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Dak Prescott believes last year's mistakes will become this year’s strength

Long-time NFL reporter Peter King pulled some interesting quotes this weekend.

NFL: Preseason-Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys are always the center of conversation in the national media. Whenever America’s Team is mentioned, it creates buzz on social media.

Over the weekend, long-time NFL sports columnist Peter King spoke with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and quarterback Dak Prescott before the second preseason game in Seattle. Both men were of mention in his recent Football Morning in America column.

There’s no question all eyes of the fan base are on the 2023 roster, given the hype around the talent and additions made this offseason. King asked Jones about the pressure to win a Super Bowl this season and his feelings heading into another year with those expectations.

“I know how hard it is to win one of those (a Super Bowl),” Jones said, straining a bit to be heard over the cacophonous music and the Cowboys fans shouting for him in the southeast end zone. “You shouldn’t give up the ghost because you fall short in a highly competitive league. Just because we haven’t won it in so long doesn’t make what we’ve done meaningless. And I think this year we’re in better position to win it than we have been in years. We have the team, and we have the quarterback.”

It has become one of the most notable streaks in professional sports, given how long it’s been since the Cowboys have even reached an NFC Championship game, given all the star-studded teams they’ve had over the years.

To Jones’ credit, the team he, Stephen Jones, Will McClay, and others have constructed this offseason gives the feeling like the streak can end. Dallas traded for veteran leadership and proven talent by acquiring Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore.

Those moves don’t feel like they are getting them at the end of their prime, as Cooks and Gilmore have been dominating their respective positions in training camp. Jones also believes they have the quarterback in Dak Prescott to get them over the hump.

The real hurdle for the past two seasons has been the San Francisco 49ers any time the Cowboys match up with them in the playoffs. King noted the three-play sequence that took about 48 seconds to happen in the final three minutes at the end of last year’s divisional round loss. He mentioned Prescott being at the center of it all and asked the quarterback if he still thinks about those plays.

“I think you have to use your scars in that sense,” Prescott told me. “To say I’m continuing to relive it, it’s past me at this point. But a lot of the offseason was about that. With Mike taking over the play-calling we went into details and sometimes there’s those three plays—there’s a lot of details in that that allowed those three plays to not be successful. That’s what we really focused on this training camp and this spring, cleaning that up and making sure receivers are on the same page, linemen are on the same page with my [pass] drops and receivers understand where they’ve gotta be and when—so the operation just goes a whole lot smoother. We’re using the things that hurt us last year. That’ll be our strength this year.”

Kellen Moore brought a lot of success to the offense during his time as offensive coordinator in Dallas, but one of his criticisms was his lack of experience in big-time games. The 49ers were a dominant team with an outstanding defense, but the hope is Mike McCarthy’s long-time experience calling an offense will be an asset so those sequences of plays never happen again in the playoffs.

One of the most essential elements of operating a West Coast offense is timing routes with the quarterback. Jori Epstein of Yahoo! Sports wrote an article about how the Cowboys receivers changed their workout routine to be in lockstep with footwork and steps Prescott takes when he drops back for a pass. No. 4 echoes the sentiment in his quote and has been preaching all offseason that communication needs to be better.

If McCarthy is true to his word, the starters on offense may never see a snap together in the preseason. If that’s the case, the starting line begins at MetLife Stadium in Week 1 as Dallas travels to New York to take on the Giants. Based on Prescott’s belief, the offense has a chance to be special and could finally get the ‘lack of playoff success monkey’ off their backs.

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