The Dallas Cowboys have been enjoying some solid seasons under the sure-handed guidance of quarterback Dak Prescott since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft.
The two-time Pro Bowler has accumulated 22,083 passing yards and 143 touchdowns through the air in his six seasons with the Cowboys and he is expected again to help lead them to great heights in the coming seasons.
However, the offseason saw them lose a vaunted wide receiver in the form of Amari Cooper when they dealt him to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round pick and a swap of sixth-round picks in the 2022 NFL draft.
Currently, the Cowboys’ wide receiver depth looks like this:
- CeeDee Lamb
- Michael Gallup
- T.J. Vasher
- Simi Fehoko
- Noah Brown
- James Washington
- Brandon Smith
- KaVontae Turpin
- Dontario Drummond (rookie)
- Jalen Tolbert (rookie)
- Ty Fryfogle (rookie)
- Dennis Houston (rookie)
Lamb is still expected to be the main man with Cooper out of the picture, but the question now is who will serve as his main running mate.
Washington is out for possibly up to 10 weeks due to a broken foot during training camp while Gallup is expected to miss the start of the regular season as he works his way back from an ACL tear.
For Prescott, his wide receiver group was suddenly thinned out and it will be up to him again to make the magic work.
“I know being the quarterback of this team, I know being a quarterback of whatever team you are, what's expected. In your role and responsibility, when you have young guys you have to do that,” said Prescott as quoted by Fox Sports.
“These guys have the mentality, and they hear a lot of this. They want to come in, and they want to make these plays, and they want to be there for their teammates in whatever role it is — big or small, they're going to do their best,"
Tolbert is expected to slot alongside Lamb on opening night as the Cowboys selected him with their third-round pick and Lamb was very complimentary of his skills.
The upcoming season is going to be a struggle for Prescott since he will be expected to carry their youngsters for much of it.
However, it is also an opportunity for Prescott to show that he is worthy of being seen as an elite quarterback.
In late July, The Athletic put out the quarterback tiers for the 2022 NFL season and Prescott was placed in Tier 2 alongside the likes of Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Lamar Jackson.
“A Tier 2 quarterback can carry his team sometimes but not as consistently. He can handle pure passing situations in doses and/or possesses other dimensions that are special enough to elevate him above Tier 3. He has a hole or two in his game,” Mike Sando wrote.
If Prescott can lead his thin receiver group to great success this season, there is going to be no doubt that the opinion of him and the Cowboys will be more positive.