The Dallas Cowboys have been misplaced with out Dak Prescott.
However even with the quarterback on the highway to restoration, with an enormous new contract in hand, what does the Cowboys’ path to the playoffs seem like?
On Thursday, Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy addressed the media for the primary time since Prescott’s signing, and he sounded optimistic.
“Dak is the keystone of this workforce,” McCarthy said. “I am enthusiastic about 12 months 2 on offense. In quite a lot of methods, we did not really feel like we acquired to have a 12 months 1.”
That’s roughly true. In his first 12 months in McCarthy’s system, Prescott had an incredible begin to the 2020 season earlier than issues went sideways.
By 5 video games, he had accomplished a career-best 68% of his passes for 1,856 yards, 9 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. That had him on tempo to cross for almost 6,000 yards. His earlier profession excessive was 4,902 yards within the 2019 season.
All of that promise, although, was scuttled when Prescott went down with an ankle fracture-dislocation throughout Week 5. That ended his season and put him on a prolonged rehab program. From there, the Cowboys lurched alongside to a 6-10 season.
In the case of Prescott’s restoration, all indicators recommend that issues are going effectively. The Cowboys wouldn’t have signed him to a four-year, $160 million contract if that weren’t the case.
So far as long-term well being, FOX Sports activities Harm & Efficiency Knowledgeable Dr. Matt Provencher said there isn’t a cause to assume Prescott can’t overcome any lasting results of his damage.
“There isn’t any denying that Prescott endured a major damage, however I anticipate that due to the immediate and high-quality therapy he acquired, the ankle bones will heal effectively, and he can go on to an extended profession within the NFL,” Provencher wrote.
That’s nice information for the Cowboys. The query is how good will Prescott must be to guide his workforce again to the playoffs?
Latest historical past exhibits that the Cowboys will want him to be wonderful, as they’ve been up-and-down since drafting Prescott in 2016. Dallas was nice in his rookie season, going 13-3 and successful 11 video games in a row, however was ousted by the Green Bay Packers within the divisional spherical of the playoffs.
After going 9-7 and lacking the postseason in 2017, the Cowboys returned in 2018, beating Seattle in a wild-card sport earlier than being ousted by the Los Angeles Rams. Dallas returned to mediocrity in 2019, going 8-8. That led to the top of the Jason Garrett period and McCarthy’s entrance as head coach.
After all, even when Prescott returns to his greatest kind, it received’t matter if the Cowboys cannot cease anyone. They have been fairly poor in that space in 2020.
Dallas allowed 2,541 yards on the bottom final season, greater than every other workforce besides the Houston Texans. The Cowboys surrendered 34 landing passes, tied for third-most, and solely 4 groups intercepted fewer passes than the ten Dallas managed to choose off.
NFL Insider Dan Graziano addressed this challenge Friday on ESPN’s “Get Up.”
“They assume that offense goes to be wonderful,” he stated, “and you’ll see their offseason focus up to now has been on protection.”
The Cowboys have made a variety of strikes to handle their defensive shortcomings. A kind of was the signing of former first-round decide Keanu Neal, a linebacker/security who’s a right away improve.
After free company comes the NFL Draft on April 29, and the Cowboys are anticipated to concentrate on protection there as effectively. A number of workforce officers, together with McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, were on hand to observe the exercise of security Patrick Surtain II at Alabama’s professional day.
Will all of those defensive additions, in addition to Prescott’s return to kind, result in a march to the playoffs for the Cowboys?
McCarthy is assured they will, and he sees Prescott because the lacking piece to convey all of it collectively.
“We have now an ideal vibe occurring. I like the best way the locker room is put collectively,” he said. “That’s the best way we’re going to push ahead with it, too. The quarterback touches the ball each play. But additionally, his presence and his pure management skill is one thing that may proceed to develop. I feel you’ll see that within the locker room.”
The strain is on Prescott — and McCarthy — to make it occur.
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