Making a “Dak Friendly” offense starts with Dak Prescott

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 30: Dak Prescott /

The Dallas Cowboys have pledged to make their offense more “Dak Friendly” this offseason. But what exactly does that mean?

For years, the Dallas Cowboys spent countless amounts of energy, draft picks and money to build a team around their franchise quarterback, Tony Romo. But just as it appeared the Cowboys were finally ready to make a Super Bowl run, injuries caught up to the aging Romo.

But in 2016, a fourth round pick in quarterback Dak Prescott took advantage of the team built for Romo and lead the Cowboys at a 13-3 record behind an 11-game winning streak, earning Dallas a first week bye in the playoffs and a bid in the divisional round.

Unfortunately, the Cowboys struggled in Prescott’s second season due to injuries, suspensions, free agency and inconsistent play. Now, heading into the young quarterback’s third season, Dallas’ front office has vowed to make this offense more “Dak Friendly”.

But what exactly does that mean? Well, one longtime Cowboys insider spelled it out recently …

"” … Dak Friendly is not having the running back who wins the NFL rushing title the year before suspended for six games of the final eight games of the season,” wrote columnist Micky Spagnola on “Dak Friendly is having receivers quit dropping passes, especially into interceptions. And Dak Friendly is protecting the poor guy in the pocket when he drops back to pass. Pretty simple, to me.”"

Pretty simple in thought perhaps, but difficult in execution. Prescott doesn’t have the football intelligence, experience or accuracy of Romo at this point in his young career. And there is a severe lack of connection with his wide receiver corps that seemed to only get worse in their second full season together.

Having the team’s most valuable player, running back Ezekiel Elliott, on the field for the entire season will surely help. But don’t forget, despite having Zeke in the lineup, the Cowboys still lost three of their first five games in 2017. So having Elliott available isn’t enough.

Secondly, unless Dallas intends to do a complete platoon swap of their receiving corps, Prescott will be stuck with most of the same personnel they had last season. One or two new pieces will not be enough to turn this group around. Both Prescott and his existing receivers will need to work more to build chemistry.

Finally, creating a “Dak Friendly” offense certainly involves the offensive line. But the Cowboys already possess one of the best O-Lines in football. Most other NFL quarterbacks would love to have this unit in front of them. Although Dallas will attempt to shore up there issues in 2018, Prescott himself must learn to make quicker reads, move in the pocket better and make more protection adjustments under center.

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Bottom line: Perhaps the biggest responsibility for making the Dallas Cowboys offense more “Dak Friendly” in 2018 is on Dak Prescott himself. The young quarterback did more with less his first season in Dallas, and took a step back in 2017. Now, the 24-year old must learn from his mistakes and really work to improve his game this offseason. As his development improves, so will the team.