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Dak Prescott barks at his teammates a little more
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now that he's a couple of years removed from a sensational rookie year with the Dallas Cowboys.At least that's the way tight end Geoff Swaim put it Color Rush Brett Maher Jersey , and he didn't mean it in a negative way. The star quarterback sure hopes so."I may be a little bit more vocal," Prescott said. "But when you say 'barking,' it's almost like at a negative tone. Like, you're going out at them hard. I'd say if anything, I'm trying to be more encouraging and bring more out of them."When you have a young team and different personalities, it's hard just to be negative and be critical the whole time. For me, it's a lot about coaching the guys up. And then the guys that I know I can be critical on, yeah, sure I am."The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, who opens the season Sunday at Carolina trying to get the Cowboys back to the playoffs after they missed during his less-than-stellar encore , just illustrated offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's take on leadership from Prescott.Sure, this 25-year-old with a master's degree in workforce education leadership from Mississippi State is the unquestioned commander of the offense — and that includes over running back Ezekiel Elliott, his fellow first-year standout from 2016.But it's not necessarily because of the retirement of Tony Romo, the quarterback he replaced with one of the best debuts for a quarterback in NFL history.Or because 15-year tight end Jason Witten joined Romo in the broadcast booth this year. Or because the Cowboys dumped boisterous receiver Dez Bryant, the franchise leader in touchdown catches, in a cost-cutting move.Since Prescott showed up as the forgotten third-teamer on Romo's team two years ago, he has shown the leadership qualities that suddenly became more pronounced. He was a natural to become the face of the franchise , and would be by himself if not for linebacker Sean Lee."He's always been a guy that, even as a rookie, he was not afraid to speak up and give his two cents on the field and encourage guys," Linehan said. "He's a natural when it comes to that."Prescott led the Cowboys to 11 straight wins after Romo injured his back in the preseason in 2016, when Dallas had an NFC-best 13 victories before losing to Green Bay in a divisional playoff.Elliott's six-game suspension marred their second season together http://www.authenticsdallascowboys.com/c...ins-jersey , and Prescott felt the burden of the absence.The poor decisions he avoided as a rookie were more frequent, including an ill-advised throw that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown in a late-season loss to Seattle that finished off Dallas' playoff hopes in Elliott's first game back.The theme last season was whether Prescott could avoid a sophomore slump, a term he brushed off. Now it's whether he can have a bounce-back season, if there is such a thing for a young quarterback."You can call it whatever you call it," he said. "I'm excited for what we're going to have and the year we're going to have and I feel very, very confident in the players we have and the team we have and what we're going to do this season."There are questions, starting with a revamped receiving corps that lacks the star power brought by Witten and Bryant.The Cowboys say they'll attack the passing game with versatility, hoping to take advantage of one-on-one matchups with opponents focusing first on stopping Elliott, the league rushing leader when Prescott was voted the top offensive rookie.There are two new starters on Dallas' vaunted offensive line. Joe Looney is replacing Travis Frederick at center while the four-time Pro Bowler recovers from Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that attacks nerves. He doesn't know when he will return. Rookie second-round pick Connor Williams is at left guard.Despite the questions, Prescott is determined not to try to do too much again."I know I'll be better," he said. "I just learned so much from last year, just moving forward, mature within the game, just learned a lot more that I didn't know last year that I wasn't as comfortable with. Just reads, my game on footwork, accuracy and consistency, everything."Learning isn't stopping him from coaching, as he put it."I think as a rookie it was more encouraging and that kind of thing," Swaim said. "This year, the barking, it's not like he's screaming and yelling. That's not his thing. It's more just Color Rush Jaylon Smith Jersey , 'Hey, this is what you need to do here.' And it's good because it keeps everyone focused and in their role and doing their job."Prescott just wants you to know it's not negative.A look at the Cowboys loss to the Seawhawks, by the numbers The Cowboys lost Sunday against a team that had been struggling until facing Dallas. Let’s dive into the numbers.Three - boneheaded plays that doomed the CowboysDallas played a sloppy, undisciplined game. There were more dumb mistakes than could be counted but three stood out as pivotal, game-changing plays. The first came when Ezekiel Elliott simply lost track of the boundary and stepped out of bounds right before catching a would-be game-tying, 31-yard, second-quarter touchdown. It’s hard to understand how such a thing can happen. Elliott wasn’t covered or pressured in any way and turned what should have been an easy score into a penalty and loss of down. Elliott’s dumb play gave away four points.Second came Kavon Frazier outsmarting himself into allowing the Seahawks an easy, 52-yard touchdown. Frazier tried to disguise his deep coverage responsibility by moving close to the line of scrimmage but then found himself woefully out of position when the Seahawks ran an outside go route. Cornerback Chidobie Awuzie expected help from his safety who was nowhere to be found, allowing Tyler Lockett to race unguarded for the touchdown. Frazier’s dumb play gave away seven points. Not to be outdone, less than two minutes later Randy Gregory got into the act. After the Cowboys got a third down stop near midfield with only seconds remaining in the first half, Gregory stupidly shoved a Seahawk in the face right in front of a referee, drawing a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Instead of (maybe) attempting a 62-yard field goal, the Seahawks booted a relatively easy 47-yard kick. Gregory’s dumb play gave away three points. That’s fourteen points simply given away by dumb mental errors. There’s no way you’ll win in the NFL playing this way. Negative three - turnover ratioDallas committed three turnovers and recorded zero for a minus-three turnover ratio. NFL teams who commit three or more turnovers and record zero are 11-268 since 2010. That’s a 3.9% win percentage. The Cowboys seemed intent in displaying numerous ways in how to lose games Sunday. Eleven - Number of turnovers the Cowboys defense is on pace to record in 2018The 2015 Dallas Cowboys set a franchise record by recording only eleven turnovers. The 2018 squad seems to be on the same path. Despite having the most talented front seven the team has seen in years, the current squad simply isn’t taking the ball away from opponents. After recording only one turnover per game against Carolina and the Giants, the Dallas defense was shut out in the turnover department against Seattle. The team is now on pace to match the 2015 squad in turnover ineptitude. Yet again, you can’t win in the NFL if you can’t force turnovers. 23 - Net first half passing yards for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offenseI wasn’t sure I could believe this number when I read it. It seems impossible in the modern NFL for a team to record only 23 net passing yards in an entire half of football. The Chiefs seem to average that many yards every time they drop back to pass. But it’s true. Prescott went 6-for-13 for only 40 yards but was also sacked for 17 yards in losses. That’s a net of 23 yards on fifteen drop-backs for those keeping score. Again, you can’t win in the NFL when you’re averaging only 1.5 yards per pass play. 23% - Cowboys’ third down conversion rateDallas converted only three of thirteen third down attempts for a 23% conversion rate. This follows games where they recorded rates of 18% (2-of-11) and 30% (3-of-10). The team has converted only eight third downs the entire season and is on pace to convert only 42 third downs for the season. The team’s 23.5% conversion rate ranks last in the NFL. Not to beat a dead horse, but you can’t win in the NFL converting less than one-of-four third down attempts. Thirteen - points scoredThe Dallas offense put up only thirteen points Sunday. This gives them 41 on the season, or two less than the New Orleans Saints scored in one game Sunday. This is nothing new. The Cowboys offense, which averaged nearly 30 points per game during the first half of last season has averaged fifteen points since. Six times in the last eleven games the team has failed to score fourteen points. Again, you can’t win in the NFL scoring only thirteen points per game. 54.5 - Dak Prescott’s passer ratingMany have bemoaned Prescott’s lack of volume numbers, complaining about his low yardage numbers. But NFL team’s can win with low volume numbers from their quarterback if he’s efficient. Prescott was not efficient Sunday. He averaged only 4.94 yards per attempt. His adjusted net yards per attempt (which factors in sacks http://www.authenticsdallascowboys.com/c...ord-jersey , interceptions and touchdowns) was only 2.9. Add it up and he had another terrible game with a 54 passer rating. Such performances have become the norm for Prescott, who has seen his passer rating steadily decline since an outstanding start to his career. The following shows a rolling eight-game average for passer rating and points scored since 2016, when Prescott became the starting Cowboys’ quarterback:15 - times Prescott was sacked or hit by Seattle defendersThe Dallas offensive line, where first-round draft picks and big-time, long-term contracts are common, can’t protect the team’s quarterback. After surrendering six sacks in the team’s opener Prescott was sacked five times by the Seahawks. He was also hit ten times. This means Prescott was hit or sacked on nearly 40% of his drop-backs. Again, this is nothing new. Prescott’s sack numbers have increased as his performance has declined. The following is an eight-game rolling averageTonguerescott hasn’t been very good, but he’s not getting any help from his offensive line. The OL is supposedly the strength and identity of this team and it’s simply not very good right now. Tyron Smith was soundly beaten for two sacks Sunday and has had two extremely bad games in 2018. He’s nowhere near the best tackle in the league as he was for many years. Zack Martin was also cleanly beaten Sunday, a sight we’ve almost never seen. La’el Collins continues to look like a guard playing out of position. Each of those players are signed to big-money, long-term contracts. When your supposedly best players aren’t playing very well you’re unlikely to win. Two - sacks of Russell Wilson by the Dallas defenseOn the flip side, the sack feast Cowboys’ fans hoped for and expected Sunday never materialized. The Dallas defense came in with nine sacks on the season and faced a Seahawks front that had given up twelve in two games. Randy Gregory was cleared to play and was expected to team with Demarcus Lawrence to overwhelm the over-matched Seahawks. Instead, the Seahawks out-muscled, outplayed and physically dominated the Cowboys’ defensive line. Wilson was really only sacked once (the second coming when Jaylon Smith forced Wilson to run out of bounds). In addition, the Seahawks anemic running game piled up 113 yards. The Dallas defensive front seven had been the best thing about this year’s team until Sunday when it looked a lot like the mediocre, underwhelming unit we’ve watched for the last decade. Zero - number of sacks, tackles, fumbles forced, fumbles recovered, tackles for loss and passes defensed by Randy GregoryI don’t mean to pick on Gregory. He’s just one player on a unit that posted a lot of zeroes on the stat sheet. But Gregory has been so hyped since being drafted in 2015 and him finally getting on the field had many expecting big things.But he flashed nothing Sunday, despite going against a sub-par Seattle left tackle. The only time Gregory was mentioned the entire game was for his foolish penalty at the end of the first half. Despite all of Gregory’s physical gifts he’s never really produced on an NFL stage. At this point he’s more like a unicorn than a productive NFL player: more myth than reality.
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