It's been a while since we've visited three quick topics in this space. So, so much to talk about regarding these Dallas Cowboys:
- Having Dak's back
- A full class?
- Undrafted rookie to watch
we shouldn't forget Dak's last two weeks of December when discussing this Andy Dalton signing.
Yes, Prescott has been remarkably durable through four NFL seasons. He has never missed a start in 67 games, counting playoffs. He has only missed 73 snaps, period, all due to rest, either because the Cowboys were winning comfortably or getting blown out or essentially had nothing to play for. Of those 73 missed snaps, 41 came in the 2016 regular-season finale at Philadelphia when the Cowboys already had homefield advantage clinched.
Prescott is 26 years old and built like a battle tank. That's one of many reasons the Cowboys want to sign him to a long-term deal. They also want to protect their investment, and their season, in the event of injury. The best way to do that is acquire a Pro Bowl-caliber backup.
Prescott has taken his share of hits in four years. He has always gone right back to the huddle. But he's not exempt from injury. A sprained shoulder hindered his preparation the final two weeks of last season as the Cowboys' playoff hopes hung in the balance. You can argue that physically he wasn't limited in their Week 16 loss at Philly – a virtual division title game squandered – but the lack of practice time might have affected his rhythm.
The Cowboys hope he never misses a snap. But they couldn't pass up the chance to get Dalton as injury insurance. He's a three-time Pro Bowler who has quarterbacked five playoff teams in Cincinnati. He's the most accomplished backup quarterback, still in his prime, that the Cowboys have brought in since Bernie Kosar in 1993. And, with 133 career starts, he's another experienced voice that Prescott can lean on. "I think it gives me a chance to come to a new place, a chance to learn, to help Dak out any way I can," he told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
there's a distinct possibility all seven draft picks make the active roster – and that would be somewhat rare.
The rookies have to earn it, of course. There's a long way to go before the season opener. But it's not hard to envision a role for all seven guys.
The first four picks – wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs, defensive tackle Neville Gallimore and cornerback Reggie Robinson II – all figure to play early. The Cowboys traded back into the fourth round to draft Tyler Biadasz because they think he can develop into a starting center at some point. Fifth-rounder Bradlee Anae is talented enough to be in the rotation at defensive end right away.
The biggest question is probably seventh-rounder Ben DiNucci. The Cowboys just signed Dalton to back up Prescott, and they haven't kept three quarterbacks on the active roster the last two seasons. But Cooper Rush is now a Giant, and DiNucci has a chance if he shows out. Plus, the new collective bargaining agreement allows for 55 active-roster players, up from 53, which means two practice squad players are eligible to be called up each week.
What would it mean if every draft pick made the team? Well, that hasn't happened since 2013 and the seven-man class led by Travis Frederick and Terrance Williams. In fact, it has happened only six times in Dallas since the NFL Draft went to a seven-round format: 2013, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2001, 2000.
I Have No Idea…
how the rest of the receiver depth chart will shake out past Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Lamb. But keep an eye on undrafted rookie Kendrick Rogers.
Yes, I'm an Aggie. Yes, I like to see Texas A&M players find success in the league. I assure you this take is based on familiarity, not bias.
A couple years ago I watched Rogers nearly beat eventual national champ Clemson by himself with seven catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns on a barrage of jump balls. He didn't match that production week to week – he posted 68 catches and 7 touchdowns in 38 games for A&M.
But teams are looking for traits late in the draft and in college free agency. Rogers has terrific size (6-4, 210) and proved he could play against the toughest defense in the country. Reminds me of when Noah Brown – another big, physical receiver prospect coming out of Ohio State – scored four touchdowns against Oklahoma. The Cowboys drafted Brown in the seventh round in 2017. Rogers has a very interesting skill set for an undrafted player.