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Cowboys News: Can anyone stop Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott?

Latest Cowboys headlines: What Cowboys can expect from Dak in year 2; why there will be no sophomore slump in Dallas; the incredible Tyron Smith.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Mailbag: Getting To Dak? - Bryan Broaddus & David Helman, Dallas Cowboys
In response to a reader questions, Broaddus and Helman explain what they think defensive coordinators will focus on when playing against Dak Prescott this year.

Bryan: They're going to watch the New York Giants games and make him a pocket passer. The Giants did a really nice job of making him throw from there. When Prescott is at his best is when he can throw on the move either left or right and defensive coordinators know that. Their adjustment will be to prevent that.

David: This is going to sound stupid, but two of Dak’s worst games as a rookie came against defenses that had quality secondaries that could cover his targets, as well as solid pass rushers that could make him uncomfortable. If you’re going to bother Dak, I think you need to not only keep him in the pocket – but you can’t allow him too much time to stand back there. Minnesota and New York both proved that if you’re up to that challenge, you can get to him. Fortunately, I just don’t think there are that many defenses with similarly talented personnel.

Traits and Techniques: Tyron Smith's Snatch and Trap - Brandon Thorn, Inside The Pylon
For the casual observer, it may seem like an inordinate amount of Tyron Smith's opponents simply slip, stumble, or fall when they run into Smith. Thorn explains that what you're actually seeing is the snatch and trap maneuver Smith employs so devastatingly.

Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith is the most physically talented tackle in football, and showcases his dominance through elite athleticism, play strength, discipline, and overall technique. Marrying his rare physical traits with an increasingly improving skill set has resulted in the mastering of the position when he’s been healthy.

Apart from the sheer physical prowess that Smith possesses over nearly every pass-rusher he faces, there is a refined array of techniques that Smith employs to protect the QB, none more prevalent than his signature snatch and trap technique. This is a technique that is predicated on the pass-rusher’s weight distribution being too far out in front of their bodies when they lean and initiate contact, leaving them susceptible to their head and shoulders drifting too far in front of their feet. Once Smith detects the above situation he uses either the two- or one-hand snatch and trap to use their momentum against themselves, burying them in the ground in the process.

Ultimately, Smith’s ability to successfully use the same technique multiple times in the same game against high competition is a testament to Smith’s brilliance as a pass-protector, technician, and athlete.

Go read the article. Thorn does a great job of explaining the technique with different videos, and caps it off with a 30-play highlight reel of Smith executing his infamous technique on unsuspecting pass-rushers.

What Cowboys can expect from Dak in Year 2 - Bob Sturm, SportsDay
In this re-print from early May, Sturm explains what to expect from Dak Prescott in 2017.

Dak Prescott had the type of rookie season that has almost no real statistical targets to point at that would make you think he needs to be better here or there. His stats are absurd from Year 1 and they happened without him risking danger too often. That doesn't mean he was conservative, it means that he did a veteran's job at letting the defense tell him where to go and played the mental game very, very well.

Now, what happens in Year 2? Teams try to sit on his strengths and make him face his weaknesses. But, again, this offense is designed to make the defense pick its poison. When it chooses to defend Zeke, it allows the passing game to exploit that. As long as Dak continues to do well with his mental decisions - which he seems very sharp at doing - he should operate from an advantage. The biggest weakness is what happens if they fall behind. Are they able to remain patient? They did very well in that playoff game once they fell way behind. They stayed in their game. Can Dak possibly duplicate his rookie line? That is a fascinating question. You know in NFC East locales, they are figuring out right now how to deal with Dallas. I wonder what their best ideas will be. The Giants seem confident that they have the plan. But, you better have the personnel to do that if you are another team.

Looking back at 2016-17 NFL season's memorable moments - Ben Sutton, Hattiesburg American
Sutton writes that among the most memorable NFL moments in 2016 was the emergence of Dak Prescott, right behind the Patriots comeback win in Super Bowl LI.

Say what you will of former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott — whether you are a diehard fan of the rookie sensation or think he was overrated and benefited from playing behind the best offensive line in the NFL. But no matter your opinion of the Dallas quarterback who took the reins from the oft-injured Tony Romo and never looked back, you can't deny the remarkable season the Cowboys enjoyed with him behind center.

Despite the loss to Green Bay in the NFC divisional round, Prescott did plenty to earn his place as the Cowboys' new signal caller: 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air, another 282 yards and six scores on the ground, a 67.8 completion percentage and a 13-3 regular season that included an 11-game win streak, not to mention the playoff berth.

While a sophomore slump might be in Dak's future in 2017, his breakout rookie season still solidified his place as the unquestioned leader of the Dallas offense.

Ranking every NFL team's quarterback situation - Zach Pereles, Shutdown Corner
Pereles ranks teams by looking at look at both the starters and the backups at QB. The Cowboys come in 10th overall.

Prescott put together an incredible debut season, only to be overshadowed by his own teammate Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott showed impressive poise, creativity under duress and leadership, all qualities that will carry over and only improve in his second season and beyond. His 0.87 interception percentage was the best ever for a rookie who started all 16 games. Boosted by one of the league’s top lines and an outstanding running back, Prescott cracks the top 10. We’ll see if defenses have a better read on him in his sophomore season.

Moore, meanwhile, is the answer to the great trivia question “Who is the last Cowboy to throw for 400 yards in a game?” but not much else.

Even Tropical Storm Cindy Can’t Stop Dak Prescott - Matt Parker, News Radio 710 KEEL
No puny tropical storm will stop Dak Prescott.

Will Ezekiel Elliott fall victim to the sophomore slump? - Peter Psomas, isportsweb
'Sophomore slump' seems to be a big buzzword for a lot of what's being written about Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott currently. Along comes Big Buzzkill in the form of Peter Psomas:

When looking for players who are going to take a tumble from their rookie to sophomore seasons, it isn’t just about the player. Yes, the player has to put in the work in the offseason after tasting success in the NFL, but it also comes down to how successful the team around him is likely to be. With this Dallas Cowboys team, the likelihood of their offense taking a dramatic tumble isn’t likely, therefore Ezekiel Elliott should enjoy another very successful season, regardless of what year it is for him.

Ezekiel Elliott heads nine youngsters with Hall of Fame potential - Adam Schein,
Schein taps nine players who are under age 25 and who he thinks are primed for Hall of Fame careers. No. 1 on the list is Ezekiel Elliott.

Zeke got my AP vote for Offensive Rookie of the Year, and I had him in the top four for league MVP. I'm not even going to give you his numbers -- just remember that he led the NFL in rushing by more than 300 yards. In Year 1. And don't forget: It took him a few games to get going.

Elliott did it all for Dallas: running the ball, catching it out of the backfield, taking heat off of Dak Prescott and preserving the defense. Zeke was the biggest reason for Dallas' nine-win improvement from 2015.

Yes, he only has one NFL season under his belt, so -- in theory -- you want to take it slow and avoid hyperbole. But I know what I saw. And you know what you saw. This cat has what it takes to be a generational player.

A little further down the list, college performance seems to trump NFL performance, because why else would Carson Wentz show up on this list at No. 7?

Wentz over Dak Prescott? You betcha. This isn't about 2016 or Rookie of the Year results. And I love Dak. But I think Wentz is going to be a better quarterback in the years to come -- especially now that he has legit receivers around him, highlighted by Alshon Jeffery.

Remember, 2016 wasn't even supposed to happen. The kid from North Dakota State was supposed to be groomed behind Sam Bradford. But a lucrative trade opportunity presented itself, and Wentz was thrust into the lineup. And I believe it turned into an excellent building block in Wentz's road to stardom.

2016 wasn't supposed to happen for Wentz, but for Prescott that's obviously a different story?

Video killed the journalist star: While We're Waiting - Kyle Welch, Waiting For Next Year
Early last week, rolled out a new redesign that basically eliminated all written content (thereby putting an official end to any journalistic pretense), and instead is now focused on video content dumbed down to the lowest common denominator by promoting and recycling FS1's television content.

Jamie Horowitz’s strategy at Fox (detailed in this Awful Announcing link) seems to be packaging a bunch of content around the Fox “branded” personalities, whose opinions are generally bad and generate interest by virtue of being ill-informed. The plan is taking the already bad reaction to something (anything really), and then making a video or article reacting to that reaction, like a pyramid scheme of crap.

Needless to say, I will not be linking to anything from Fox Sports anymore.

NFL still has nothing to say about Giants memorabilia case - Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk
With Florio, you never know whether this is just more speculation about a missing video tape or something real. But in the case of the pending memorabilia fraud lawsuit involving the Giants and quarterback Eli Manning, Florio wonders why the NFL appears to be sitting on its hands.

The specific list of prohibited acts contained in the policy includes the following: “Crimes of dishonesty such as blackmail, extortion, fraud, money laundering, or racketeering.”

While there necessarily is no crime without a criminal prosecution (and as far as anyone knows there isn’t one in this case, yet), the NFL decided in the wake of the Ray Rice case that it can and will investigate and act upon potentially illegal misconduct regardless of whether the authorities do. If/when the Giants are found civilly liable for memorabilia fraud, or possibly if the Giants settle the case, the league may have no choice but to do something.

From The FanPosts

Our FanPost section is where Blogging The Boys members have the opportunity to write their own posts about the Cowboys. Take a little time to write a post about your thoughts regarding the Dallas Cowboys, and there's a chance it will be linked right here in our morning news post.

A Wake For The Career Of Tony Romo - Blogging The Boys
BTB-Member TAFKA RomoCop penned a belated Fanpost on Tony Romo's career that resulted in some interesting discussion, and perhaps a fitting end to a news post heavily focused on Dak Prescott.

After all the stats he has in the books, the records he has under his belt, the passing yards, the touchdowns, the come-from-behind victories, the Pro Bowls, and the Houdinis? The man is still considered a bum by so many clueless sports analysts and fans even after he has retired. Why? I still have no idea. The bias and brainwashing is so strong here when it comes to people evaluating Romo's talent and his career.

The man holds all the passing records in Cowboys history for a reason. He has one of the highest career passer ratings of all time for a reason too. You aren't a bad quarterback when you can add those things to your resume. To say otherwise is a complete and utter fallacy.

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