The Dallas Cowboys haven’t advanced past the Divisional Round since Emmitt Smith was taking handoffs from Troy Aikman — 25 years ago.
Smith, a Hall of Famer, has every reason to doubt the franchise’s return to prominence, considering they’ve been buried in football purgatory for the last two decades. But he’s of the opposite mindset, strongly believing the current Cowboys outfit, buoyed by Dak Prescott, can march to the NFC title game.
“No doubt. No doubt. No doubt,” Smith said on 105.3 The Fan when asked if Prescott is good enough to carry Dallas to the Super Bowl. “I believe he is. And I think he’s getting better. I think he has so much more room to grow and I think he’ll get there. I think overall, we have a lot of the pieces of the puzzle in place. It’s a matter now of making sure … the key to any team is, essentially, developing the chemistry, which you definitely need.”
Judging by the ever-increasing Dak vitriol emanating from the fan base, his public stock taking a massive hit, one wouldn’t expect the 26-year-old to lead the Cowboys to greatness, following in Aikman’s inimitable footsteps. It’s a trope not limited to the local market; just ask Joe Theismann how he feels.
However, it isn’t a stretch to predict a deep Cowboys run this coming winter — a run predicated on Prescott, who finished second in the NFL in passing yards and set a new career high with 30 touchdown tosses last season. The odds are in his favor, literally.
According to Caesar’s Palace sportsbook, Prescott has the third-best odds to become the league’s Most Valuable Player for the 2020 campaign, trailing only Kansas City QB Patrick Mahomes and Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson.
Which, too, isn’t entirely implausible given his overwhelmingly talented supporting cast featuring the likes of Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and multiple Pro Bowl offensive linemen.
“If they can get to that level and develop that chemistry in this timeframe which they have to work with, then I think you will Dak not only flourish and grow, I think you see that team mature and rally behind their quarterback because he has had some challenges this offseason dealing with the loss of his brother as well as this pandemic and other things that have crept up. I think he’ll be fine. I love the kid. No doubt, I think he’ll be fine,” Smith concluded.
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Smith Speaks on Dak’s Contract Status
Similar to Donovan McNabb, Smith thinks the Cowboys should bite the bullet and hand Prescott his much-sought-after megadeal.
The legendary running back claimed he’s not surprised by a lack of resolution between the sides but urged the organization to avoid “playing chicken” with its cornerstone signal-caller.
“If you understand the business of leverage, when you have leverage then you try to set the rules,” Smith said on 105.3 The Fan. “And the only way you fight leverage is you fight it by establishing your ground and I think at some point this stuff will subside and it’s not that important right now. … It’s important to press people that need something to talk about because you don’t have much to talk about because we don’t have camps and minicamps and so forth. And now we’re talking about pandemic left and right, 24-7, seven days a week, however you look at it. So you look for something to discuss, but as far as the players go, Dak is not worried whether or not he’s going to get signed. I’m not even concerned. I believe he will get it done. And I believe the Cowboys will get it done because we don’t have room to be playing games or playing chicken.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL