All is quiet on the NFL front right now in NFL news. However, teams are working behind the scenes, preparing for free agency and the draft. For the Dallas Cowboys, neither of those things will matter if Dak Prescott doesn’t play better next season.
Prescott was outstanding as a rookie, making all the right moves. In his sophomore season, without all the pieces in place, Dak simply wasn’t as good.
That’s not a huge knock on Prescott, not many quarterbacks would have been the same without the best left tackle/running back duo in the league for six games. It has been well documented how Prescott struggled mightily without Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliott, especially so without Smith, but Dak cannot be so adversely effected when conditions aren’t perfect in 2018.
There has been talk about making the offense ‘Dak friendly’ this offseason and while we wait to see what that really means, there are things Prescott needs to do to get better that have nothing to do with tailoring the offense to him. The biggest issues with Prescott coming out of Mississippi State were his accuracy and footwork. Those two problems are related, without the proper footwork, passes are not going to be as accurate, it’s as simple as that. Poor footwork led to some mistakes from Dak that cannot happen if the Cowboys are going to get where they want to go.
Prescott’s feet affected his game in another way in 2017, he didn’t run as much when given the opportunity. The numbers would show that he ran it about the same in both of his seasons, 57 times and six touchdowns in each of his first two years. However, it was when Dak had the opportunity to scramble and makes plays in chaotic situations in which he failed last year. It seemed like Dak threw the ball in too many scramble situations instead of using his legs to pick up first downs in 2017.
One of the things that make Dak so special is the strain he can put on a defense with his running ability. Prescott needs to use his legs more to keep drives alive and force defenses to account for his scrambling ability. He might not be the best passer in the league, but being a dual threat when the pocket breaks down is one of the things that makes Dak so good. Prescott needs to get back to running when things break down.
The pieces around Dak Prescott need to be better this upcoming season, but making improvements to his game is just as important. The Dallas Cowboys need an enhanced version of Prescott to be successful in 2018.
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