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Cowboys News: Multiple Cowboys with Covid-19, more on Dak, and more blitzing from Nolan

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Get your Tuesday Cowboys news here folks!

Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

UPDATE: Several Dallas Cowboys players have tested positive for Covid-19, Ezekiel Elliott among them - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys

The news wasn’t good for Ezekiel Elliott.

Several Cowboys and Texans players have tested positive for Covid-19

We know that NFL coaching staffs have been allowed to be inside team facilities, and on Monday we learned something new. Some Dallas Cowboys players have tested positive for Covid-19.

The report from NFL Network does not list which players, but it does say that several Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans players have tested positive. It is important to note that the report also says that none of the positive players have reportedly been inside team facilities either in Frisco or Houston.

As a whole, the NFL is having all of its teams hold training camp at their team’s facilities, which means the Cowboys will be training at The Star as opposed to Oxnard, CA. Obviously any positive tests could render that all the more difficult to do.

Dak Prescott contract: Troy Aikman gives warning to Cowboys - Brad Crawford, 24/7 Sports

Another Cowboys Hall of Famer weighs in on the Prescott negotiations.

“Keep in mind, this situation between Dak Prescott and the Cowboys is totally without precedent,” Werder said. “The Cowboys in their history have never franchise-tagged a quarterback. (Troy) Aikman has always warned that creates the potential for conflict that could harm the long-term relationship. There have been significant sums of money offered to Dak during this negotiations.

“Aikman did mention that he was the first player to deal with Jerry Jones directly. He bought the team in 1989 and Aikman was the first overall pick that year. Even then, Aikman said ‘Jerry believed I should play for half of what I was worth.’ He said in these situations, he’s always putting his money on Jerry.”

ESPN NFL insider Louis Riddick says the decision-makers within the organization believe in Prescott.

“I think they view him as a franchise quarterback and as a winning quarterback and someone who can lead them to the promised land,” Riddick said. “It always takes two to tango in these situations. It takes someone to be willing to walk away from the negotiation feeling as though they didn’t get everything they want, but they’re satisfied.”

Prescott has started every game under center for Dallas over the past four seasons, compiling a 65.8-percent completion rate and averages of 3,944.3 yards and 24.3 touchdowns to nine interceptions annually.

Dak 4-Year Deal Could Have A Russell Wilson Ring - Mike Fisher, Cowboys Maven

Will there be an agreement soon?

In speaking with people involved in the negotiations, some things today are unchanged. There is still a vibe, I think, that a new deal gets done by the July 15 deadline. Has owner Jerry Jones in the past harbored questions about whether Dak is truly a “franchise QB,’’ a “Super Bowl QB’’? He has. But we were the first to report on Dallas’ willingness to pay Prescott around $35 million APY on a five-year deal that would also include virtual guarantees of in excess of $106 million.

While leaving Dak to play on the franchise tag of $31.409 million in 2020 remains an option, those fat numbers - $35 million and $106 million - speak volumes, I think about Jerry’s level of commitment.

They also resonate as they relate to Wilson, the Seattle Seahawks QB who has a resume of success that Prescott can, right now, only dream can be matched in Dallas.

A year ago, two-time Super Bowl QB Wilson signed a four-year contract extension with the Seahawks worth $140 million.

Divide $140 million by four; that’s $35 million - the number Dallas is already willing to give Dak.

Could the 2020 Dallas Cowboys offense be the greatest ever? - Brandon Ladd, The Landry Hat

The potential is there but a lot has to go right for it to happen.

So, how many things have to go the Cowboys way to hypothetically win 11 or 12-games while gaining over 7,000 yards? The logical answer would be a lot. The real answer though seems to be not much at all.

Prescott threw for over 4,900 yards and ran for a career-low 277 yards in 2019. Many Cowboys fans believe that Prescott’s legs are the factor that is holding the offense back from what it could potentially be. The good news though is after working with Green Bay Quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a long time, Cowboy’s head coach Mike McCarthy might be able to share some wisdom.

Rodgers is known for extending plays and scrambling for yardage when a pocket collapses, a nightmare for Cowboys fans in many matchups the past decade-plus. McCarthy should share that wisdom with Prescott, who seems to be at his best when his legs are also an option in the offense.

Just for fun, using an almost fantasy football approach, how much would it take from individuals to reach 7,000 yards in 2020? Now introducing wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup to the equation. Also, second-year running back Tony Pollard.

Dallas Cowboys: 3 Reasons Dak Prescott could be the NFL MVP in 2020 - Randy Gurzi, Fansided Spinzone

Only three reasons? There must be more.

For his career, Prescott boasts an overall record of 40-24 as the starting quarterback for Dallas and has twice won the NFC East. He’s also never had a losing season, with the 8-8 mark of 2019 being the worst record of his young career.

Throughout the success he has had, Dak has been unfairly labeled as a “bus driver,” meaning the credit is often given to his teammates and not him. There’s a belief that Ezekiel Elliott is the most important player and that Prescott not only comes behind him but also Amari Cooper and the offensive line are more to blame for the team’s success.

While it’s true that Prescott struggled at times when he didn’t have Elliott, Cooper, and even Tyron Smith their left tackle, he’s also proven time and again that he can be a winner. And his stat line in 2019 was nothing short of brilliant.

Prescott finished one-yard shy of the franchise’s single-season passing yardage total with 4,902. He’s also the only quarterback not named Tony Romo to throw for more than 30 touchdown passes in a season, finishing the year with a mark of 30 touchdowns and just 11 picks.

Will LB Luke Gifford Make More of an Impact in Year 2? - Brad Martin, Inside The Star

Hopefully on special teams because if he does elsewhere that means someone was injured.

At best, Luke Gifford is probably fifth on the Cowboys linebacker depth chart right now. His chances of receiving much playing time on defense seems like a long shot, but things can change quickly in the NFL. With Sean Lee’s known injury history and Leighton Vander Esch’s unknown long-term health due to his neck injury, Gifford finds himself just a play or two away from receiving significant playing time.

Now, it’s a bit of a stretch to go from fifth on the depth chart to becoming a regular key contributor on defense, however, it’s not so far out there that it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. We all know Sean Lee has a problem staying healthy and no one really knows how Leighton Vander Esch will rebound after having offseason neck surgery. Hopefully they’re good to go, but with Gifford and some of the other promising LB depth, the Cowboys at least won’t be caught with their pants down.

Mailbag: Blitzing More Under Mike Nolan? - David Helman & Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.com

You can expect to see more looks and blitzing from Mike Nolan.

I look at how many possible pass rushers this team could put on the field at once. The last few years the scheme has been to keep the ball in front and stop them short of the marker. Could we see a lot more of third down pressure, possibly all out blitzes, to force mistakes and turnovers or at least a quick throw away instead?—RONALD TIDWELL / SWEETWATER, TX

Rob: This wasn’t a high-volume blitzing defense under Rod Marinelli, so yeah, perhaps we’ll see more pressures dialed up. Having press corners who disrupt routes helps you play more of that style. But beyond that, I think the biggest change might be more disguising those pressures and where they’re coming from.

David: I can only sayI hope so. You’re right, there’s a lot of versatile pass rushers on this defense. We’ve seen how valuable Jaylon Smith can be creating pressure in the backfield, and that doesn’t even include the traditional pass rushers on the roster. Outside of the occasional corner blitz, Rod Marinelli was typically in favor of simply using four down linemen. Hopefully we see pressure coming from a variety of different places this year.

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