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Fact or Fiction: Is Dak Prescott the Cowboys' most dangerous player?


Dak Prescott is the most dangerous player on the Cowboys, offensively or defensively.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - Despite the record-setting numbers from Prescott, this offense is still about the weapons that surround him. Prescott is an excellent quarterback, but it is the players he can get the ball to that makes the offense special. Ezekiel Elliott, despite numbers that are not as impressive as he has had in the past, is still an elite runner. Michael Gallup has turned himself into one of the league's top deep threats at an absurd 21.2 yards per catch. Ceedee Lamb has been productive early in his rookie season. I am still going to go with Amari Cooper. He is one of the best route-runners in football, has the speed to win deep, and is quietly third in the NFL with 401 receiving yards and second with 37 receptions.

Lance Medow: Fact - The Cowboys rank first in the NFL in total offense (510 yards), first in passing yards per game (408 yards) and third in points per game (32). Playing from behind has contributed to these impressive numbers, but the bottom line is you don't just fall into them by luck. It also involves talent and scheme and Dak Prescott is the one steering the ship. Although he has six turnovers (three interceptions, three lost fumbles), he's accounted for 12 touchdowns (nine passing, three rushing) in just four games and is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes. Prescott is surrounded by a number of weapons, especially in the passing game, but it all starts with him.

The Giants will rush for more yards than the Cowboys on Sunday.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - I could go either way on this one. The Cowboys defense was shredded by the Browns last week for 307 rushing yards, but was it an aberration. In Weeks 1 and 2, the Cowboys held their opponents to under four yards per carry and allowed no rushes of 20 or more yards. Will the Cowboys sell out to stop the run this week because of their struggles vs. Cleveland? I think they will and Daniel Jones will have the opportunity to do some damage through the air.

As for the Giants, they might have found a formula last week against the Rams. They often played two safeties deep, kept everything in front of them, and relied on their strong defensive line to handle the running game. It worked. Given how explosive the Cowboys offense is (an NFL-leading 22 completions of 20+ yards), I would expect the Giants to play similarly this week. It might mean Ezekiel Elliott has a big day, which might be part of the plan if it means the Giants can limit the Cowboys' explosive plays.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Over the last few seasons, the Cowboys have boasted one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL but, as a result of game flow (playing from behind) and injuries to the offensive line, Dallas hasn't been pounding the ball on the ground as effectively. The Cowboys have attempted 201 passes compared to just 97 runs, including 70 carries for Ezekiel Elliott. It's quite interesting because both of these teams are on opposite ends of the spectrum. While Dallas' run defense ranks 31st in the NFL (allowing 173 yards per game), the Giants' rushing offense ranks in the same spot (77 rushing yards per game). Most teams have had success running the ball against the Cowboys because they've been playing with sizeable leads and have also shortened the field thanks to several takeaways. Although the Giants are coming off their most impressive rushing performance of the season, they haven't had the luxury of playing with a lead for the majority of their games - until that happens, it's hard to give them the edge in this department.

There are a lot of similarities between the Giants and Cowboys offenses.

John Schmeelk: Fiction - I wish there was an in-between answer here. There are similarities but not A LOT of similarities. Even though the Cowboys hired Mike McCarthy in the off-season, they retained Kellen Moore as their offensive coordinator, who worked under Jason Garrett in Dallas in 2019. Moore, however, brought a lot of wrinkles to the offense that haven't come with Garrett to New York. Moore uses more pre-snap motion, "11" personnel and 3x1 formations, for example.

Lance Medow: Fact - There's certainly similarities given Jason Garrett's connection to Dallas and the fact that current Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore both played and coached under Garrett. The run blocking and usage of tight ends are two things that come to mind, but execution is what is separating these two teams. While the Giants are averaging just under 12 points per game, the Cowboys are putting up more than 30. Dallas also has spread the wealth with three dynamic receivers in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb - the Giants don't have that same luxury due to injuries. From a schematic standpoint, I'll say there are similarities but when you take personnel into consideration, the teams go their separate ways.

Blake Martinez and James Bradberry will make the Pro Bowl.

John Schmeelk: Ficton - Both players may be deserving when all is said and done, but I don't think both will make it. Bradberry has the best chance right now, but usually voters go with bigger names from more successful teams when they are selecting their Pro Bowl middle linebackers. In the end, the Pro Bowl is a popularity contest more than anything else.

Lance Medow: Fiction - Blake Martinez has been a tackling machine throughout his career. He's posted at least 144 tackles in each of the last three seasons and has been a consistent force for the Giants through the first four games. Despite that track record, it has yet to translate to a Pro Bowl nod, which is also about name recognition and being on a winning team. Like Martinez, James Bradberry has also been very productive and leads the NFL with nine passes defensed, which is just six shy of matching his career-high (15 in 2018). With that being said, Bradberry plays a position where there's a lot of competition and depth and part of making the Pro Bowl at corner is collecting interceptions. Bradberry already has one pick, but his career-high is three. I can see one of those two making the Pro Bowl, but I think it will be difficult for both to receive an invite.

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