They say “nothing good comes easy” and the Dallas Cowboys seem to have been taking that to heart as of late. Throughout the Dak Prescott era in Dallas, his team has repeatedly put him to the test in some form or fashion.
Whether it’s the WR by committee debacle in 2018, the injury in 2020, the porous offensive line in 2021, or the slew of upheaval in 2022, there’s always something challenging Dallas’ franchise quarterback.
At $40 million per year, no one’s throwing pity parties for the Cowboys signal caller. He’s stepped up time and time again to challenges, and the Dallas Cowboys fully expect him to, once again, step up in 2022.
Don’t underestimate the series of challenges facing Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys offense this year
The biggest challenge facing the Dak in 2022 is his offensive line. The Dallas Cowboys offensive line imploded last season and both the passing game and running game suffered. After the bye week, Dak was the 23rd most pressured passer in the NFL. This, despite being the 12th quickest in the pocket (2.75 seconds).
It wasn’t just that he was pressured, it was how he was pressured that was challenging. Defenses were able to succeed with just four rushers, meaning they could pack coverage and keep safeties over the top in shells.
With so many coverage players, and no big plays to be had, route running became paramount, and the best route runner, Amari Cooper, was key. CeeDee Lamb was a lot of things for Dallas last season, but reliable route runner wasn’t one of them. Gallup was usually unavailable so dump offs prevailed.
This season the Dallas Cowboys aggressively addressed their offensive line. They are gambling that Tyron Smith can stay healthy (the options behind him are frightening). They are banking on Tyler Smith winning a starting spot. They are hoping Terence Steele keeps improving. And they are praying one of their many options at center is at least an average performing solution. The list is long.
But the WR situation also weighs heavy.
Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson are gone. Without the top route runners, it will be on Lamb to pick up the slack. He needs to perfect his routes, cut out the drops, and gain a better feel for soft spots, because you can bet teams will defend Dallas the same.
Michael Gallup will eventually be back and Jalen Tolbert is someone to be excited about. But when they make an impact and to what degree it will be is a bit of a question mark.
The Dallas Cowboys are rolling into the 2022 season with major upheaval in the ranks. We can argue whether it was wise or foolish all day long, but the point to make here is we have a truckload of challenges to face as a result. Question marks aplenty give Dak Prescott a whole new set of challenges this season.
The Cowboys are banking on Dak holding the offense together and keeping Dallas ahead of NFC East challengers. Frankly, QB is what separates the Cowboys from their NFC East challengers so it’s all about how Dak responds.