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Mailbag: Maximizing Dak Prescott’s Potential?

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I think it's great that Dak has such a top-notch clutch gene, and I'm excited for the Cowboys’ future with him under center. How, though, does the team go about helping him make his quality of performance in the clutch spread into the first 3/4 of the game? Or is that the $64M question? - MICHAEL MCCOWN / FRANKFURT, GERMANY

Bryan: There are those that believe the reason Prescott has to be clutch is exactly what you said -- he’s not good early in games. I don’t know what direction they’re going when it comes to Cole Beasley. If he departs that’s a big hole to fill, but there are options both in free agency and draft. Having Travis Frederick will also help along with a stronger Connor Williams. Kellen Moore is going to have plenty to work with and it will be his job to make sure Prescott plays well in the early part of these games.

Rob: I just don’t think it’s accurate to say he’s only a fourth-quarter player. He’s made and missed throws in the first quarter, the second, third, fourth and overtime. I don’t have stats to back this up, but it seemed like the offense (the passing game in particular) picked up steam in some of those up-tempo situations. Maybe that’s something they look at with Kellen Moore in the coordinator role. Overall, yes, Dak has things to improve on, but he’s doing something right if he’s putting his team in position to win games in the clutch. In the final 11 games with Amari Cooper in the lineup he doubled his passing touchdown total (16) and completed 70 percent of his passes.

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Why is everyone looking for the Cowboys to get D-Line help in the draft and free agency? Our defense was not our problem this year! Our offense was stagnant to say the least. Seems to me we need red zone help and OL help more than anything. Am I wrong? - WHITNEY SHOFFNER / SPRINGFIELD, MO

Bryan: Not wrong, but as good as the defense played for you last season, it was clear that there were depth issues on that line. They weren’t good enough against the Colts or Rams, and with a more difficult schedule this season that line will be tested. They need to draft/sign a tackle or two.

Rob: I agree that the defense was the team’s most consistent group. They’re better than their performance against the Rams, but in that loss it was clear they could use more depth inside to help Antwaun Woods, Maliek Collins and Tyrone Crawford. Woods in particular played a ton of snaps at nose tackle. They need someone else in that rotation who can be disruptive.

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