There’s a new ‘sheriff’ in town
Dak Prescott is nothing if not a leader of men. A team that was built around the talents of Tony Romo has clearly become Prescott’s to direct. We saw it happening last year as Dak began to prove himself as much more than the Cowboys had hoped when they selected him as a developmental project in last year’s draft, but it is now even more obvious as he begins his first training camp as the man in the Dallas offense.
Dak has the respect of those he works with, not only based on his ability, but more because he has shown them that he is putting in the work to improve. In that regard he is mirroring what his predecessor did to earn his leadership role with the team.
Prescott, like Romo before, leads by example. Being the quarterback in Dallas is a glamour job in the NFL, at least from the outside. A select few know the price that has to be paid to earn the glamour. The players see Dak paying that price and they follow suit.
Dak is in control on the gridiron and his confidence inspires those around him. We saw that early on. To those who matter most he is also proving that he is their brother in the trenches and that is why they rallied around him the way they once did Romo.
La’el Collins’ contract extension is a good thing
The contract extension that the Cowboys and La’el Collins agreed to was a wise business decision that will bear fruit for the team in the years to come. There are those who may argue that the young offensive lineman has not fully proven himself the way that some of his counterparts on the Dallas line have, and they would be correct. We also do not know how the move from guard to right tackle is going to work out.
Still, it was a shrewd move for the front office. If things pan out this season it will become an easy move to defend. If not, the gamble might be tougher to accept. Regardless, Jerry Jones and his son Stephen made a commitment to Collins when he signed as an undrafted free agent that if La’el upheld his end of the UDFA contract the team was able to offer after the young man fell from being a projected first-round selection then they would take care of him on the back end.
The Dallas front office proved that they are indeed men of their word. Agents will remember this the next time the Cowboys make such an offer. Not every team keeps these ‘gentlemen’s agreements’. The Jones family did, and at some point in the future that act will bring someone to Dallas that likely would have went elsewhere for a ‘better’ offer than what the front office could make at the time.
An ‘Unlucky’ Ending for Whitehead
Lucky Whitehead might have done more in the last few days to cement his place in Cowboys history than he did during the entire time he was on the roster.
It is tough to recall another player’s exit from Dallas being under stranger circumstances. That goes back perhaps as far as Clint Longley’s inauspicious banishment from the squad.
Things started when we learned via social media that Lucky’s dog had been taken and held for ransom. That drama cast a strange glow over an entire offseason of drama for the team. Not all publicity is good publicity, and for a down-roster talent, anything that might be construed as reflecting negatively on the organization is not welcome.
Allowing things to play out on social media was a faux pas that helped inch Whitehead further down the list of candidates to make the final 53-man roster.
Even stranger was the story of the arrest that was not. Lucky was exonerated from the charges, but like the nail that sticks up too far, he still got hammered down. Too many previous negative stories including the missing of meetings gave the Cowboys all the reason they needed to move on.
A positive verdict to end some of the off season drama
Rookie defensive back Jourdan Lewis had maintained his innocence from domestic violence charges ever since the incident with his then girlfriend came to light prior to the draft. NFL teams have learned a lot of lessons regarding prospect conduct over the recent past, and you have to conclude that the Cowboys did their due diligence before rolling the dice on Lewis and his unresolved legal issues.
That confidence was rewarded in a major way on Tuesday as a six person jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict in his trial. The case for the State of Michigan was so thin that Lewis and his attorney made the choice for Lewis not to testify because the prosecution had, in their opinion, fallen far short of meeting its burden of proof.
This should bode well for Jourdan Lewis as the league conducts its own review. Domestic violence is a serious issue with the league, but in this case it is going to be rather difficult for the commissioner to reach any other conclusion than what the jurors were able to reach in very short order.
The more things change ....
Jason Garrett is the master of answering questions by saying nothing at all, and his handling of the Lucky Whitehead issue is but the latest installment of his ‘tell them nothing by answering their questions’ approach to the media.
Multiple times Garrett was asked about the issue and he continually repeated the same things in almost the same way. Garrett does not address what he considers to be internal matters via the press. The team feels that the details of the matter are between them and Mr. Whitehead and the coach will keep it that way.
Those who have watched the former quarterback should not be surprised. Garrett has the respect of his players in part because he does not air the dirty laundry in public. That makes him easy for them to trust. Lucky’s situation might be in the public eye, thanks in part to Whitehead and his use of social media, but Jason still considers it to be a private matter.
After all this time, the media knows what the answers from Garrett will be, but their job is to ask the questions. They fulfilled their duty in this situation. Jason Garrett also fulfilled his.