Dallas Cowboys 2022 NFL round-up: Prescott, Lamb, McCarthy…
Prescott having even the slightest of scares is enough to send fans into a panic with just days left until the Cowboys face the Bucs in the season opener.
How serious is Dak Prescott’s ankle issue?
The very last thing any Cowboys fan wants to hear is that Dak Prescott is injured, days before the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But don’t panic - stop me if you’ve heard this one before - Prescott insists there’s no real concern.
On Thursday, Prescott left practice early after having some discomfort in his ankle. Apparently, some new cleats were the culprit.
Prescott said he will go right back to the old cleats. Of course, what kept Prescott out for 11 games in 2020 was an injury to that same ankle, so it’s hard not to panic at any little issue. If he wants to continue his plan of running the ball more this year, he’s going to need a FULLY healthy ankle.
“I’m good to go,” Prescott said. “I promise you I’m great.”
CeeDee Lamb “ready to attack”
It’s CeeDee’s time to shine this Sunday. In his first game as the WR2, Lamb says he is “ready to attack”.
“It’s always been that mindset, but now I feel like it’s a little different. I have a little extra pep in my step.”
Since the Cowboys no longer have their reliable WR1 from last season, Amari Cooper, the confident attitude Lamb is showing is a good sign. In the Cowboys season opener against Tampa Bay last year, Lamb had 104 yards and a touchdown. He also made his first 1,000-yard season and Pro Bowl last season. Now that he’s the No. 1, he’ll have more opportunities to show that he can do that and more in 2022, and he’s ready for the challenge.
Why the Cowboys defense could win them the season opener
Defense alone can’t win games…most of the time. It’s been known to happen occasionally though. Saying it will happen against an offense with Tom Brady at quarterback though, is just reckless. However, the Cowboys defensive line and linebackers are just a good as they were last year, if not better…and the Bucs have a lot of injuries and unknowns on their o-line right now.
Brady will be without his starting center, Ryan Jensen, who is dealing with a knee injury sustained during training camp. On top of that, guard Alex Cappa is no longer with the Bucs after joining the Cincinnati Bengals. Their other guard Ali Market retired in February. And the current guard still on the roster, Aaron Shinnie, is out for the full season with a knee injury. Not only that, but their starting tackle Tristan Wirfs is also questionable after suffering a strained oblique.
On the other side, the Cowboys will have a healthy DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons, and Neville Gallimore to defend against the Bucs weak o-line. If they can expose the holes on the Bucs offense, they could give Dallas a shot to win their opening game and avenge last year’s loss.
Mike McCarthy’s quest to prove himself begins Sunday
We haven’t forgotten all the talk about Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy being on the hot seat. Though last season, the Cowboys won the NFC East and went 12-5, they were eliminated from the playoffs after just one game when they lost (in embarrassing fashion) to the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys haven’t had a deep playoff run in a long time, and Jerry Jones wants that to change this year - and it’s up to McCarthy to make it happen. In theory, he should have been able to make it happen last year. The Cowboys had a stacked offense and one of the best defences in the league. And yet, his poor decision-making and time management cost them. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the 127 penalties.
Ah, okay then.
McCarthy has done well as a head coach during his time in the NFL. He’s won ten playoffs, seven division titles, and a Super Bowl. So what’s the deal with the Cowboys? They seem to be cursed. If they couldn’t make it happen with their 2021 team, how will McCarthy help them get to a deep playoff win with holes all along the offense and o-line?
Not to mention, there’s an intriguing guy out there under contract with a team called the Saints who looks very alluring to Jerry Jones, and his patience could soon be running out with McCarthy. The journey to that deep playoff run begins this Sunday when the Cowboys take on the Buccaneers to begin the season.