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Cowboys news: Dak Prescott set to sign franchise tender, NFL is “optimistic” about 2020 season

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All of the latest Cowboys news for you to enjoy.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott plans to sign franchise tag by Monday, source says - ESPN

The Dak Prescott/Dallas Cowboys negotiations have been a popular subject this offseason. While we won’t know if Prescott will get a long-term deal until likely July 15th, we did find out that the quarterback is signing his franchise tender.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott plans to sign his $31.4 million exclusive franchise tender by Monday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The two sides still have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. The Cowboys had placed the franchise tag on Prescott on March 18.

By signing his franchise tender, Prescott will be contractually obligated to report to training camp on time, whether or not he and the Cowboys can figure out a long-term deal.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and executive vice president Stephen Jones have repeatedly expressed their belief that Prescott is the team’s quarterback of the future and capable of leading the franchise back to a Super Bowl. Prescott, who turns 27 on July 29, has said on multiple occasions that he never wanted to leave the Cowboys.

Dak Prescott to sign franchise tender - Michael David Smith, PFT

Dak has been severely underpaid thus far in his NFL career. The former fourth-round pick is set to make $31.4 million this season and at least $37.7 million next season if no long-term contract is finalized.

It’s still possible that the Cowboys and Prescott could agree to a long-term contract extension. They have until July 15 to work out a longer deal. But if no deal is reached by then, Prescott will make $31.4 million in 2020 and then either hit free agency in 2021, sign a long-term deal with the Cowboys next offseason, or be guaranteed at least $37.7 million in 2021 if the Cowboys were to franchise him again.

Prescott has made less than $5 million so far in his career. He’s worth a whole lot more than that, and he’ll make a whole lot more than that this year.

NFL coronavirus: League reportedly optimistic about 2020 season despite rash of positive COVID-19 tests - Patrik Walker, 247Sports

We have seen athletes across different sports test positive for COVID-19. Still, the NFL remains optimistic regarding the upcoming season.

The NFL isn’t backing down from its hope of a season in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, despite facing a new set of problems and dwindling time to get everything figured out. Things appeared to be swiftly getting back on track in time to end the virtual offseason on June 26 and potentially aim at opening training camps in mid- to late-July, if not slightly sooner, but things are taking a dark turn as of late. Groups of players from several teams tested positive for the coronavirus in June — headlined by Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott — leading to the NFLPA asking players to halt all private workouts with teammates from here on out.

Each of these situations is a black eye to the chances of an NFL season in the fall, but the league is reportedly still optimistic there will be games played in 2020, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

What a Successful 2020 Season Would Look Like for Every NFL Team - Brad Gagnon, Bleacher Report

Assuming for now that there is a season, what would be considered a success for the Cowboys?

Dallas Cowboys: Trip to the NFC Title Game

The Dallas Cowboys haven’t made an NFC Championship Game since 1995, and you get the feeling the fanbase with extremely high standards is running out of patience.

The team has far too much high-priced talent to miss the playoffs, but even a short postseason run might not suffice considering what Dallas is paying its stars.

According to Spotrac, among the 25 players who make at least $20 million per year, a league-high three play for the Cowboys (Dak Prescott, DeMarcus Lawrence and Amari Cooper). They have five more players who make $10 million. In other words, this is a top-heavy team that is in it to win it. Anything significantly short of that would be unpleasant.

But considering Dallas finished just 8-8 despite remaining relatively healthy last year, you wonder if the Cowboys and their fans are setting themselves up for disappointment in the tough NFC.

WR CeeDee Lamb is Putting in the Necessary Work Ahead of Rookie Season - Matthew Lenix, Inside The Star

Many believe that CeeDee Lamb is the piece that will put the Cowboys over the top. If his offseason workouts are any indication, the rookie receiver is ready to roll.

Lamb is coming off of a spectacular junior season at Oklahoma in which he registered 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns while receiving first-team All-Big 12 and Consensus All-American honors. However, even with his impressive collegiate credentials, Lamb is preparing relentlessly for his first NFL season.

Cooper, the Cowboys’ WR1, is known for being one of the best route runners in the NFL, and it seems like Lamb is trying to be looked at in that same way. Back in May, Lamb posted a video of himself on his Instagram working on his route running. About a week later, an even more impressive clip of Lamb showed him working on his hand-eye coordination as well as being explosive coming out of his breaks, which are very important attributes for any receiver.

Sorry Dallas, Cowboys rookie Lamb can’t top Titans’ Brown - Tanner Staggs, Titans Sized

Lamb enters a unique situation for a rookie with so much hype. How will his first year in the league compare to 2019 rookie A.J. Brown?

CeeDee Lamb is an exceptional talent and he is already wearing that precious number 88 that great Dallas Cowboys receivers love, but pump the breaks if you think he can produce like A.J. Brown did last season for the Tennessee Titans.

For one, A.J. Brown was the clear cut #1 receiver for the Tennessee Titans so he wasn’t really competing for targets. Lamb is going to be playing out of the slot with former rookie standout Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. Not to mention that Ezekiel Elliott will get his fair share of touches too.

Derrick Henry had 303 rushes last season while Zeke had 301. So, both receivers are coming into an offense that thrives off of their running back. The difference is that Zeke had 54 receptions last season, which is more than AJ Brown did, while Derrick Henry only had 18.

It’s going to be way too competitive on the Dallas Cowboys for CeeDee Lamb to produce in his rookie season like A.J. Brown did. He might be close to being as efficient, but as far as overall production goes? Don’t bet on it.

3 Bold Predictions for 2020 NFL Season - Trevor Sikkema, The Draft Network

There are big expectations for the Cowboys offense in 2020. Will Dallas finish atop of the league offensively? That is one of three big NFL predictions for the upcoming year.

DALLAS COWBOYS WILL HAVE NFL’S BEST OFFENSE

Oh yes, we’re starting out with some heat. Well, some of you may think it’s heat, but it’s really not.

Last season the Cowboys’ offense was second in DVOA, first in yards per play and fourth in offensive yards per play. Quarterback Dak Prescott is coming off a season where his performance was good enough to earn MVP honors. For the third time in his four-year career, Prescott finished 2019 with a passer rating over 90. He also set career highs in attempts (596), yards (4,902), and touchdowns (30).

Prescott is a damn good player, but what allows him to truly elevate the offense are the pieces around him that make the Cowboys not only complete but elite.

...

Prescott made the most of receiver Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup in 2019, as both went over 1,100 receiving yards. Adding CeeDee Lamb to that mix just seems illegal. And then there’s the steady Ezekiel Elliott, who recorded another 1,000-yard rushing season with more than 1,300 yards on the ground with 12 rushing touchdowns.

The O-line, the receivers, and a steady yet explosive run game make this Cowboys offense a great one, but what pulls it all together is offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Retaining Moore amidst the head coaching change was crucial for Dallas. With Moore back, there is no reason to think Dallas can’t repeat as one of the best offenses in the league, or potentially end the year as the top-scoring team outright.

Spagnola: No Messin’ Around On These Corners - Mickey Spagnola, DallasCowboys.com

For all of the excitement regarding the wide receivers, the same cannot be said about the defensive backfield. Still, there should be a ton of competition in the Cowboys secondary once football resumes.

But in scanning for a bright side to transitioning to a new staff in the middle of a pandemic, try this one on for size:

Competition.

Should be at an all-time high for the Cowboys and those other four teams when and if things crank up.

Guessing these guys are no different than we were growing up, playing, say, baseball, and your team had a new coach. Or you moved up to the next level of play with a new team and new teammates.

...

Yeah, coverage will be might important, especially at cornerback for the Cowboys.

So you see, a whole lot of candidates for this vital position. And my guess is, no one has an in with new head coach Mike McCarthy, nor the defensive backs coaches, Al Harris or Maurice Linguist, nor defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.

All on equal footing, which will make for some great competition once this new staff gets on a field with players. Once the pads might finally come on. When and if these preseason games are played, and this year for the Cowboys, with a new staff, no way we’re labeling these games as unnecessary or mere nuisances.

Every NFL Team’s Most Intriguing Project Player Heading into the 2020 Season - Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report

Many fans are excited about Tony Pollard showed in limited action a season ago. Will the pairing of Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore unleash the former Memphis star?

Dallas Cowboys: RB Tony Pollard

Less than a year ago, Tony Pollard looked like he would enter the 2019 campaign as the Dallas Cowboys’ lead back since Ezekiel Elliott remained in a contract dispute with the organization.

Elliott signed a six-year, $90 million contract extension just days before the season began, and Pollard never had the opportunity to be featured. But everyone remembers how he flashed in the preseason and limited chances during the regular season.

Pollard still managed 455 rushing yards on only 86 carries. The 2019 fourth-round pick averaged 4.5 yards after contact per attempt, leading all running backs with 50 or more carries, per Pro Football Focus’ Jarad Evans.

The second-year back didn’t contribute much as a receiver, but he’s a capable target. He can easily improve upon last year’s 15 reception

BTB Podcast

What does Dak Prescott signing his tender mean? We discuss on Monday’s episode of The Ocho.

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