowboys when training camp gets underway. Our Joseph Hatz takes a look at his college career, and why that makes his story so compelling. Lots of GIFs here for you to enjoy, so follow the link if you missed this one.

There has been plenty of exaggeration, both positive and negative when it comes to Smith post-injury. Some have speculated that he may never play a single NFL snap. Others will have you believe that if not for the injury he would have been in contention to go first overall in the 2016 draft. Neither of those are especially realistic claims, although what is undeniable is that Smith was an elite talent at Notre Dame and was as close to an ironclad lock to being a top 10 pick as you can get at the 4-3 linebacker position. If he had tested as well as he played he would have been a strong possibility in the top five, although it certainly was not a guarantee considering that he plays a non-premium position.

Either way, he clearly projected to the next level as a truly special player. Nobody knows how close he can get to reaching that potential after the injury, but before we head into training camp and the preseason where his every movement will be under a microscope let’s take a look back at what made him a unique talent.

NFC East Q&A: Who is on the hottest seat in the division? - NFC East beat reporters- ESPN
Perhaps the most notable thing from our perspective - no Jason Garrett, nor anyone with the Cowboys receiving mention.

Our reporters are split when it comes to the person who most likely is on the hot seat in the division, but quarterback Kirk Cousins gets the most votes.

Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys reporter: I want to say Redskins coach Jay Gruden, considering there always seems to be drama in Washington, but I will go with Cousins. He is once again playing for a contract since Washington opted to use the franchise tag on him for the second straight year. He responded last year with 4,917 yards and 25 touchdown passes after a somewhat slow start to the season -- well, slow to me, because he was not very good in the Cowboys’ Week 2 win at FedEx Field. If he does not get the Redskins to the playoffs in 2017, then would they use the franchise tag on him again in 2018? Would another team be willing to fork over a huge free-agent deal for him? If he takes a step back because of the losses of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, there will be questions surrounding him going into next season, wherever he plays.

Cowboys TE outlook: Jason Witten is back, but will a clear successor finally emerge? - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
With Jason Witten nearing the end of his long and storied career, and James Hanna and Geoff Swaim, still recovering from injury, the tight end position has serious questions for the future.

Hanna and Swaim did not take part in organized team activities or the mandatory minicamp in June as they continue to recover from injuries. Swaim is coming off foot surgery that was required after an injury in offseason workouts. Looking down the road, the Cowboys still lack an obvious successor to Witten. The Rico Gathers project continues, but has the former basketball forward made enough strides as a football player to make the roster and play in his first regular-season NFL game?

Top Offensive Playmakers In The NFC East - Chris Pflum, Big Blue View
It is interesting to see what the writers from our division rivals think about things. This list of the top five playmakers in the NFC East from our New York Giants sister site thinks the Cowboys have two of them - Dez Bryant at number four and Ezekiel Elliott at number two.

Elliott doesn’t have the track record of some of the other players on the list, and benefits from one of the most elite units in the NFL (the 2016 Cowboys’ offensive line), but what he did in his rookie year was impressive by any measure.

He was expected to be good coming in, but he carried a significant portion of the Cowboys’ offense -- to the tune of 322 carries and 32 receptions — and rewarded them with 1994 yards from scrimmage and 16 total touchdowns (15 rushing, 1 receiving).

With 354 total touches, Elliott came perilously close to the “370 Curse,” and it remains to be seen whether or not he will be able to back up his rookie season. But, he is young and has the benefit of modern strength and conditioning practices, so defenses should count on having to deal with him for years to come.

Cowboys 2017 Offensive Lynch-Pin - Zack Martin ⋆ John Williams, Inside the Star
While so many focus on Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, Williams feels that Zack Martin is the somewhat hidden engine that makes the offense go.

Since 2014, when Martin joined the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie, the team has produced the NFL’s leading rusher twice and allowed Darren McFadden to have a resurrection of sorts.

Zack Martin has been a huge part of that success.

His power at the point of attack and ability to move in space have been tremendous. We can’t overstate just how valuable he’s been to the team. We’re watching the early stages of a player who will one day be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.

Mailbag: Best Part Of The HOF Game? Prospects At Nose Tackle? - Bryan Broaddus and David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
Both Broaddus and Helman see Cedric Thornton as the starter at the 1 tech. Here is Helman's evaluation.

I get the impression Cedric Thornton is going to step up this season. From watching him in OTAs, to seeing the extra work he’s been doing around the facility, I think he knows he has a big opportunity with Terrell McClain leaving town. If he grabs that opportunity, I don’t think we’ll see a whole lot of drop off.

Scout’s Eye: Several Of NFL’s Best Young Safeties Featured On Cowboys’ Schedule - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
The resident scout at the mothership lists his top five safeties on the Cowboys' slate of opponents, and number one is Landon Collins of the New York Giants. Some of his points:

Highly intelligent player. Hard guy to fool. Right place at right time player.

Physically tough. Loves the contact aspect of the game. Will come downhill in a hurry.

Plays with an extended burst and range. Can really cover some ground when he is on the move.

Not a still moving player. Good through the hips. Can bend to put himself in position to make plays.

Plays with body control and balance. Doesn’t lunge when he has to make plays.

Shows lateral agility and quickness. Can plant and change directions without problem.

Explosive player. Has some pop to his game. When he strikes the ball carrier he stops in his tracks.

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