The Dallas Cowboys enter the 2019-20 season the reigning NFC East champs. That’s the one thing that’s 100 percent without question. What we don’t know is how the team will ultimately perform with the stars of the unit all trying to improve their futures by renegotiating their rookie contracts. Ezekiel Elliott isn’t the only one on an island in that respect. While Dak Prescott isn’t holding out, he’s still holding strong in hopes of getting paid what he believes his worth is to the franchise. Whether the game inside the game effects his overall play on the field at online sportsbooks remains to be seen, but just know his first three seasons running the Cowboys’ offense finds his outputs in line with Drew Brees’ career stats from a fantasy perspective.
Total Passing Yards: 3850.5
Total Passing TD: 25.5
The Cowboys offered Prescott a $30 million per year contract; he wants $40. Having averaged 3,625 passing yards and throwing at least 22 touchdowns his first three seasons, Dak is entering some unchartered territory here with the guys offshore challenging him to be even better. He’s suited up for all 48 of his possible regular season starts, and just led the team to their first playoff win with him running the show – pay the man! That aside, Prescott will have an incredibly tough time surpassing both futures odds offerings if Ezekiel Elliott doesn’t play or returns to the backfield well into the season. Dak might be the overall shot caller, but the offense revolves around Zeke being able to successfully get the ground game going. Jerry Jones can hype Tony Pollard all he wants, the team’s going nowhere without Zeke’s running prowess and he knows it!
Though not figured to play a prominent role in deciding the AFC’s opponent in Super Bowl LIV, the Cowboys are still expected to be a successful team in 2019-20. They’re 24-1 underdogs to win the big game, 11-1 dogs to win the NFC and sit only behind the Philadelphia Eagles on the futures odds in terms of the NFC East’s pecking order. Dallas won 10 regular season games a year ago and enters the new campaign with a 9-game win total. As top heavy the division looks to be on paper, Big D will have a say in how the playoffs shape up provided all the integral pieces to the puzzle are on the field and playing with one another.
Dallas Cowboys Football Schedule
Week 1: Giants at Cowboys, Sunday, September 8, 4:25 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 2: Cowboys at Redskins, Sunday, September 15, 1 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 3: Dolphins at Cowboys, Sunday, September 22, 1 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 4: Cowboys at Saints, Sunday, September 29, 8:20 p.m. ET - NBC
Week 5: Packers at Cowboys, Sunday, October 6, 4:25 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 6: Cowboys at Jets, Sunday, October 13, 4:25 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 7: Eagles at Cowboys, Sunday, October 20, 8:20 p.m. ET - NBC
Week 8: Bye Week
Week 9: Cowboys at Giants, Monday, November 4, 8:15 p.m. ET - ESPN
Week 10: Vikings at Cowboys, Sunday, November 10, 8:20 p.m. ET - NBC
Week 11: Cowboys at Lions, Sunday, November 17, 1 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 12: Cowboys at Patriots, Sunday, November 24, 4:25 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 13: Bills at Cowboys, Thursday, November 28, 4:30 p.m. ET - CBS
Week 14: Cowboys at Bears, Thursday, December 5, 8:20 p.m. ET – NFL NETWORK
Week 15: Rams at Cowboys, Sunday, December 15, 4:25 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 16: Cowboys at Eagles, Sunday, December 22, 4:25 p.m. ET - FOX
Week 17: Redskins at Cowboys, Sunday, December 29, 1 p.m. ET - FOX
For a division winner, the beginning of the schedule looks to be a cakewalk. They open with the Giants at home, travel to Washington to battle the Redskins and then return home to host the Dolphins. Things get ratcheted up from there with the Saints, Packers, Jets and Eagles on the docket leading up to the Week 8 bye. Believe it or not, the G-Men’s defense figures to be the toughest test of the bunch for Prescott if going by last season’s pass defense rankings. Three of those seven games come against three of the worst pass defenses from a season ago. With that, Dak figures to kick off his 2019 campaign in style. Unfortunately, the remaining schedule looks tough as nails. Dallas will run up against the stout defenses of the Vikings, Bills, Bears and Rams and the division rival Giants and Eagles won’t be walks in the park either. Five of their final nine games take place on the road as well. Though the schedule rates out as easy overall, major defensive improvement is expected from a bulk of the opposition making it tough to get on board Prescott eclipsing his imposts at offshore sportsbooks.
Prescott exceeded his 2019-20 passing yards future by a grand total of 34.5 yards last season. While he’s now had a full offseason to work with Amari Cooper who has already come out and stated he plans on going for 2,000 receiving yards this upcoming season, I’ll believe it when I see it. Dak does have some real nice pieces in the passing game surrounding him now with Michael Gallup looking to take a step forward in his sophomore campaign, and the addition of Randall Cobb to man the slot was a solid pickup. We’re all still waiting for Tavon Austin to live up to expectations, while it remains to be seen just how much Jason Witten has in the tank after bolting the MNF booth to return to the gridiron. Elliott will at one point be in Dallas’ backfield since it ultimately makes no sense for him to sit the season out, but what kind of game shape will he be in? How long will it take to see the true Zeke - Two games, maybe three? That would dramatically cut into Prescott’s overall production provided Tony Pollard and Alfred Morris aren’t able to tote the mail.
For those reasons, I’m willing to eat the heavy chalk at top rated sportsbooks and hit the under on his passing yardage total. As for the touchdowns, I’m going under there as well. Dallas is a running team first and foremost, and Dak has gotten in on the fun by rushing for six touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. He’s yet to throw more than 23 touchdowns in a season to date, and I don’t see him bettering that number regardless of Cooper going HAM or not.
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