Great financial power spawns great performance-level expectations, which Dak Prescott is ready to shatter.
In response to a tweet from Cowboys teammate Ezekiel Elliott, the franchise-tagged quarterback declared, “Our best ball is yet to come.”
The NFL saw Prescott’s best ball in 2019 when the two-time Pro Bowler set career highs with 4,902 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, gaudy numbers that were overshadowed by Dallas’ disappointing 8-8 record.
Prescott was the league’s second-leading passer. Elliott was the fourth-leading rusher, tallying 1,357 yards and 12 rushing TDs on 301 carries. The Cowboys’ offense ranked first in yards per game, second in air yards, fifth in ground yards and sixth in scoring.
That, with Jason Garrett — since fired — calling the shots.
Garrett’s head-coaching and offensive-coordinating replacement, Mike McCarthy, is primed to further maximize an established and explosive unit that only improved this offseason following the addition of first-round rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.
Who, by the way, believes the supercharged club can average 40 (!) points an outing.
“Oh yeah, that’s definitely achievable,” Lamb said after he was drafted.
McCarthy plans to leave most of the terminology unchanged, easing the transition from Garrett and providing all-important continuity for Prescott and Co. He also tapped ex-tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier as the new QBs coach and brought in former Packers OC Joe Philbin as the offensive line coach.
The retention of play-caller Kellen Moore, who revitalized the passing attack with his creative schemes, got the hype train going, full steam ahead.
“Between us, we can take this offense forward another step,” McCarthy said in January, per ESPN.
Prescott, in particular, is banking on an encore of last year’s success. Playing on the one-year, $31.4 million tender, and thus scheduled to hit free agency next March, he can parlay the short-term windfall into long-term wealth.
And as Dak goes, so do the Cowboys.
“Defense gets teams to the Super Bowl, quarterbacks win Super Bowls,” McCarthy said in February, adding that Prescott “can get that done,” according to The Athletic.
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Elliott Calls Out Media, Wants ‘Respect on My Name’
Zeke never responded to Prescott’s tweet — not from a team perspective, anyway — but he, too, is plenty motivated ahead of the 2020 campaign.
Earlier this week, the two-time NFL rushing champ launched into a lengthy Twitter rant, putting on blast those who sully his game, such as those who classify him as the sport’s 11th-best RB.
“There are a lot of great backs in this league but I don’t understand why the media has to talk down on my game just to uplift other backs,” Elliott tweeted. “We all are talented football players and can ball.”
“Check the stats. Since I entered this league I have dominated year in, year out. Put some RESPECT on my name,” he demanded.
Across 56 career Cowboys appearances, Elliott has logged 1,169 attempts for 5,405 rushing yards and 40 TDs, and 189 catches for 1,619 receiving yards and eight TDs.
According to CBS Sports, he’s just the third player in league history to notch at least 7,000 yards from scrimmage, 40 rush TDs, and 150 receptions through his first four professional seasons, joining Hall-of-Famers Terrell Davis and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL