Dakked If You, Dakked If You Don't
Dak Prescott recently said it doesn’t really matter who plays running back for the Cowboys….i assure you it most certainly does young grasshopper. Obviously the 4th round QB from a year ago had his quotes taking out of
context, but that’s not gonna stop any of us from talking about it. Among the biggest current myths in today’s sports is “Anybody can run behind that Cowboys line” **inserts rolling eyes emoji**. I laugh anytime I come across this opinion. Perhaps the numbers from Demarco Murray in 2014 and the endless rotation of running backs for the cowboys from 2015 are somewhat similar. The Yards Per Carry as a team from 2014-2016 was pretty much the same...but are we that lazy as sports fans to let one stat define the talent of two all pro running backs (Murray and Elliot)?
The impact Zeke has on this offense is way beyond what the numbers can measure, and certainly way more significant than one measly stat. He was the main reason why the raw QB out of Mississippi State was able to step into the jungle of NFL defenses and flourish. I ain't gonna sit here and call a grown man Jane, but in a sense...Zeke was Tarzan and Dak was Jane. He was the ultimate security blanket for Dak Prescott last year. His presence alone was an impact, particularly in the way linebackers reacted to the play action plays. While the cowboys weren’t first in terms of yards gained from play action plays, they certainly ran them with efficiency. Zeke helped Dallas maintain their gameplan for 60 minutes. The playbook was wide open week in and week out for 60 minutes. He constantly got yards which helped keep Dallas in favorable downs and distance. He wore teams down. The level of physicality he plays with is one of the more underrated aspects of his game in my opinion. He seldom avoided contact; he’d go head on with a linebacker and constantly fell forward.
In the passing game, Zeke had the ability to take a check down and make it into an impactful play, including converting some 3rd and longs. There is no doubt without Zeke the Cowboys will look to Dak to produce more. There were times last year, including some two minute situations, where Dak shined with the offense squarely on his shoulder. He has the ability to create explosive plays with his arm and his legs, and he has the WRs to go up and make big catches. Dak is still a very young QB with a lot of room for improvement, his accuracy and footwork are the two things I’m most curious to see how he’s developed and hopefully improved.
The first 6 games will have some tough matchups for the Cowboys offense, and their final game without Zeke will be vs the Notorious Aaron Rodgers who has eliminated the Cowboys in both of their recent playoff runs. At least two of their first six games will have major playoff implications. Zeke’s suspension, if holds, is bittersweet to me. I think the 6 games without Zeke will tell a lot about the young QB, and I’m looking forward to it.