Voluntary Offseason Program A Chance For Young Cowboys To Keep Building

FRISCO, Texas– Coming off arguably the best rookie season by any quarterback in NFL history, Dak Prescott isn't taking this offseason lightly.

The 23-year-old starting quarterback knows he must improve if the Cowboys are to take a step past January's NFC divisional round.

"Anytime you've had the success that I had in one year, obviously my first year, I expect things to get harder," he told reporters last Saturday at 105.3 The Fan's annual MudBug Bash. "I wouldn't want it any other way. I know that defenses got more looks at me, so they're going to throw things at me, but I'm excited for all of it. I'm excited for the challenge."

See photos from the first official team activities of the 2017 season.

Prescott and his teammates can begin working toward that goal together this week as the Cowboys' voluntary offseason program begins. The league has divided the program into three phases:

Phase One – the first two weeks – permits only strength, conditioning and rehab work with strength and conditioning coaches.
Phase Two includes three weeks of on-field individual and team work on a "separates" basis, though live-contact offense vs. defense are not permitted.
Phase Three lasts four weeks and includes up to 10 days of non-live organized team activities (OTAs) set for May 23-25, May 30-31, June 1, June 5-7.

The only mandatory portion is a three-day veteran minicamp scheduled for June 13-15. Head coach Jason Garrett has said each year that the voluntary workouts have had near full attendance, though.

It's a chance for the players to set the groundwork for training camp in July – and for second-year players in particular to continue their development. Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys' 2016 rookie class didn't start their work until after the draft last May.

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