Cowboys Football

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) motions during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Oxnard, Calif., Monday, July 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)

Twenty three years. That’s how long it’s been since the Dallas Cowboys have won the Super Bowl. At long last, however, I think the Cowboys have all the tools to return to the mountaintop in the coming season.

The lynchpin to the Cowboys’ success, as everyone agrees, is running back Ezekiel Elliott. In just three years in the NFL, Elliott has established himself as the most fearsome runner in the game today. He is lithe and speedy, while also being stocky and strong enough to shake off would-be tacklers.

In two of Elliott’s first three seasons in the league, he has led the league in rushing yards. Likely the only reason he didn’t lead the league in 2017 was because of a six-game suspension. And that year, even though he missed almost half the season, he still managed to finish in the top 10 for rushing yards. Defenses have still not figured out how to slow him down, and he is the type of player who makes everyone around him better.

And speaking about the players around Elliott, the Cowboys boast another of the NFL’s young stars in quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott possesses a cannon for an arm and has demonstrated that he is one of the very best quarterbacks at scrambling and picking up yards by running.

Prescott, along with Philadelphia Eagles star QB Carson Wentz, are the heirs apparent to the crown as the top quarterbacks in the league when the likes of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers begin retiring.

Also making the Cowboys a force to be reckoned with are the receiving corps. In particular, wide receiver Amari Cooper possesses one of the surest sets of hands in the NFL, and like Prescott and Elliott, is talented enough to single-handedly make the difference between a win and a loss in many games. But in addition to him are the likes of wide receiver Randall Cobb, tight end Jason Witten and more who make sure Prescott always has top talent to throw to.

The Cowboys also are no slouch on the other side of the ball, boasting a defense that is truly elite. Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch might be the best linebacker tandem in the entire league. Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods are standout safeties and Chidobe Awuzie is a high level cornerback as well.

Now, I’m not saying that I’m picking the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl this year, or that this upcoming season should be “Super Bowl or bust” for them.

They have to deal with an incredibly potent Eagles team in their own division, and outside of their division, must overcome the likes of the reigning NFC champions, the Los Angeles Rams; and a very dangerous New Orleans team, all of whom have their eyes on representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. But if the Cowboys can stay healthy and live up to their potential, they are certainly on the short list of teams who can realistically make it that far.

Tommy Culkin is a staff writer for The Paris News. He can be reached at 903-785-6972 or at tommy.culkin@theparisnews.com.

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