The Turn of An Era: The Dallas Cowboys’ Rookies

This is something we’ve seen far too many times in Dallas, TX. Tony Romo is injured and the Cowboys have to play a significant portion of the season without him. The past weekend just smelled like a loss waiting to happen without not only Romo, but also veterans like Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith, and Orlando Scandrick.

The offense and defense were missing their leaders, but somehow this young and seemingly deep Cowboys team changed the recent trend and out-performed the San Francisco 49ers 24-17 and improved their record to 3-1.

This has been an unbelievable start for both of Dallas’ coveted rookies, Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot. At the combined age of 44, these two are playing like seasoned veterans. Prescott has looked like a quarterback that’s played in multiple playoff games since the first time he stepped on the field as a Cowboy back in the preseason.

Elliot is on fire. Future Hall of Famer.

Elliot started off very slowly, probably because he didn’t really have a preseason but he’s made up for that…he’s the leading rusher in the NFL with 412 yards and three touchdowns at just 21 years old. A 21-year-old, less than a year removed from college football, is the best running back in the league right now…by the numbers at least.

Can’t say this greatness wasn’t expected, but this early?

zeke-elliot-graphic

I was very excited and optimistic about him joining this offense during the summer, I also knew he’d be a great running back, one of the best one day.  However, I can’t say I saw this coming.

His athletic ability isn’t the only thing he’s advanced in for his age. His swagger on the field rivals elite veterans in the league. He immediately jumps up after every carry, good or bad and trots around like he’s simply the best on the field.

Would it be a smarter decision to continue starting Prescott?

Yes, that’s hard to say, but yes. Tony Romo is 36 years old, and let’s face it. He’s fragile. With Prescott being a rookie, playing on the big stage and at a high level, it would be wise to just keep the ball rolling the same way and in the same direction. This is in no way a shot towards Romo’s ability but Dak Prescott is undoubtedly the future of the Cowboys and I think Tony would agree with that.

“Well it’s Tony Romo’s team. As long as he’s able to play, and playing at a high level when healthy, he should be the starter.”

When I walked around UCO’s campus, running a poll on sports fan’s opinion on this topic, this is what someone said to me. 

My response is yes, this team belongs to Tony Romo. He’s earned it. But at the same time, you have to look towards the future. You have to look at (your) team and what is best for them. When I look at his (Tony’s) team, I see an entire group of guys that bought into Dak Prescott. He has this offense clicking on all cylinders. He’s like a younger, less injury-prone version of Tony Romo, so why not? Why risk jeopardizing Tony’s health when the team is in good hands? Keep Dak in and let Romo be his mentor and a secret weapon for the Cowboys. 

Prescot has yet to throw an interception in 131 games, the most pass attempts by a rookie without an INT to begin an NFL career. He’s thrown for 1012 yards, completing 89-of-131 passes, for three touchdowns. His completion percentage is knocking on 70 percent at 67.9 and his QB rating is 98.5. If you did the math, you’d also see where he’s averaging 253 yards passing per game, in a dominant running offense. This is something Prescott still manages to do even with Dez Bryant underachieving. His number one receiver is Cole Beasley. The 5’8, 180-pound receiver from Little Elm, TX.

Sometimes it’s hard to watch change. But Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot aren’t only the future of the Dallas Cowboys but appear to be the future of the NFL, which makes the Cowboys offense an elite force for years to come.

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