Dak Prescott: 2021 season will ‘be very, very special for us and for Cowboys fans’ - Kevin Patra. NFL.com
The Cowboys QB is hyped about this year’s team.
Even before Dak Prescott suffered a gruesome injury in Week 5 last season, the Dallas Cowboys were already off to an inauspicious start to the 2020 campaign. Jerry Jones’ club was 1-3, with the sole win earned in a miracle comeback against Atlanta.
Prescott’s injury wiped out any hope of turning around the season, and the Cowboys went 6-10 in Mike McCarthy’s first year with the team. The defense, in particular, was awful, which led to the early season stumbles even as the QB and offense put up record-pace numbers.
With Prescott and most of his injured teammates on the mend, a full offseason program in McCarthy’s system, and new coordinator Dan Quinn, optimism is rising in Dallas.
Ahead of next month’s training camp, Prescott told Newy Scruggs of NBC 5 DFW that he expects even better play than how the Cowboys opened the season.
“Improvement, a lot of improvement, obviously from last year to this year, but deeper than that from those first five games,” Prescott said. “Take those first five games and just say we’re going to be better than that as a team. We’re going to play more complementary football from defense to offense to special teams, and then we’re going to have a healthy team. We’ve all approached the offseason. We approached the season the right way. We’re just excited. We’re excited that hopefully, we can stay healthy, we can get good fortune on that end. And we can just put everything we’ve worked hard for together on all stages and all phases of the game. We’re excited for this year. It’s going to be very, very special for us and for Cowboys fans.”
The Cowboys have many questions heading into the season, with safety being one of the bigger ones.
13) How Will The Safety Position Shake Out?
Jonny Auping: It wouldn’t be a Dallas Cowboys’ offseason if we weren’t talking about how safety was going to play out. Unlike most years, the Cowboys did actually use free agency this offseason to go out and sign an exciting playmaker at safety. He just so happens to be coming off a torn Achilles. That said, I’m choosing to be optimistic about Damontae Kazee’s health. He was available and practicing in minicamp, and that’s definitely a positive sign. If healthy, I love his game. He thrived under Dan Quinn in Atlanta, and he looked like he was on his way to being a star after his 2018 season. I imagine he’ll be starting at free safety. As far as the strong safety position goes, Donovan Wilson still has a lot of proving left to do, but I think he got started proving himself last year. He showed that he can make plays and belongs in the NFL. Wilson and Kazee won’t come into training camp as one of the league’s top safety pairings, but I think they have the highest upside as starters.
Cowboys are hoping for a big leap in year two for their young center.
The Cowboys drafted Travis Frederick with the 31st overall choice in 2013, and from 2014-2017, the Wisconsin product was one of the best centers in the NFL. Frederick was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome in 2018, though, and retired after the 2019 season.
Frederick’s departure left a huge hole in the Dallas offensive line.
The Cowboys drafted another Wisconsin center, Tyler Biadasz, in the fourth round in 2020.
Biadasz not only has won the job, but he’s won the trust of his teammates and coaches.
“As the center, you have to look yourself in the mirror and be like, ‘You’ve got to be the guy,’” Biadasz said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “You’ve got to make the calls. You’ve got to have confidence with it. . . . You’ve got to do what you need to do to do your job right.”
Getting the best version of Zeke could be key to this year’s success.
The Cowboys look to be primed for contention in 2021. If they’re able to keep a relative amount of health, in particular at quarterback, they’ll be the favorite to win the NFC East. But what happens after that may be determined by how they handle Ezekiel Elliott’s workload weeks 1-18.
And that’s where Tony Pollard comes in. Pollard, who has just one start to his ledger as a pro has played well in backup duty to Elliott. But if the Cowboys want to maximize both players it’s time to consider a timeshare between the two.
Now, that doesn’t mean a 50/50 split, but closer to 60/40 than has been in years past. Ezekiel Elliott is a great player. At the same time, he’s logged a lot of touches in his five year in the NFL.
Though he’s coming into training camp in great shape, he’s still got a lot of wear and tear he’s carrying on his body. Hopefully the change in physique will provide a more explosive and quicker Ezekiel Elliott. And still, if the Cowboys want to make sure he’s fresh for what could be a deep playoff run, getting Tony Pollard involved early in the season and early in games could be greatly beneficial.
Williams found himself as the only veteran presence on the line at times last year, it would be wise for the Cowboys to invest in his future.
The Dallas Cowboys need to keep developing Connor Williams
It’s possible that no presumed starter on the Dallas Cowboys has flown more under the radar this offseason than Connor Williams. 2021 will mark Williams’ fourth season in the league and he’s looking to build on 2020 which ended up as easily the best year of his young career.
The Cowboys’ offensive line issues were heavily documented last season. They lost their three best linemen to injuries at various points of the season and saw a rookie ascend to the starting center spot. The team was forced to try and patch together a usable offensive line, but they never gelled.
Connor Williams ended up being the only real source of stability up front all season, starting all 16 games for the first time in his career and playing every snap of the season at left guard. He was noticeably improved in nearly every aspect of his game and looked as if he was starting to finally adjust to the speed of the NFL.
The Cowboys QB will try to live up to his big contract.
The Dallas Cowboys organization has gone all-in with Dak Prescott by signing him to a massive 4 year, $160million deal. His offensive line is healthy, he is healthy, and he has some of the best weapons in the league. Most fans would be ecstatic to have this situation, but that is far from the case.
The time to climb aboard the Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s bandwagon is fast approaching.
Prescott has been a lightning rod ever since he took over for quarterback Tony Romo to begin the 2016 season. Obviously, Prescott had nothing to do with the back injury caused by a hit in a preseason game with the Seattle Seahawks. However, many fans have held it against him that he unseated Romo without winning the job.
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