Now that the 2017 season is here, here are five thoughts on the Cowboys as they host the Giants.
There is something to be said for tradition
It has almost become commonplace for the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants to open the season with the Sunday night primetime game, and that is a good thing. Those of us who live within the Cowboys territory get many opportunities to see our team play throughout the season, but others are only treated to some of the games. Regardless, the Sunday night slot offers all fans an opportunity to get their first look at the team in week one. The schedule makers have been kind to us in the recent past, and based on the draw that these two teams provide it is likely that we will continue to benefit from opportunities like this.
No matter where you live, this is a gift that we can all be thankful for. Sit back, sip on your favorite beverages, and enjoy some Dallas Cowboys football.
Opening week will be a good measuring stick for Dallas
No matter who you ask, the ‘Boys and the G-Men are expected to battle it out for the NFC East crown. New York was the one squad that had the Cowboys number in 2017. To repeat as division champions Dallas is going to have to find a way to solve the enigma from the Big Apple.
The opening game will give them the first crack at doing just that. Considering that the game could be the only one for a while where the offense is at full strength, Dak Prescott is going to need to cash in to give the team a jump start on the competition.
He has been putting in the work during the off season to solve the Giants puzzle, now we will find out how much progress has been made.
The never ending story continues....
Ezekiel Elliott and his disciplinary issues have entered into a new phase. The league has spoken and now the courts will have their say. Friday should give a somewhat less murky picture of how things are going to play out.
Should the judge find that Zeke’s claim has merit then an injunction will be issued until a resolution is reached. At that point it is not inconceivable that matters will not be decided until after the 2017 season concludes. Even if he ultimately serves the full six-game suspension the appeals process could allow the Cowboys to play the full season with their star running back.
On the other hand, if the judge finds no merit to Elliott’s claim, Cowboys fans are going to be looking at Zeke on the shelf. If his legal team cannot show cause for an injunction to be issued at this point it would be highly unlikely that his case would proceed much further.
How will it play out? We will let you know as the process unfolds.
Expect the D to be a work in progress
There were many moves made during the offseason to revamp the Dallas defense. Many of the moves were questioned by fans and media alike. Was it smart to let the bulk of the secondary walk during free agency? We will soon find out.
Young players will be asked to contribute right away and some veterans are expected to step up. Potential is the dreaded word when discussing athletes, but there is plenty of potential on the defense. It will be up to Rod Marinelli to get the most out of his charges
That is one thing we can rely on. Coach has proven time and time again that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. Mistakes will be made; mistakes will be corrected. Opening night, even the first few weeks, might not be pretty. Still, the defense should get better. It is going to take time.
It all begins with Dak
From our group discussions this week it is clear that the consensus among the front page writers is that Prescott is the keystone for the Cowboys. It is not Dak, the quarterback, that is the cornerstone, it is Dak the leader of the team.
No matter how many times it was said in the past that there are no leaders in Dallas, it should be abundantly clear that this is Dak’s team. We saw it early on last season, but now to even the most casual observer it should be abundantly clear. Prescott is Jason Garrett’s field general. As he goes, so will the team.
There are many key pieces on the roster and losing any of them will hamper the Cowboys efforts, but when it comes down to it the second year quarterback is the one piece that Dallas can ill afford to be without.