Early returns suggest Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott hasn’t looked his best in the early stages of training camp. This is not a reason for major concern.
As is customary for the Dallas Cowboys, football is seldom the focal point for this organization. From kerfuffles over the anthem to players coming back from suspension, it’s par for the course for Jerry’s annual circus. A detail that has emerged, however, is a bit of hand wringing over their franchise quarterback. Word around the campfire is that Dak Prescott hasn’t been having having a stellar camp.
Of course, it’s difficult to gauge this stuff in camp. Beat reporters tend to look for anything to break up the monotony. And judging by the some of the extracurricular activity we’re seeing at practice, these guys are already sick of each other. As someone who only experienced the rigors of football on the high school level, I can firmly attest to suppressing the desire to punch one or two of my own teammates. This is football. Emotions boil to the surface frequently.
But as far as Prescott is concerned, I’m not reading too much into his apparent struggles. As much as the jury is still out on whether or not he’s the long-term solution at quarterback, he appears to be quite the gamer once the games actually count. I mean, the dude’s 22-10 as a regular season NFL starter. Furthermore, to paraphrase a famous quote, Tony Romo isn’t walking through that door any time soon. In other words, the Cowboys’ fortunes are tied to Prescott for at least the next two seasons.
So, is there any fire to the proverbial smoke surrounding Prescott’s camp? Maybe, maybe not. The main concern surrounding him coming out of college was his lack of accuracy, especially on the deep ball. So while there were a few measures taken to get some players who could blow the top off of opposition defenses, we’ll simply have to wait and see if they pay off. I would say this is the biggest question mark heading into this coming season.
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Save for the receiving corps, every other aspect of this offense is in place. To be sure, I feel the expectation within the walls at The Star is a return to 2016 form. Why would they expect anything else? They’ll have Ezekiel Elliott–ostensibly for sixteen games this time–back in place. Given a good modicum of health, the offensive line should regain their status as a top-five unit in all of football. They’ve gotten younger through the draft and with the departures of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. The age old formula of letting the running game open up the passing attack has to be the plan, and it firmly falls on the coaching staff to coax the most out of their unproven pass catchers.
Finally, if I could slip into homer mode and defend Prescott a little, why would this be an easy camp? They’re trying to replace a future Hall of Famer in Witten and a former stalwart in the case of Dez Bryant. Dak’s incumbents are Cole Beasley and the maddeningly inconsistent Terrance Williams . I don’t know about you, but I’ve never trusted Williams, and I’m hoping Beasley returns to his 2016 safety blanket status. There will be a jelling period with the rest of the new additions. The good news is that they still have a month before real games start.
So as is the case with most things in life, we simply have to wait and see. I’m usually doom-and-gloom and hyper-realistic about this team I’ve been obsessing over my entire life. But for whatever reason, I am optimistic about their chances this year. Maybe it’s their youth, or the fact that they’ve been forced to turn the page over the past couple of years, or both. Whatever the case, the early glimpses of what this offense is capable of start Thursday night.
- Published on 08/06/2018 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 08/06/2018 at 09:28 AM