Cowboys News: Dak Prescott vs Matt Stafford debate, playing a 17-game slate

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So much brouhaha over one spot in a countdown. ESPN touched off a firestorm when it slotted Matthew Stafford over Dak Prescott in a recent ranking of NFL quarterbacks, and Cowboys Nation has thoughts. Meanwhile, NFL.com pays a backhanded compliment by calling Prescott the best passer… in the worst division for the position. Fans are wondering if a new Prescott backup is coming before training camp, and Prescott himself is showing off the new Nike cleats he’ll be endorsing. (Elsewhere, Dez Bryant showcases a pretty famous pair of cleats of his own.)

In other news, what would happen to the list of all-time sack leaders if they were an official stat prior to 1982? One outlet runs the numbers to find out. Also, dig in to what players can expect this 17-game season by looking to the eight men who have already done it. We’ve got player profiles of defenders Randy Gregory and Brent Urban, rookie Chauncey Golston could be a big-time sleeper, and there’s a bold prediction regarding rookie Osa Odighizuwa. Finally, a look at the remarkable career of tight end Mike Ditka and the integral role Tom Landry played in reinvigorating his Hall of Fame career.

Yes, Dak Prescott is a better quarterback than Matthew Stafford :: Blogging The Boys

Link When ESPN released its top 10 quarterback rankings on Monday, an uproar ensued when Los Angeles Rams signal-caller Matthew Stafford landed one spot ahead of Dak Prescott. It's an interesting comparison, but David Howman of Blogging The Boys breaks down how Prescott is superior to Stafford in several areas. -ML

Mailbag: Last minute QB addition before camp? :: The Mothership

Link The Cowboys have their guy at quarterback in Dak Prescott. However, with what was put on film by Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci in his absence last season, and the lack of NFL experience for Cooper Rush (only three career pass attempts), the backup role still has a question mark. David Helman and Nick Eatman explore if that spot on the roster will be addressed before training camp starts next week in Oxnard, California. Neither feels that is likely. -ML

Where do legendary Cowboys land on new pre-1982 sack statistics? :: Inside The Star

Link The NFL didn't start recording sacks until 1982. There's been plenty of discussions for decades, however, about where some all-time greats would rank if the league went back further to accumulate its totals. Well, Pro Football Reference has done just that, going back to 1960 to get its sack numbers. In this piece, Jess Haynie explores where several Cowboys greats like Harvey Martin, Randy White, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, and DeMarcus Ware rank with this new data. -ML

Elliott stays in top-10 of ESPN's running back rankings for 2021 :: Cowboys Wire

Link Ezekiel Elliott set the bar high for himself with two rushing titles in his first three seasons. 2020 was a disaster for Elliott, logging career lows in multiple categories. However, despite his setback from a year ago, he's still a top 10 player at the running back position, according to ESPN. -ML

Film room: 3 bold Cowboys predictions for 2021, including a surprising feat for one rookie :: Dallas Morning News

Link It's bold prediction time from John Owning. He thinks rookie Osa Odighizuwa will lead all his interior-line teammates in sacks and pressures, though he points out that may be more an indictment of the Cowboys' talent pool at the position than anything. Also, Owning calls his shots: CeeDee Lamb will top Amari Cooper in receiving yards for 2021, and Tyron Smith will miss no more than one game all season long. -TB

Eight players have already played a 17-game NFL season. One is Jerry Rice. And the others... :: Yahoo Sports

Link Every team in the NFL is about to experience a 17-game regular season. But eight men have already done it, having- in the middle of a season- left a team that hadn't yet had its bye week and gone right to a club whose week off had already passed. Among them, former Cowboys safety Will Allen, who was cut in 2013 after five games and then finished the season with Pittsburgh. “Playing 17 games in 17 weeks in your 10th season isn’t something I would recommend," Allen says. -TB

NFL training camps 2021: D'Wayne Eskridge and other NFC rookies picked after Day 1 who could earn key roles :: CBS Sports

Link Round One guys are expected to contribute heavily, but those mid- to late-round draft picks can be a hit-or-miss proposition. In this rundown of potential NFC sleepers, edge rusher Chauncey Golston is named the pick for Dallas. Though "a touch stiff as an athlete," Golston's time in Iowa's pro-style football program all but guarantees he'll "step in immediately and play like he's been in the league for a while." -TB

Randy Gregory's mind is clear, his schedule is full and the Cowboys are about to reap all the rewards :: Cowboys Wire

Link The 2021 season might be Randy Gregory's coming-out party. It's a long time coming for the 2015 second-round draft pick whose career has been derailed multiple times by various suspensions and injuries. It would also be a sweet payoff for the Cowboys organization that's been patient with him through it all. -TB

Ranking the eight NFL divisions by quarterback: West is best, East is least :: NFL.com

Link The NFC East continues to be the ugly stepchild of the league in the eyes of most analysts. In this latest countdown, Adam Schein focuses on quarterbacks. And while he admits to being "obsessed" with Dak Prescott, who he thinks "will put up MVP-type numbers, lead the Cowboys to a division title, and win in the playoffs," he views the other passers in the division poorly enough to slot the NFC East dead last. -TB

Dak Prescott shows off new Jordan cleats :: Dallas Cowboys (Twitter)

https://twitter.com/dallascowboys/status/1413607790157914121

Dez Bryant's 'Caught It' cleats make the rounds again on social media :: Dez Bryant (Twitter)

https://twitter.com/DezBryant/status/1414319331144519682

Cowboys signed DT Brent Urban on the cheap, need him to outwork his contract :: Cowboys Wire

Link The Cowboys weren't big spenders in free agency, but they're hoping to get a big-time return on the relatively modest investment they made to acquire defensive tackle Brent Urban. The journeyman has stayed mostly under the radar while playing for three teams over six seasons, but Dan Quinn will look to Urban to help improve the Cowboys' porous run defense. -TB

NFL 100: At No. 96, Mike Ditka ‘put the fear of God’ in NFL defenses :: The Athletic

Link He's best known as a Bears legend, but Mike Ditka spent four important seasons wearing the Cowboys star. As The Athletic profiles its best 100 players in NFL history, check out the integral role Tom Landry played in (perhaps inadvertently) giving the big tight end a shot of late-career motivation by telling Ditka he'd be just a backup in Dallas. He went on to become the "spiritual leader" of the squad that won Super Bowl VI. -TB

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