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Cowboys news: Jon Kitna thinks Dak Prescott hasn’t peaked yet this season

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And all the Cowboys news that’s fit to print.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys-Minicamp Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Why Cowboys QB coach Jon Kitna is instilling a ‘Barry Bonds mindset’ in Dak Prescott – Jon Machota, The Athletic
Jon Kitna thinks the sky’s the limit for Dak Prescott.

If anything, Kitna predicts Prescott will continue to improve as the season progresses.

“To be where he’s at right now, and I think there’s a time coming this season…,” Kitna said before pausing to think if he should reveal what’s on his mind. “You know, I’m going keep that to myself. It’s probably not something that needs to be (said). When it happens I’ll let you know.”

The 4-3 Cowboys don’t have a large margin for error during the second half of the season. They have two division games remaining against Washington (1-7) and New York (2-6), but their other seven contests are against teams with a combined record of 34-18-1. Four of those games are against top-10 pass defenses. It’s difficult to envision Dallas getting back to the playoffs without Prescott playing at high level.

“The interesting thing is how he takes everything in and can process it,” Kitna said. “It’s the one thing that really hinders a lot of quarterbacks, the inability to process quickly. He can process four or five things simultaneously.”

MMQB: 49ers, Patriots are winning with defense - Albert Breer, Sports Illustrated
Pretty much everyone thinks the Cowboys made a low-risk, high-reward move by acquiring Michael Bennett.

The Cowboys’ trade for DE Michael Bennett this week acknowledges what they believed was the one big hole on the roster, left when Tyrone Crawford went on IR. Crawford played outside at end on early downs, and mostly inside (with versatility to play outside) on passing downs. Take that job description, and it pretty much fits exactly what Bennett has been when he’s at his best. And as for who he is personally, Dallas pass-game coordinator Kris Richard spent five years with Bennett in Seattle, the Cowboys staff had Bennett in the Pro Bowl, and the team had his twin brother, Martellus, on its roster for four years. So the Cowboys know what they’re signing up for.

The Dallas Morning News’ top 10 area athletes of the decade - Joey Hayden, DallasNews.com
The SportsDay crew continues their series looking at the Dallas sports figures with the most impact over the last ten years.

8. Jason Witten

Dallas Cowboys, tight end

Total points: 45 Total votes: 12

Highest ranking: 3rd

Years with Dallas: 2010-17, 2019

Notable: After a brief stint in the Monday Night Football booth, Witten returned to the Cowboys this season to continue his Hall of Fame career. This decade, Witten has racked up 646 catches for 6,656 yards and 43 touchdowns.

7. Ezekiel Elliott

Dallas Cowboys, running back

Total points: 48 Total votes: 9

Highest ranking: 2nd

Years with Dallas: 2016-current

Notable: While still relatively new as far as the entire decade is concerned, a pair of NFL rushing titles and a first-team All-Pro nod in 2016 made Elliott an easy addition to the list for some voters.

Dak Prescott, Cowboys must maximize ups, minimize downs to prove they’re worthy in NFC conversation - David Moore, DallasNews.com
houghts on what the Cowboys need to do to avoid the missteps that plagued them through the first half of the season.

This team can’t continue to fall flat before it rises to the occasion. It can’t follow up a 3-0 start by going 21 days without a victory.

It must show a consistency that’s been lacking in the first two months of this season.

If you point to a dominant win over the Eagles as an example of what the Cowboys can become, you must acknowledge it was preceded by an inexplicable loss to the New York Jets.

This is not a sustainable model for a team that strives to be regarded among the league’s elite.

Dak Prescott knows. In the wake of the 37-10 win over Philadelphia, the Cowboys quarterback quickly muted applause for how the team responded with its most complete game of the season.

“We’re going to handle success the right way so that we don’t have to get to these points where our backs are against the wall,’’ Prescott said.

No encounter is “a must win’’ at this stage of the season. But the win over the Eagles was an important victory at an early season crossroads. The Cowboys would have been rerouted down a much more difficult path if they had lost to Philadelphia before the bye week.

How Has Dak Prescott Taken This Next Step? - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
The Broad one has some general thoughts after the team’s bye week, including a cautious prediction.

Don’t Be Surprised If: They Have Success against the New England Patriots

To beat the Patriots, you almost have to play a perfect game. Their personnel and coaching staff defensively are outstanding. They create confusion and issues with their scheme. It’s hard to prepare for them week to week because they will work hard to take your best player away and make you beat them with the others. Teams that have had problems with them have not been able to block their front. If the Cowboys can go into that game with the overall health of their line intact, I believe they can move the ball. This matchup against the Patriots is one of those games that could propel the season going forward if they can handle their business in a difficult environment. The Cowboys offensively have the personnel to go get that victory, but how well they block will be the difference in this one.

Mailbag: Are The Cowboys Done Dealing? - Bryan Broaddus, Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com
Answering the fan’s questions.

Have people been overly critical of Connor Williams? I have felt as though he has held his own against guys like Fletcher Cox and Aaron Donald. Has he been criticized so much because the success of his counterparts, and is that fair? - TANNER CARLSON / CROCKETT, TX

Bryan: I always remind folks to grade these offensive linemen on 65 to 70 plays and not the two or three that might be poor. I feel like Williams has not been as poor as everyone wants to believe. It all comes down to when the team loses, fans are looking to blame it on something and he is the easiest one to do that to. It’s just the way we operate in this day and age.

Rob: I thought Williams really did a nice job getting out in space and making second-level blocks for Ezekiel Elliott in the run game against Philly. I think the general observations about Williams as a rookie (needing to add bulk and strength) were valid. But, yes, it’s a high bar on this line. Zack Martin was a rookie Pro Bowler, Travis Frederick was in Year 2 and Smith in Year 3. They made this job look easy for someone right out of college. It isn’t.

BTB Podcast

Where do the Cowboys rank across the NFL through Week 9? We discuss on the latest episode of The Ocho.

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Here’s how Cowboys fans felt last week.