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Cowboys news: Dak Prescott is only focused on the here and now

Plus, what do the experts say about the Cowboys?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp Handout photo

Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott: I will ‘seize the moment’ after difficult offseason - Todd Archer, ESPN

Dak Prescott’s contract situation loomed large throughout most of last season and through the entire offseason, and it’s still a question as he prepares to play the 2020 season on the franchise tag. But Prescott is only worried about winning games on Sundays.

“There’s never a doubt in my mind if he’s going to be ready for the season,” Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott said. “He’s going to go out there and perform and lead us the way he is capable of doing. Dak’s a pro. He’s going to be ready.”

While Prescott’s contract, future, level of play and pitchman skills are discussed almost daily on national programs and local talk radio, he is more concerned about what is directly in front of him.

“I seize the moment. I focus on the now,” he said. “I think it’s very important for me to do exactly that and not to be distracted or put too much focus anywhere other than what it is that I’m doing now.”

Arrogance cost Cowboys millions as Deshaun Watson signed massive extension while Dak Prescott waits - Jean-Jacques Taylor, Dallas Morning News

The Cowboys had ample opportunities to get Dak Prescott locked up to a long-term deal, but now they will try to keep him after franchise tagging him and while other star quarterbacks sign bigger and bigger deals.

Dak begins his fifth season as the Cowboys’ starter Sunday night against the Los Angeles Rams, and he’s poised to have his most productive year. New head coach Mike McCarthy, whose offense had seven top 5 finishes over 13 years in Green Bay, is a better game-day leader than Jason Garrett and play-caller Kellen Moore will also be better in Year 2.

Oklahoma rookie CeeDee Lamb, taken 17th in the draft, has been terrific in training camp, which means Dak has the best trio of receivers he’s ever had. And the offensive line has three players in the top 10 at their position in Zack Martin, Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, who will miss at least the first three games with a hip injury.

Expect Dak’s signature to get more expensive, and the Cowboys can only blame their own arrogance. They’re not winning this deal. In the last 18 months, Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz, Los Angeles’ Jared Goff, Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and now Watson have all signed new deals. Amazingly, only the Cowboys couldn’t figure out how to get their franchise quarterback signed to one.

Sources: DE Randy Gregory, conditionally reinstated, signs 1-year extension with Cowboys - Todd Archer, ESPN

Randy Gregory received word last week he was going to be conditionally reinstated and would be available to play after Week 6. On Tuesday, the Cowboys once again showed their commitment to the defensive end by giving him a one-year contract extension.

Conditionally reinstated last week, defensive end Randy Gregory signed a one-year extension through 2021 with the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday that includes a $200,000 signing bonus, according to multiple sources. Gregory and the Cowboys agreed to a similar extension last season, but the NFL disapproved it because suspended players cannot sign new contracts.

Gregory reported to The Star for the first time on Monday for COVID-19 testing. He will be able to participate in workouts and meetings, but not practice until Oct. 5. He is eligible to return to game action on Oct. 25 at Washington. Because he is on the commissioner’s exempt list, he is being paid.

Gregory was set to make $955,000 this season as part of his rookie deal, but he has essentially been fronted some signing bonus money after not earning any salary last season. If he is on the game-day roster for six games in 2020, he will make up to $2.1 million in 2021.

NFL season 2020 team previews: 1-32 power rankings, breakout picks and schedule analysis - ESPN Staff

The Cowboys had a busy first offseason in the Mike McCarthy era, and as a result they’re getting a lot of love from some of the experts. ESPN has them as the fifth best team in their final preseason power rankings.

Todd Archer: Most of the offense Prescott ran in his first four years with the Cowboys remains, with just tweaks from what McCarthy is accustomed to running. Kellen Moore remains as the playcaller, so Prescott will continue to have a familiar voice in his ear. But McCarthy will have a big influence, and the reason he was hired was because of his ability to raise the level of quarterback play.

The talent on the Cowboys’ offense is among the best in the NFL with Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, Tyron Smith and Zack Martin. Prescott is coming off a year in which he set personal bests with 4,902 yards and 30 touchdowns but he was not part of even the virtual offseason program since he was looking for a contract. There is a rhythm that will need to be developed between McCarthy and Prescott. If they find it quick, the Cowboys should be a contender. Read the full Cowboys preview.

2020 NFL season: Bold predictions, final record for every team, playoff and Super Bowl picks - John Breech, CBS Sports

The Cowboys have done more than enough to get people talking about them as one of the NFL’s best teams, and John Breech of CBS is apparently leaning hard into the hype. Not only did he predict Dak Prescott winning the MVP award, but he has Dallas winning the Super Bowl.

If you know any Cowboys fans, then you’re probably well aware that at the start of every NFL season, there’s nothing they like to talk about more than why this will finally be the year the Cowboys win the Super Bowl. It’s pretty much happened every year for the past 25 seasons. Although I usually laugh in their face after they make the prediction, this year I won’t be doing that, and that’s because I ACTUALLY AGREE WITH THEM. I think Jerry Jones might have brainwashed me because I think THE DALLAS COWBOYS ARE GOING TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL, and they’re going to do it by knocking off the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Basically, not only am I predicting that Dak Prescott will win the MVP this year (as you read about earlier), but I’m also predicting that he’ll lead the Cowboys to the Lombardi Trophy. I think what I’m trying to say here is that Jerry Jones better get his check book ready because Dak’s asking price is going to triple if all of this happens.

The biggest reason I like the Cowboys this year is because they won’t be held back by coaching. Although Mike McCarthy isn’t a Hall of Fame coach by any means, he certainly feels like a step up from Jason Garrett, and let’s not forget, he also has Super Bowl coaching experience because he won a Lombardi Trophy during his time in Green Bay.

Big Picture: 5 Storylines For Cowboys & Rams - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com

The Cowboys are finally going to be playing a football game on Sunday when they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Rams. With so much anticipation built up, it’s easy to lose track of some of the storylines swirling around this game.

The Cowboys placed three veterans on IR-Return earlier this week. But the big news centers on right tackle La’el Collins, who will now be out three weeks. He only missed one game in the last three years but will miss three because of a lingering hip injury. The Cowboys also placed Sean Lee and Ventell Bryant on the same list. Lee played 16 games last season for the first time in his career but was expected to rotate with starters Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith.

Lots of turnover this year for the Cowboys, especially on defense. Some of the new faces on the field will be defensive ends Everson Griffen and Aldon Smith, defensive tackle Dontari Poe and rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs. The biggest addition on offense is first-round pick CeeDee Lamb, who creates quite a trio at receiver with Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper.

The special teams were a big problem for the Cowboys last year, forcing a change in leadership. New special teams coordinator John Fassel has plenty of experience and knows this Rams team rather well, having spent the last seven years coaching LA’s special teams. Fassel said he’s excited about both punter Chris Jones and kicker Greg Zeurlein, who was with him with the Rams before. Both players are healthy once again and should be much improved from 2019, according to Fassel.

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