Few people know the Dallas Cowboys as well as Tony Romo. After all, Romo spent nearly all of his adult life inside the organization, serving as its on-the-field leader and face of the franchise. Now that he is moving on into the next phase of his life, Romo will be giving us his insider views on professional football.
That starts with his perception of the current state of his former employer:
“I think you find that Dallas, expectations are obviously ramped up, and that happens when you have a season like they did last year and rightfully so,” Romo said, via DFW’s CBS 11. “If Dallas can stay healthy, they’re going to be a tough team to beat. I’ll get into more analysis later. Right now at this point, they’ve been healthy enough to get through the offseason without anything detrimental that can really hurt you going forward. From there, it’s just about creating the culture and getting the environment right.”
Dak Prescott has not been shy about telling the football world what he and the team expect from themselves this year.
"We're the Cowboys. We're gonna win the NFC East." - Dak Prescott
No bones about it, Dak expects to deliver what the fans demand and he is accepting nothing less out of himself and his team. A bold position has been taken, but winning the division is one of the first expectations that every player on the roster was brought in to help the franchise do. To be honest, anything less is unacceptable.
Dak Prescott Boldly and Surprisingly Picks Dallas Cowboys to Win NFC East - Stephen Douglas, The Big Lead
In a totally shocking twist, Dak Prescott picked the Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East.
There’s some bulletin board material if I’ve ever seen it. The starting quarterback of the defending NFC East champions picked the defending NFC East champions to win the NFC East!? A team that won 13 games? I can’t believe he didn’t say the Giants. It’s unbelievable what an ESPY will do to a humble young man who wouldn’t even go out on a school night back in October.
The majority of the group of ESPN staff writers who follow the NFC East understand that the Dallas Cowboys are in the driver’s seat to accomplishing what Romo and Prescott anticipate for one very simple reason: Dallas has the most valuable asset in the division powering its attack.
The selection was not unanimous, Washington beat writer John Keim tends to favor Landon Collins from New York, but the rest of ESPN’s experts cast their votes in favor of the one guy they consider to be very special indeed.
Here's Jordan Raanan, New York Giants reporter:
Elliott. It’s hard to imagine with that offensive line and with Elliott being more experienced that he won't have another monstrous season, barring injury. He had more than 1,600 yards rushing with defenses geared up to stop the Cowboys’ rushing attack last season. They still couldn’t get the job done. Elliott is destined for another Texas-sized season. Think in the area of 2,000 yards rushing behind that offensive line and in that offense. That should earn him the division MVP honor.
VIDEO: Arians: Dak will be hard to handle this year - ESPN
Bruce Arians looks ahead to Week 3 when the Cardinals face the Cowboys and explains what impresses him about Dak Prescott.
Occasionally we do toot our own horn, especially when it ties everything else together. Our colleague, Michael Sisemore does just that in his look at how offensive guru Scott Linehan has taken the numerous talented pieces, including Zeke and Dak, and put them into an arrangement that works in cohesion to give Dallas one of the game’s biggest offensive threats.
It is not just the weapons, it's how Linehan meshes his weapons that really makes the offense go.
Linehan’s “attack” offense is one of the most proficient in the NFL. It’s because Scott Linehan knows how, when, and where to attack his opponent, making him one of the NFL’s most lethal coordinators.
When a coach puts together such a ‘Lethal Weapon’ he is bound to be high on the list for teams who are looking to make a significant change at the top of their coaching staff. That is the nature of the game, and Dallas knows that some other teams will always be sniffing around looking for the chance to lure Linehan off with a head coaching gig.
He is not the only man working at the Star who is poised for attracting the interests of other franchises. Add Matt Eberflus to the list of Jason Garrett’s assistants who have bright futures ahead of them.
He has a blend of experience in the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. Last year he took on greater responsibility as the passing game coordinator, working the sub packages. He has played a big part in the development of Sean Lee as well as mixing and matching a group that has been hit by injury and suspensions over the past few years.
He has received some interest from teams regarding defensive coordinator spots, and with another solid showing could receive more interest going forward.
Both men have done a remarkable job in putting together their respective units, and both show potential to rise to the very top. Sooner or later at least one of them is going to be walking the opposite sidelines.
One of the things that fans found most frustrating in 2016 was that two of the team’s three defeats came at the hands of the New York Giants. No matter how things played out in the post season, even had the team won the Super Bowl, the inability to master the Giants would be a dark spot on the season.
The writers over at the mothership, just like the rest of us, are looking for answers, and they shared their thoughts with the world in this look at what needs to happen for Dallas to truly ‘own’ the NFC East.
Phillips: The easy answer would be, Dak Prescott’s a year wiser; he’ll be more prepared for the Giants’ defense. I don’t think Dak was the problem last year. Neither was the defense, which held New York to 30 points in two games. If you go back and watch the offense, particularly up in New York, there weren’t a lot of open receivers for Prescott to throw to, and Olivier Vernon was a handful rushing against Tyron Smith. As balanced as this offense is, I have confidence they’ll find ways to get in the end zone more than twice in two games. If there’s a new question mark in this matchup, it’s how a younger defensive secondary handles an upgraded Giants passing game.