At this time last year, Dak Prescott was expected to be an observer during his rookie season with the Cowboys after being selected in the fourth round of the draft.
A lot happened over the last 12 months. Tony Romo broke a bone in his back, opening the door for Prescott to take over as the starting quarterback and the Cowboys would go on to win 13 games in the regular season with Prescott and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott in leading roles. Prescott completed nearly 68 percent of his passes, threw 23 touchdown passes against four interceptions and wound up being chosen as the league’s top offensive rookie by the Associated Press.
The season ended with a painful playoff loss to the Packers, but the entire package set a high bar for Dallas heading into the 2017 season. Prescott told Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News that the team is just getting started, however.
“In Year One we just scratched the surface,” Prescott said. “We’re just getting started. I know we’ve been hitting these [offseason] workouts, and we’re just excited for what we can be as a team.”
The Cowboys re-signed wide receiver Terrance Williams, which leaves replacing right tackle Doug Free as the most significant issue on offense. The defense saw bigger changes in free agency and the Cowboys hope some of the seven draft picks they used on defensive players (and perhaps 2016 second-round linebacker Jaylon Smith as well) can fill in the holes.
It’s probably too much too hope that one will be a defensive version of Prescott or Elliott, but they may not need one if their encore does go as well as the first act.