Every team goes through a transition period and the Dallas Cowboys aren’t any different. Gone are the days of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten; three veteran Cowboys players that were looked upon as major leaders on the squad. Now that they’re gone, the question on everyone’s mind is which players will step up and be the leader the team needs them to be.
The most obvious is quarterback Dak Prescott. Let’s face it, the Dallas Cowboys are now Dak’s team. Remember that his first season playing, he fell into the quarterback role and referred a lot to the then injured Tony Romo. This last season, Dak was trying to find his footing as the new leader. Newly signed veteran wide receiver Allen Hurns had great things to say about Dak last week during OTAs:
Allen Hurns: “When I first got here, what surprised me a lot was Dak’s leadership. He’s only in his third year, but he’s a very vocal guy. He runs things. I was very surprised by that. … I don’t think we’ll have a problem with leadership.”
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 24, 2018
Second player that comes to mind is running back Ezekiel Elliott. Last year, Zeke was suspended for 6 games and I feel that had a big impact on him. He had to sit and watch as his team lost and needed him. Hopefully last season’s controversy has helped him gain perspective on what’s important; being a leader and carrying the team. This year brings no controversy and he can now concentrate on the team and what he needs to do to win. Also, I’m pretty sure Zeke has a little bit of a chip on his shoulder regarding the NFL and the whole suspension ordeal. I wouldn’t be surprise if he comes out hungrier than he’s ever been. On May 24th, Zeke told reporters,
I have been a little more vocal…that’s definitely something I’m focusing in on this offseason. Not only leading by example, but coming out and encouraging guys.
Cole Beasley is another player that has a chance to step up and become a leader on the team. With Dez out, Beasley is the most senior member of the receiving team. He not only has experience with the coaches, he also has a history of being a productive receiver (example the 2016 season with Dak). At 5’8, he’s probably the smallest guy on field but that doesn’t matter. His route running, blocking, and catching are something the younger guys can look up to. Look to him to lead by example.
In all honesty, the leadership roles are up for grabs and anyone can step in and fill that position, be it a young player or a veteran. Time will tell who those players will be. Go Cowboys!
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