The Dallas Cowboys are looking to make their offense more friendly for their franchise quarterback Dak Prescott. This is a good thing.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan said since the season ended, they've discussed how to make Dallas' offense more Dak Prescott-friendly. "Everybody here is all-in in terms of their belief that Dak can be a great player in this league and will be."— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) January 8, 2018
It’s hard to understand what wasn’t Dak-friendly in 2017 though, seeing as the Cowboys returned 10 of their 11 starters on offense from the season before. Maybe altering the scheme is more of what Jones was thinking of in the above tweet, or grabbing some new weapons.
Of course, Ezekiel Elliott was ripped out from under Dak for a six-game stretch, and left tackle Tyron Smith was hobbled for much of the end of the year. It was not a period of time that we’ll remember fondly as Cowboys fans.
Part of what Cowboys fans want to see for their quarterback is another weapon in the passing game. Dez Bryant dropped off last season, Terrance Williams was vanilla, and Cole Beasley regressed.
Terrance Williams did not catch a single touchdown during the 2017 season.— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) January 1, 2018
Dez Bryant did not eclipse 100 yards once.
Cole Beasley did not have a game with more than 4 receptions.
A lost year for the Cowboys WRs.
Beyond those three, the Cowboys will have second-year players in Ryan Switzer and Noah Brown as their available wide receivers, it’s unlikely that Brice Butler will return. Is that a set of toys that is “friendly” enough for Dak Prescott?
Perhaps the Cowboys will look to the NFL Draft to find a more friendly option for Prescott... perhaps even within the first round. There are quite a few Cowboys fans that would like to see them take a certain new national champion, Alabama’s Calvin Ridley.
Ridley is 6’1”, an inch shorter than Dez, and has all the makings of the future Z receiver for the Cowboys. His ability to ‘stop and start’ is what would make him the perfect type of player to find a way to get open for his quarterback, a friendly trait to be exact.
Ridley is regarded as among the draft’s top receivers, but he does have a knock that many aren’t too fond of. Ridley celebrated his 23rd birthday in December, meaning he will turn 24 in his rookie season.
This isn’t exactly something that has turned Dallas off in the past, though. Look no further than their current Z receiver in Terrance Williams. T-Will was 23 when the Cowboys drafted him in 2013, and with his birthday on September 8th he turned 24 in his rookie season - before Ridley ultimately will.
Another hiccup in the Cowboys possibly drafting Ridley is the amount of money Dallas has already committed to their wide receivers. Dez Bryant has a $12.5M salary and $16.5M cap number in 2018, and Terrance Williams is at $3.5M and $4.75M respectively.
Adding a first-round pick to this branch of the Cowboys investments would be quite a tall order, even if it was for someone as talented as Ridley seems to be. The latest example of Calvin’s talents was on display in the National Championship game.
It’s more than just at the receiver position where Dallas is committed financially in terms of their offense. Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick are well paid, and Zack Martin is soon to follow this offseason. Not to mention they have a first-round running back in Ezekiel Elliott.
There are a lot of reasons to talk yourself out of the Cowboys potentially picking Calvin Ridley in the first round, one of the more important ones is that he might not even be someone who is available to them considering his high draft stock.
Whatever reasons there are to talk yourself out, there are seemingly many more to talk yourself in. Ridley has been compared to players like Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr., his talent is impossible to ignore.
Let's count the number of #Alabama players with 15+ catches this season:— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) January 2, 2018
1. Calvin Ridley (55/896/3)
That's it. Crazy stat.
If the objective is to make the Cowboys offense more friendly for Dak Prescott, it’s hard to find a friendlier option than Calvin Ridley. Will the Cowboys be able to pull it off? We could see a draft all about helping the quarterback similar to the 2013 one was for Romo, when Terrance was brought in and became the current Z.
Time will tell.