We all sat there last season and watched in amazement as the Dallas Cowboys were led by two rookies to a 13—3 record. There was an energy that Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott brought that no one could account for heading into that season; it was a really fun team to watch.
With the 2017 season just a few months away, can we expect the same? The Cowboys won’t creep up on anybody this year, but can Dak and Zeke continue to have that unbridled enthusiasm to help guide Dallas again?
There is little doubt the duo will bring that same energy, they are both still young and they are still learning. Neither was satisfied with how the season ended in 2016 and both have expressed they could’ve played better last year. That hunger to get better lives inside both players, an important trait in this game.
Maybe the Cowboys will thrive off Prescott and Elliott once again, but they’ll need some veterans to pull their weight as well if the team is to make a deep playoff run.
Dez Bryant needs to stay healthy and return to top form. It took a little while to develop some chemistry with Prescott last year, but once the duo got on the same page, Bryant looked like one of the best receivers in the game again by late in the season. Three of Bryant’s four 100-yard receiving games came in the last eight weeks (excluding the season finale against Philadelphia and adding the playoff game) and nine of his 10 touchdowns. Bryant finished the season playing well and there is something to build on heading into the upcoming season.
Orlando Scandrick is another veteran who brings an attitude and presence to the team. He came back after missing the 2015 season and he wasn’t the same player that we were used to seeing in previous years. However, Dallas needs him to pick his game back up to help guide a secondary that needs some experience. Scandrick has to be a leader and if he can play up to his potential again, the cornerback spot won’t be as big of a worry.
Byron Jones isn’t as experienced or fiery as Dez or Scandrick, but the team needs him to step up as well. Jones is just coming into his own as a safety and it’ll be his second straight year at the position after moving around during his rookie campaign. With Barry Church leaving in free agency, the Cowboys need a leader at safety and Jones fits the bill. Expect the best season yet from Jones
There are others, like Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence, who can guide a young team on their way in 2017. It will likely be led by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott once again, but they’ll need help. They’ll need more than just energy and enthusiasm from a couple of sophomore players, the Cowboys need a resurgence from a couple former spark plugs.
It will take a team effort to get back where the Dallas Cowboys want to go, it’s not all on Dak and Zeke.
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