From one man that played behind center for the Cowboys to the current signal-caller: here is the relationship between Jon Kitna and Dak Prescott.
Garrett is encouraged by the relationship he sees building between Kitna and Prescott as the Cowboys enter their second week of organized team activities.
”I think they’ve gotten along really well,” Garrett said. “I think they have a lot of similar qualities if you think about them as people.
”I think it’s good to have a new voice for Dak, someone who again I think believes in the things that we believe in but maybe can present it a little differently. Hopefully that resonates with Dak and the other quarterbacks.”
Prescott likes how active Kitna is a coach, how he keeps pushing.
Dak has had success in the NFL, but why are many doubting him?
When looking at the numbers on Dak, it’s hard to find a quarterback in the NFL that has had more success leading a team to victory than him. In his first three years in the NFL ,Prescott led Cowboys to a 32-16 record, two divisional titles, and has started every eligible game since entering the league. Since he took over as the starter the Cowboys have reached the playoffs in two of the last three years and have won one of the three playoffs games they’ve played in (not to mention they’ve fallen to Aaron Rodgers and Sean McVay who many believe are the best at their craft). In those games, Prescott has averaged a 64.1 completion percentage, 265 passing yards per game, and averaged a 95.7 passer rating. While the playoff numbers are impressive (even in the losses), the full picture shows a very, very productive quarterback.
NFL Network’s Bobby Belt posted some very interesting numbers via his twitter account early last week. Outside of games 26-36 of Dak’s career, which were games that Tyron Smith missed due to injury, combined with the six games that Ezekiel Elliott served in 2017 as a result of the suspension. Outside of that 10 game stretch, Dak Prescott has played at a borderline elite level. Don’t believe me? Look for yourself.
As the "is Dak worth it?" arguments continue, remember that outside of what was essentially a 2nd half funk during the messy 2017 season, Dak's been pretty flawless through 51 career games.— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) May 24, 2019
He's been elite for 80% of his career to this point. pic.twitter.com/dxTlaQqlQn
With this information many will claim that Prescott should be the one elevating his teammates and shouldn’t allow his numbers to fall so much just because his running back and left tackle missed some games. While there is certainly some truth to that narrative, there’s no quarterback in the NFL that can produce at a high level with a help around him. Cowboys fans should be well aware of that after seeing the struggles Tony Romo went through with a struggling offensive line and running game.
Some of Dak’s success will be tied to Kellen Moore. What are some things that you are looking forward to seeing in Moore’s offense?
Wish #1: Frequent Read Option
Despite Dak Prescott’s skills as a runner, rarely did we see the Cowboys run read option plays. For a team that seems to have the perfect duo for these plays, they certainly seemed to have wasted it over the last few years. This is an offense that has plenty of talent to be struggling as much as they did in the red zone last year.
Imagine being concerned about Ezekiel Elliott getting the ball and Dak Prescott keeping it at the same time? Not to mention the play action threat with a group of receivers led by Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb... oh, and a veteran tight end in Jason Witten who might be older but whose hands are very reliable.
The Athletic’s Bob Sturm pointed out Prescott’s average of 4.46 yards per carry and 18 touchdowns in the red zone between 2016 and 2018. The league average for all players is 2.64 and there’s no one close to over four yards and over 10 touchdowns in the league. Dak has been dangerous when using his legs and yet, the Cowboys haven’t used the read option as much. I hope that changes with Kellen Moore taking over.
Week one of OTAs produced tons of news, which isn’t surprising when talking about the Cowboys.
1. Dak Prescott’s team made a counteroffer in contract negotiations
Contract talks between the Cowboys and Dak Prescott have progressed.
Dallas made the first offer. Prescott said Wednesday that his representatives have responded with a counter proposal.
”I can’t really say,” Prescott said when asked how close the proposals were. “It’s one from each side. This is my first time doing this. Ask me in a few years, and I’ll be able to tell you, ‘OK, we’ve sent this one and they’ve sent this one. We’re about to get it done.’ But as of right now, I’m learning the process, too, and just letting my team handle their business.”
Yousuf writes on UDFA Jalen Guyton, who is soaking everything in as he battles for a roster spot on America’s Team.
“It’s a lot of All-Pro guys here that I have the opportunity to learn from and to watch very closely every single day,” Guyton said. “I’m taking advantage of watching them off of the field, definitely on the field — how they carry themselves, learning their behaviors and everything that they do. I know I have my eyes glued to guys like Amari and Jason Witten and Zeke because they’ve proven themselves.”
Some of the first-day jitters are wearing off as well as Guyton went from rookie minicamp to OTAs. Back to that first media scrum in front of Prescott’s locker, when the quarterback spontaneously showed himself to get a hat from his locker, Guyton jumped up to get out of his way.
Now he’s jumping on the field to catch passes thrown his way from Prescott.
“It’s kind of leveling out to where, OK, these are my teammates, these are my co-workers, so to speak,” Guyton said. “But I’m still closer to the side of the fan type of thing because it’s the Cowboys, because it’s on such a large stage and they’ve been on such a pedestal my entire life. I’m still kind of down here looking at it like, ‘Wow, it’s amazing to have this kind of opportunity.’”
On the topic of battling for roster spots, K.D. writes on the most intriguing offseason positional battles.
Tony Pollard vs Tavon Austin (Inspector Gadget)
As word continues to leak the Cowboys are truly committed to spicing up the offense a bit with Kellen Moore calling the plays, an interesting competition should arise as promised. While the talk is that the plays will remain the same, just packaged in multiple ways (similar to how Sean McVay has found success with the Los Angeles Rams), there’s still the edict that players win games.
Two gadget players, Pollard and Austin, will likely be in line for a handful of touches per game on offense, and each has a defined special teams role. With Pollard on kicks and Austin on punts, there should be a few big returns for Dallas this fall. On offense though, they may be competing for snaps.
Will the Cowboys win its sixth Lombardi next February? One former lineman believes so.
Former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz is high on the Cowboys this year. Schwartz was a guest on the Rich Eisen Show this week and he picked the Cowboys to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LIV.
”(Travis) Frederick is back. They are healthy on the offensive line now. DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, they have great linebackers and they have a good back end in their secondary,” Schwartz said. “The Giants aren’t that strong, the Eagles are gonna be good (and) the Redskins aren’t that strong in my opinion. “I think the Cowboys. If Dak (Prescott) can take the next step, which we will see with the weapons he has. I think the (Cowboys) are gonna make the Super Bowl.
”I don’t know what their number is in Vegas but I like them a lot.”
We all know how bright Kris Richard’s future in coaching is, but for now we’re happy he is in charge of the Cowboys defense.
That’s not the only area where Richard’s influence has been felt. Jerry Jones requested Richard remain in the war room the entire draft, something that never happened when he ran the defense in Seattle. His feedback was paramount when the Cowboys were evaluating safeties and corners in the draft. Richard’s opinion was also taken into account when the team decided between defensive tackle Trysten Hill and safety Juan Thornhill for its second-round pick. Richard ultimately agreed with Marinelli that selecting Hill was the best play.
“I like to have him in every meeting, I really would,” Jerry Jones said of Richard. “I think he’s outstanding, and I’m glad we got him and glad we got him back and very impressed with him. He’s got a good vision. He energizes the players, and he energizes his associates.”
The sight of Richard in the war room was significant. It demonstrated that the Cowboys value his opinion, but it also provided him visibility as someone who has a voice in the organization. That can translate to better, more vocal support for Richard’s next round of head coaching interviews. Simply put, being part of a winning team and having an NFL owner or head coach speak up helps. This spring, when Brian Flores was hired by the Dolphins, Patriots coach Bill Belichick spent nearly two hours on the phone with John Wooten, the then-chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance. Wooten’s group provides names to NFL teams on the next wave of minority coaches that should be considered for head coaching jobs.
Keep the Starr family in your thoughts and prayers.
Starr died Sunday at age 85 in Birmingham, Alabama, the Packers said. He had been in failing health since suffering two strokes and a heart attack in 2014.
Starr is the third of Lombardi’s dozen Hall of Famers to die in the past eight months. Fullback Jim Taylor died in October and offensive tackle Forrest Gregg died last month.
”A champion on and off the field, Bart epitomized class and was beloved by generations of Packers fans,” Packers President Mark Murphy said in a statement. “A clutch player who led his team to five NFL titles, Bart could still fill Lambeau Field with electricity decades later during his many visits.”