Cowboys News: QB Dak Prescott Has ‘Confidence’ New Contract Will Get Done - Paul Kasabian, Bleacher Report
The Super Bowl is less than a week away and Dak Prescott still has no contract for next year. Despite this, the quarterback said on Tuesday that he has confidence he’ll sign a deal and talked about how special it is to be the starting quarterback for the Cowboys.
“I’ve got confidence something will get done that’s good for both of us,” Prescott said. “Being the Cowboys’ QB is second to none. There are very few positions in all of sports that are comparable.”
Prescott will become a free agent at the beginning of the 2020 league year March 18.
Dallas selected Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft. He has started all 64 of the team’s regular-season games (and three playoff contests) since Week 1 of his rookie campaign.
It seems likely that Dak Prescott will be playing for the Cowboys next year - both sides have been pretty upfront that they want that to happen - but the biggest question is how it will happen. As the 2019 league year creeps to an end, time is running out on the Cowboys to do something.
“It’s been urgent for us. We certainly want to get that done,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told reporters last week at the Senior Bowl. “That’s our No. 1 priority as we go into the offseason — to get his contract, find some resolution to it and get it done.”
The Cowboys wanted to get Prescott signed to a new deal last spring, then it was before training camp, then it was during training camp, then definitely before the 2019 season started. The Cowboys then pursued signing a deal by the early part of the season, but the season started and ended without Prescott under contract for 2020 and beyond.
It wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Cowboys thought they were close to signing Prescott in September, but the sides could not close a deal even if it guaranteed the quarterback about $100 million.
Cowboys’ Kellen Moore on fusing his scheme with Mike McCarthy’s plan: ‘We’ve barely touched the surface’ - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports
Kellen Moore was not only retained as the offensive coordinator under Mike McCarthy, but he’ll continue to call plays despite McCarthy’s history of doing so. This marriage of two successful offensive minds has Moore very excited for the 2020 offense.
With an experienced and proven offensive mind in McCarthy overseeing things going forward, the two have already began a mind-meld that will inject more of a West Coast offense into the Cowboys scheme, and Moore is raring to go.
“We’ve barely touched the surface,” Moore said. “We’re in January still and so we’re starting to recognize some things, touching on, OK, where was 2019 and then where is a lot of the things that Mike is familiar with. And then let’s build this thing into the 2020 offense. ...Obviously we’ve got the ability to mold it however we want.
”That’s the fun part of it. We don’t need to rush into that — take advantage of all the different coaches that are in our staff, guys coming from a lot of different backgrounds, and let’s try and use all that. I think we’ve got to take our time, as much time as we have to go through that process and make sure everything connects and we have a why to everything.”
Cowboys OC Kellen Moore says calling plays for Mike McCarthy will be ‘collaborative’ - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
Even with Kellen Moore holding onto his offensive playcalling duties, expect Mike McCarthy to still be involved in the offense in some way. And not just McCarthy either, as Moore expressed that the play-calling process will be collaborative.
Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore had an opportunity to take the same position at the University of Washington. But after meeting with new coach Mike McCarthy he elected to stay. Not only will he continue to learn from one of the better offensive minds in the NFL, he keeps his job as the offensive play caller.
“It’s certainly very appreciated,” Moore said Monday during an introduction of new and old coaches to the media. “Certainly, I know at the end of the day, this thing will be collaborative and we’ll work through it together, and we’ll find the best situation and best outcome out of it.”
McCarthy said he likes to call plays but valued what Moore did in 2019. He ran an offense that finished No. 1 in the NFL in yards (6,904), third in first downs (379) and second in passing yards per game (296.6).
The Cowboys defense has failed to get takeaways at a consistent rate for a few years now, but Mike Nolan brings with him a heavy emphasis on this aspect of the game. With a track record of his defenses frequently getting takeaways, Nolan considers it the most important part for any defense.
Nolan said he wants the defense to play with “a swarming type of mentality” that’s focused on taking the ball away from the opposition.
“It does start with the player,” Nolan said, via Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News. “There are players who have a knack of getting the ball and some that don’t. But at the same time, I think a coach’s job is to work on that. That’s the No. 1 thing in winning football games, getting the ball for your offense, and as a defense that’s what we’ll strive to do all the time.”
Much of the focus on offseason roster moves for the Cowboys has focused on quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper‘s contract situations, but cornerback Byron Jones is also set for free agency. He hasn’t had an interception in the last two seasons and Nolan’s comments suggest that they may wind up looking elsewhere to fill out the secondary in 2020.
Byron Jones has been lauded for his coverage skills in the two years since he moved back to cornerback, but the takeaways have been few and far between for him. With Mike Nolan placing such a focus on getting takeaways, could it be an indicator of how Jones’ impending free agency could shake out?
Though Byron Jones has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL since making the switch from safety in 2018, one criticism of his game is the lack of turnovers created compared to his contemporaries. It’s been a struggle, as Jones has only two interceptions since being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
Byron Jones doesn’t get targeted very often, but these comments from Mike Nolan may indicate that Jones doesn’t have a future with the Dallas Cowboys given his inability to create turnovers. Getting interceptions isn’t the only thing that matters when playing cornerback, but it appears that Nolan and his defensive staff are going to put an emphasis on playing players who can take the ball away.
In combination with Will McClay’s thoughts on Jones from last week, the Dallas Cowboys could be laying the ground work for the departure of Byron Jones this offseason.
John Fassel plans to ‘keep things simple’ while taking over Cowboys’ special teams unit - Calvin Watkins, Dallas Morning News
New special teams coordinator John Fassel inherits a bit of a mess on special teams considering how bad this unit has been the last two years in Dallas. Fassel spoke about his philosophy and how he looks to bring about improvements for the special teams group.
“It goes back to the intangible part of it,” Fassel said. “I think we want a very aggressive mind-set, some very simple schematics. We’re going to be super technique driven, kinda giving the message to the players right now, kinda running a team meeting through [the media] right now.
“I think it’s important on special teams to keep things simple — make them very technique oriented where they feel really comfortable with their assignment. But then they can master their techniques because it really isn’t a complex part of the game. The players and the unit can really get to their technique faster so they can win.”
With the Senior Bowl, NFL execs get a chance to look at some of the top talent coming into the NFL this year, and it always produces some talent that few people had been paying attention to beforehand. This year, there’s already three Senior Bowl standouts the Cowboys should be watching closer.
Every year we hear about a Division II standout that everyone has their eyes on during the Senior Bowl and NFL draft.
This year there is no exception thanks in part to Safety Kyle Dugger. The 6-foot-2, 217 lbs. safety has been trending upwards on draft boards due to his Senior Bowl performance.
Dugger has unique versatility and physical attributes in which he has speed, strength, and athleticism. His Division II film pops off the charts because he looks so much faster and stronger than everyone on the field.