Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Leighton Vander Esch, and Byron Jones, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
The Dallas Cowboys have fifteen former Pro Bowlers and nine former All-Pros on the team. Which players will win honors this year?
Last week, I wrote a column about current Dallas Cowboys who’ve been to the Pro Bowl and/or were All-Pro at some point in their careers. The point was to use that statistic as one benchmark for how good the Cowboys can be in the coming season. 15 current players have been Pro Bowlers and nine have been All-Pros at one time or another, so that looks pretty good.
But at the end of the column, I more or less promised to follow that up with a prediction for how many Cowboys would earn one of those honors this coming season (assuming said season takes place). Well, here I am, fulfilling my words, making good on my pledge, and all that jazz.
I’m not going to repeat everything I said last week, but I think it would help to list which current Cowboys were Pro Bowlers and All-Pros in 2019, because they’re obviously the most likely guys to reach that level again this year.
2019 Cowboy Pro Bowlers:
– Ezekiel Elliott (running back)
– Amari Cooper (wide receiver)
– Tyron Smith (tackle)
– Zack Martin (guard)
– Jaylon Smith (linebacker)
Of those players, only Zack Martin was an All-Pro in 2019.
Before I make any predictions, let me give the following disclaimer: I’m neither an oracle nor a prophet. I’m simply saying what I think is likely and/or possible. Having said that, I’ll start off by assuming that any player who appeared in the Pro Bowl last year, has a good chance in the coming year.
That yields us five players: Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and Jaylon Smith. (I’ll circle back to All-Pro later). In addition, I think the following have a very good chance to make the Pro Bowl this year:
– Dak Prescott: The Cowboys starting quarterback wasn’t in the Pro Bowl in 2019, but he did appear in the honor game the previous year and 2016, his rookie year. With four years in the league, he’s appeared in football’s big Who’s Who game every other year, and since he didn’t appear last year, you do the math.
But there’s more to it than that. Last year, Prescott threw for 4902 yards, the second-most in the league, and came within a single yard of tying Tony Romo’s team record of 4903 yards in 2012.
Plus, his completion percentage was 65 percent, and his quarterback rating was 99.7, according to Fox Sports. These are very good numbers, and place him solidly in the top ten signal callers in the league.
In fact, Prescott was so good at the beginning of the season, he was in the conversation for league MVP for the first few months. All this while working with a first-year offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore, and weathering the storm raging around since-fired head coach Jason Garrett.
Now in 2020, Prescott will be working with new head coach Mike McCarthy, the quarterback whisperer behind Hall of Famer Brett Favre and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers. Plus, he’s also going to have the universally praised Moore back with more experience, and first-round draft choice receiver CeeDee Lamb, in addition to another Pro Bowl pass catcher, Amari Cooper. So, do I think Prescott has a good chance to see the inside of the Pro Bowl in 2020. Uh, yeah, I do.