Cowboys 4 Downs: Regular Season Storylines to Watch

With the NFL regular season kicking off Thursday, teams are making their final cuts and preparing for a championship run. One of those teams, the Dallas Cowboys, enter with a lot of momentum after signing stalwarts Jaylon Smith, La’el Collins, and star running back Ezekiel Elliott to long term deals. However, there are two notable players without deals and a whole host of questions heading into the season. Here are our top four.


1. Dak Prescott Contract Situation 

ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 19: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys during a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium on August 19, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

With Rams quarterback Jarred Goff inking a four year, 134 million dollar contract with a record 110 million dollars guaranteed many are wondering where this leaves Prescott. If you are a believer in him as a franchise quarterback then you are asking where is his money. If you are in the not so sure camp you’re getting pretty nervous. Prescott has said he wants 40 million dollars a year and one has to wonder if he’s worth it? Is Goff worth what he got? Is owner Jerry Jones willing to shell out more big bucks after making Elliott the highest-paid running back in the league? Would the Cowboys be better off franchise tagging him? All questions will be answered as the season progresses.

2. Is the Defense For Real?

Fresh off a 34-0 shutout of the Houston Texans in week three of the preseason there were many who were quick to point to this as a sign of things to come. Sure the unit boasts one of the best pass rushers in the league in DeMarcus Lawrence and arguably the best linebacking core as well in Leighton Vander Esch, Sean Lee and Smith. Logic would like you to believe that a young secondary from a year ago would take the next step rounding out a solid unit from a year ago. However, the other three preseason games might have shown otherwise. Jourdan Lewis still struggled in spots and the defense still had trouble getting off the field on third downs. The growth of the secondary will determine a lot about the unit as will…

3. Can Taco Charlton Build off Strong Preseason?

For many fans, Charlton’s preseason was finally seeing what all the hype was when he was drafted two years ago from Michigan. He showed flashes of dominance and looked like he could be a force next to Lawrence terrorizing quarterbacks. How he builds off of it will go a long way. There are players who can’t take their production from the preseason to the regular season. Let’s see where he falls.

4. Can Kellen Moore Solve Redzone Woes?

I will say from what I saw the Cowboys in the RedZone looked better. Sure there were way too many field goals against the 49ers but I also saw more redzone touchdowns then I expected. With Elliott back and a RedZone threat in tight end Jason Witten back hope is there will be more six’s then three’s on the board. My biggest critisizm last season was the conservative playcalling and the sheer dependency on Elliott. If Prescott is to get the money he is asking for he must deliver more touchdown drives and it’ll be interesting to see if Moore gives him the opportunity to do so.

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