It’s been great to see Dak Prescott back in action at OTA’s and mini camp so far this offseason. It feels like the Cowboys are not only moving on from that awful performance from last season when the team went an ugly (and I mean ugly) 6-10 in 2020. It was by far one of the worst things I’ve witnessed as a Cowboys fan and I sat through the scarring 2015 season when Tony Romo and Dez Bryant went missing for stretches and Matt Cassell was starting. Putting those dark times behind us, there seems to be even more to be excited about as a Cowboys fan as we get closer and closer to another new season.
Dak Prescott’s return to the Star has been one of those highlights as his presence has an infectious feel to it. The reports out of OTA’s and minicamp have been positive from the participation levels to the overall vibe. The Cowboys players didn’t like how things went down last season and if I were a betting man, I’d wager that they are grinding to get things back on track. We often hear about how much of a leader Dak Prescott is but more than ever, it was seen in camp this year. Prescott has been seen working out with Right Tackle La’el Collins and Amari Cooper, the former who is coming back from a hip injury that knocked him out of the 2020 season and was sorely missed as the offensive line fell to pieces because of further injuries to the unit.
Collins had a variety of obstacles that made his 2020 season murky. From reporting to camp reportedly out of shape, being placed on IR ahead of the start of the regular season, the car accident… you get the point. To see Collins get back on track, with Prescott leading the way with action and not just words is just what a good leader does. And like I said before, it’s infectious.
Another person that seems to be taking the offseason seriously is Ezekiel Elliott.
I’ve highlighted before how last season wasn’t up to the standard that Elliott would likely hold himself to. Elliott, like Collins, had to deal with a mound of obstacles last season that could contribute to his underperformance in 2020. While some may not want to hear the “excuses” on Elliott’s behalf, it looks like Elliott has been listening. He’s hit the ground running in his offseason workouts and is reportedly looking more elusive, quicker, and faster. Even Prescott noted Elliott’s work ethic, recently telling reporters:
“Zeke looks great… He’s in the best shape of his life — looking fast. Everybody’s seen the clips of him working out independently with his running back coach. His cuts, just how explosive he is.
Excited to have a full year with him again and getting him healthy throughout the whole season. When Zeke’s healthy and Zeke’s doing his thing, he’s the best running back in the league. It’s just exciting to see him in the best shape of his life, or [at least the] best shape he’s been in the NFL. That’s going to be special for us moving forward.”~ Dak Prescott
If these reports hold, Elliott could be looking at a resurgence like none other, and much to the chagrin of those that have written Elliott off was washed after just one “down season” in his career. Let’s not forget that Elliott still managed to finished 11th in rushing yards despite everything going wrong that season, including his fumbling. If I was a betting man, I’d wager that Elliott was just as disappointed in his performance last season.
Then there’s CeeDee Lamb. Lamb was not only an exceptional pickup by the Cowboys but he gelled with Prescott quickly without much of an offseason which highlights just how talented this kid is. To make even more of an impression on this, Lamb barely scratched the surface on his talent. Over the first four weeks with Prescott under center, Lamb was on pace for 1,236 receiving yards. That would have put him directly behind breakout wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Lamb was averaging just over 77 yards a game while seeing 7.3 targets. Lamb was on his way until Dak Prescott went down with the ankle injury against the Giants. Dak Prescott knows that Lamb is poised to blow up in the Cowboy’s offense.
“My expectations are super-high… I’m so excited for CeeDee. … He’s a special playmaker that we’re privileged to have and he’ll be big-time and definitely have a breakout season.”
Talk about an endorsement. Dak Prescott is seeing his guys put in the work and is taking the lead by being at the Star during his rehab and now should be cleared ahead of training camp to boot (no pun intended). Having Prescott back out there with the Cowboys is something the team needed whether they realized it or not. Prescott is proving to not only be the support the team needs but establishing just how valuable he is to the Cowboys when he’s available. The team responds to Prescott and that’s one of the key things a leader needs when working within a team.