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|Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:19:40 am Post subject: sides, either side.
|Dak Prescott dealt with the uncertainty of running back Ezekiel Elliott's looming six-game suspension last year when the Dallas Cowboys slid from an NFC-best 13 wins to out of the playoffs.
Now the star quarterback faces the unknown of a revamped and largely unproven group of receivers after the departures of Jason Witten and Dez Bryant.
Elliott Dion Dawkins Jersey , Prescott's fellow rookie standout from two years ago, is the supposed sure thing for a team looking up in the NFC East at defending Super Bowl champ Philadelphia.
Cole Beasley is the leader of the pass-catchers simply by having the longest Dallas tenure. The Cowboys have high hopes for newcomer Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup, the first receiver drafted by the club (third round) after dumping franchise touchdown catch leader Bryant in a cost-cutting move.
"They're very hungry guys," Prescott said. "They're guys that you may not necessarily know their names, but that's what they want. They want to get out there and make those plays, let people know that they can play and they can play at a high level."
Elliott ended up serving the suspension over domestic violence allegations halfway through last season, triggering a three-game losing streak that was too much to overcome in the tight NFC playoff race.
Throw in the retirement of Tony Romo last year spurred by the sudden emergence of Prescott, and the team's three most important offensive players for a decade have been replaced by Elliott, the 2016 rushing champion http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/zach-brown-jersey , and his backfield mate, that year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
"It just shows how fast time goes and how quick things can change, but I think we're both ready to embrace this leadership role," said Elliott, who still led the NFL in yards rushing per game last season. "We're excited for this year to come."
Some story lines with the Cowboys seeking a third straight winning season for the first time since the last of five straight in 2009:
The Cowboys have been offense-first just about every year since coach Jason Garrett joined the staff as offensive coordinator in 2007. If the preseason is any indication, Dallas might feed off its defense for once.
DeMarcus Lawrence, who tied for second in the NFL with 14陆 sacks last season, leads a pass rush that's gaining momentum. Linebacker Sean Lee is ready to be a face for the franchise with Witten gone. Starting cornerbacks Byron Jones and Chidobe Awuzie head a batch of young potential playmakers in the secondary.
"I don't like to get ahead of ourselves 鈥?we have to put the stats down and the wins and the turnovers," Lee said.
"Until we do that Jeff Heath Jersey , we can't say anything. When it comes to the right group of guys, guys who love to work and are talented, it's as good a group as I've worked with."
UNCERTAINTY AT CENTER
Four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick is out indefinitely after getting diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome , a disorder that attacks the nervous system. His absence raises a big question with the other part of the Elliott formula: a vaunted offensive line.
Right guard Zack Martin injured a knee in the preseason, but expects to be ready for the opener Sept. 9 at Carolina.
Left tackle Tyron Smith has battled back issues the past few seasons. Joe Looney is set to step in for Frederick, and the Cowboys have a rookie at left guard in second-round pick Connor Williams.
While Lee anchors the linebackers, Jaylon Smith has the Cowboys encouraged about his continuing recovery from a devastating knee injury in his final college game. He missed his rookie year while rehabbing and struggled with consistency last season.
Smith is playing without a brace this year and believes he has regained the form that made him a potential top-10 pick coming out of Notre Dame. First-round pick Leighton Vander Esch missed the latter part of training camp with a groin injury, but is expected to contribute as a rookie.
THICK AND THIN
Depth will be a strength with pass rushing if Randy Gregory and David Irving can overcome substance-abuse suspensions and contribute a few sacks apiece. Gregory was suspended all of last season, but has looked promising at camp. Irving is opening the season with a four-game suspension for the second year in a row.
The Cowboys are dangerously thin at safety. Jeff Heath is the only healthy player with significant experience. Xavier Woods (hamstring) and Kavon Frazier (shoulder) were injured in consecutive weeks in the preseason. Woods might miss the opener http://www.washingtonredskinsteamonline.com/rob-kelley-jersey , while Frazier says he will play.
The Rams have Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters at cornerback, Nickell Robey-Coleman at slot corner and John Johnson and Lamarcus Joyner at safety. Offensive coordinators and quarterbacks who face the Rams should be quaking at the thought.
鈥淣ot only the two corners, our two safeties are outstanding players and they can cover man to man,鈥?Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said, via Myles Simmons of the team website. 鈥淪o, it gives you so many possibilities to double cover somebody and put the pressure on one of those guys to cover his guy by himself.鈥?
Phillips started Talib and Chris Harris at corner and T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart at safety in the Broncos’ Super Bowl victory over the Panthers. On paper, the Rams secondary looks even better.
With a defensive line featuring Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, Phillips will have plenty of options to attack offenses.
鈥淸I]t opens up a lot of things for you to play,” Phillips said. “I mean Sherrick McManis Jersey , I can think of a lot of things to play, but I haven鈥檛 always had the players to play those coverages and so forth, and these guys can. So we鈥檝e got a lot of versatility there and we can put pressure, we can match up guys. Both corners can play both sides, either side. And Robey鈥檚 a tremendous nickel-inside player, and the two safeties are outstanding.鈥?
The Rams finished 13th in pass defense last season. They expect to be even better this season.
鈥淚鈥檇 be surprised,鈥?Phillips said, 鈥渋f we weren鈥檛 really good on pass defense.鈥?/p> Womens Mike McGlinchey Jersey