Dallas Cowboys: Five reasons Dak Prescott will be GREAT in 2018

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: Dak Prescott /
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GREEN BAY, WI – OCTOBER 16: Ezekiel Elliott #21 takes the handoff from Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 16, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

2. The run-pass option effect

As discussed many times before, the NFL is now fully adopting the run-pass option (RPO). Not to be confused with the read-option (which is just a run-run option play), the RPO is designed to punish defenses that focus on run-stopping.

And run-stopping defenses are exactly what the Dallas Cowboys expect to face in 2018. Teams know the Cowboys are dominant in the running game so they’re going to pack the box and dare Dak to beat them with the pass.

What the RPO does is take advantage of that cheating defense by attacking the most advantageous area of the field. The QB reads the defense (or a specific conflict defender) and decides mid-play whether to hand the ball off, or throw to his hot read pass. The conflict defender must decide which way to play it and Dak simply must chose the one that defender neglects. The linemen are run-blocking (as opposed to pass-blocking like a traditional play-action) so it’s an extremely difficult play to read and defend.

For a more thorough explanation, check out: Explaining the RPO in the NFL

Add in the RPO’s bubble screens, fades, and slants and you have an attack that reacts advantageously to what the defense gives it. Ultimately it forces defenses to play more honestly, which is good news for both Dak and Zeke.

To successfully implement the RPO you need the right kind of players, which is probably why the Dallas Cowboys did this…