Dallas Cowboys 2022 preseason round-up: Dak Prescott, Deion Sanders, Micah Parsons, Madden…
The pressure is on for quarterback Dak Prescott in his seventh NFL season. And did Micah Parsons deserve a higher Madden rating?
Deion Sanders pledges half his salary to JSU
Legendary Cowboys hall-of-fame CB Deion Sanders, who now coaches for Jackson State University, is making a concerted effort to re-vamp the Tigers’ football facility before the players return in August. Thus, he is contributing half of his $300,000 base salary to the cause. Sanders is helping this team in more ways than just their facilities. Since he started with the team in 2020, they have had a 15-5 record, including 11 wins last season, a school record. JSU will start the season on September 4 against Florida A&M.
Pressure is on for Prescott
Dak Prescott can’t hide from the spotlight now. He is the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys - that was never an option. But now, seemingly every news outlet is wondering if he really is a top-tier quarterback, and as he enters his seventh season in the NFL, the pressure is on to have something to show for his time. Statistically, Prescott has done fantastic. Last season, he had 4,449 yards and 37 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions, and that was coming off an injury. Even still, that 12-5 record wasn’t enough to get the Cowboys deep into the post season…again. It’s been 26 years since the Cowboys last won a Super Bowl, or even a divisional playoff for that matter. Unfortunately for Prescott, that pressure gets put right on the shoulders of the quarterback. At the end of last season, he said he actually loves pressure. But that was just before the 49ers beat the Cowboys in embarrassing fashion and the game ended with Prescott sliding instead of going out of bounds, hastily handing off the ball to the center, and then colliding with the referee to lose the game 23-17 and exit the season for good. So let’s hope that wasn’t due to pressure, because it’s only getting worse from here.
Sean Payton update: what will determine his next move?
Though it was reported that ex Saints coach Sean Payton would return to coaching and had three teams in mind (including the Cowboys), he spoke with USA Today, and was a lot more general about his approach to a future return.
“Ultimately, do I think I’ll get back in? Sure,” Payton said. “There’s no way to predict who that club might be. Usually, there are about six openings every year. If there’s a right fit somewhere, that ultimately will depend on several factors.”
NFL analyst Keyshawn Johnson seems to think that Sean Payton’s future with the Cowboys (and thus current coach Mike McCarthy’s) depends on none other than the Cowboys’ quarterback.
“Dak Prescott certainly has pressure and a lot of it ... He is wearing the star, they did give him $150 million, the coach is on somewhat of a hot seat. So all of that falls on his shoulders to be able to deliver.”
Johnson said that if Prescott can’t deliver a winning season, then the coach will likely be fired. And if that happens, Payton would be candidate number one.
CB Kelvin Joseph named No. 9 best breakout star by ESPN
Despite his offseason struggles off the field, Cowboys corner back Kelvin Joseph has had a productive offseason on the field, according to Mike McCarthy. The Cowboys no. 1 CB Trevon Diggs has already made a name for himself, but Joseph still has something to prove. ESPN thinks he’s on his way. They ranked him no. 9 on their list of top 15 second-year breakout candidates. Even in his limited playing time behind Diggs and Anthony Brown, Joseph managed to allow negative two yards on five targets.
“It took Joseph a while to see the field as a rookie in 2021, but it was worth the wait,” said Pro Football Focus writer Mike Renner. “On only 97 coverage snaps, he allowed seven catches on 15 targets for 49 yards with two pass breakups.”
Micah Parsons in the top 10 edge rushers in Madden rating - but is it too low?
Linebacker Micah Parsons joins DeMarcus Lawrence in the list of Cowboys players who made the top 10 highest-rated Madden players at their position. Parsons comes in tied at number seven on the list, with an overall ranking of 88. Parsons was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year last season and recorded 84 tackles, 13 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, 30 quarterback hits, and three forced fumbles. Parsons was one of the best defenders in the league, period - not just the best rookie. All that considered, 88 feels low.
Tony Romo feels confident in Prescott, but does have one concern
Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo now works as one of the more beloved sports analysts and game callers. He was recently on an episode of “The Maggie and Pearl Show”, in which he said he feels more confident about quarterback Dak Prescott than any other player on the team.
Romo has no doubts that Prescott will have an incredible season. He does have one big concern, though, and that is the loss of wide receiver Amari Cooper. Quarterbacks are important, but they can’t do it alone, and Cooper was Prescott’s favorite target in 2021. Romo said the current receivers will have to really step up to fill in Cooper’s shoes, though it’s also possible they rely more on the run game this season. Interestingly, Romo did not make mention of the new no. 1 receiver, CeeDee Lamb.