DALLAS - Tony Romo is hurt. Again.
It seems like something Cowboys fans have gotten used to hearing, especially over the last four years. Whether it’s his collarbone or back, Romo has simply had trouble staying on the field.
Unlike in seasons past, though, Dallas appears to have a plan – and his name is Dak Prescott.
Yes, Cowboys fans everywhere are riding on the Prescott bandwagon, especially after his stellar preseason effort. The Mississippi State product has flashed serious potential, and proven he is capable of running the show.
However, with Romo out, the Dallas offense is going to inevitably change to fit Prescott’s style of play. Instead of coming out from under center regularly, expect to see Prescott frequently lined up in the shotgun, a formation he is far more familiar with.
The Cowboys will also want to utilize Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott together as a tandem, which could make for a lethal weapon in the form of the read option. If the front seven keys on Elliott, Prescott keeps it and takes off. If they decide to stay at home on Prescott, Elliott gashes them.
In short, Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan are going to want to simplify things. After all, Prescott is a rookie quarterback and has yet to take a snap in a regular season NFL game.
This means less autonomy at the line of scrimmage, and running plays Prescott is comfortable with. By now we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing Romo check out of plays last minute and call audibles that fool defenses. Prescott will not, and should not be given the same power, especially since the number of defensive packages he’s seen is limited.
Do not expect to see a plethora of routes run by receivers or a complex play sheet. For a rookie quarterback, the key is keeping things manageable. To fully execute an NFL offense, Prescott cannot over-think things, especially in-game.
It’s then up to Linehan, Garrett, and maybe even Romo on the sidelines to make sure they have the right plays dialed up for any given situation. There will be times Prescott will look like a deer in the headlights. The key is ensuring those moments are few and far between.
Dez Bryant and Jason Witten should help with that though, as the duo has plenty of NFL experience to provide young Prescott. Count on Bryant and Witten to also be safety nets for Prescott to target, especially in the red zone and on third down.
It still remains to be seen how long Romo will be sidelined for, but for the time being, it’s Prescott’s show. And he has the reins.
Reece will be following the Cowboys' offense with Dak at the helm so be sure to follow him on Twitter @ReeceWaddell15.
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