Prescott: Cowboys offense ‘in a much better place’ than one year ago, thanks to one thing

Prescott: Cowboys offense ‘in a much better place’ than one year ago, thanks to one thing

Last year’s 1,000-yard rusher is gone, replaced by the guy who had been deemed totally expendable just twelve months prior. The veteran receiver who had turned contested catches into an art form also departed during the offseason. The eight-time Pro Bowl blindside blocker has left the building, too, same as his linemate who had touched the ball on essentially every play for the past four seasons; their combined 40% of the offensive line will now be manned by fresh-faced rookies yet to play a single snap in the NFL.

There’s almost no one who thinks the Cowboys offense is improved over 2023…

Except the guy who runs it on Sundays.

“We’re in a much better place right now than we were a year ago at this time,” quarterback Dak Prescott told reporters this week at The Star.

That curious assessment comes despite four talented starters- Tony Pollard, Michael Gallup, Tyron Smith, and Tyler Biadasz- all wearing different uniforms this season.

“You don’t win games with just talent,” Prescott rebutted. “And you don’t win games on paper, and talent’s really not decided on paper.”

A Cowboys offense that’s even more potent than 2023’s unit would be something of a September surprise. Last year, Dallas led the league in touchdowns, total points, and first downs and finished top-five in passing yards, total yards, and ball security (turnovers).

So even though more than a third of the faces in the huddle will be different, Prescott says one thing that’s even more important is, in fact, carrying over from last season.

“Second year in Mike [McCarthy]’s offense,” he explained. “Last year at this time was the first time you’re hearing these things. You’re on the 500-level now, you know what I mean? You’re talking these plays in particular game situations, down and distances and not just the breaks, the alignments, and things like that. We’re getting into the nuts and bolts of the thing.

“It’s Year Two of anything … you’re a lot better, a lot more confident in it.”

Early reports suggest that certainly seems to be the case for Prescott, who McCarthy said is thus far having the best offseason program yet during his time as Cowboys head coach.

“My focus is on getting better,” Prescott confirmed, “getting better overall, in every way that I can, every aspect of my game, and making sure I push the other people around me.”

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After just two days of minicamp practices, Prescott says the improvement is noticeable.

“Being more comfortable with the footwork. Guys- the receivers around me- their second year in it; they’re more comfortable, they’re more confident. Things are just faster off the line: from the huddle, through the play, to the scramble drill when a play doesn’t work.”

With the third day of minicamp reserved for a private team event rather than on-the-field work, the next time Prescott & Co. will run a play together is July, when the Cowboys reconvene in Oxnard, Calif. for training camp.

That, of course, will be the beginning of the final run-up to a critically important 2024 regular season. With the futures of Prescott, his most experienced running back, his two primary receiving targets, and the entire Cowboys coaching staff currently unguaranteed for next year, the quarterback’s optimism regarding his unit’s stealthy upgrade had better be spot-on.

“It’s about just making sure these guys are getting better,” Prescott said. “We all understand the urgency of us improving.”

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire