Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys are coming off a 2021 season that saw them win the NFC East, only to lose at home to the San Francisco 49ers in the wild card round.
What followed that ugly playoff loss was a mass departure of key Cowboys players due to their less-than-stellar NFL salary cap situation.
Dallas has been on the receiving end of criticism after it traded star wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns for pennies on the dollar. The Cowboys also lost key contributors in that of starting offensive linemen La’el Collins and Connor Williams as well as young pass rusher Randy Gregory.
In talking about his team’s offseason, Prescott is brushing aside the narrative that Dallas took a step back during the offseason.
As Dallas was losing key contributors the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles added a ton of talent to the mix. That included star wide receiver A.J. Brown on offense as well as cornerback James Bradberry and edge rusher Hasson Reddick on the defensive side of the ball.
Whether this was enough to narrow the gap remains to be seen. Remember, Philadelphia earned a surprise playoff appearance with young quarterback Jalen Hurts leading the charge last season.
Is Dak Prescott’s optimism about the Dallas Cowboys justifiable?
Despite the off-season exodus in Big D, there’s still a ton of talent on this roster. That includes youngsters such as wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, linebacker Micah Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs. All three have yet to hit their prime despite putting up stellar performances in 2021.
With that said, it’s going to be all about Prescott and the Cowboys’ proven veterans. If they perform well, this team will be just fine.
- Dak Prescott stats (2021): 69% completion, 4,449 yards, 37 TD, 10 INT, 104.2 QB rating
After missing all but five games during the 2020 season due to a lower-body injury, Prescott returned to put up his best statistical performance of his career. In the end, he led Dallas to a 12-5 record while putting up a league-best 31.2 points per game.
Prescott will need high-priced running back Ezekiel Elliott to up his game in the backfield. Meanwhile, there’s some major questions a long the offensive line and at wide receiver behind the aforementioned Lamb. These are concerns for head coach Mike McCarthy and Co.
For the Dallas Cowboys, this coming season will not be measured by whether they win the NFC East. It’s all about making a deep run in the playoffs after last season’s failures in the wild card round. Prescott knows full well that it’s time to live up to the expectations that come with playing for “America’s Team.”
“We know what we have in this locker room and we know what we can be,” Prescott said. “Talent is one thing, but if you don’t fulfill it, it doesn’t really mean anything.”
Dallas will be given this opportunity out of the gate. It hosts Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. A win in that opener could set the stage for title contention in Dallas. Anything short of that, and more criticism will be thrown in the direction of this organization.