Jerry Jones Says Cowboys Plan To Sit Dak And Zeke This Week

Mike Fisher
August 22, 2018 - 6:35 am
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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FRISCO (105.3 THE FAN) - I've never believed in the myth that an NFL starting unit "needs preseason reps to get the feel for the speed of a real game,'' or whatever nonsense owners and coaches use to justify the risk/reward of exposing indispensable players to exhibition injuries.

Suddenly at least one Dallas Cowboys voice -- the loudest one -- agrees with me.

"When you don't have that full front out there, that starting group, then that might make you a little porous and you wouldn't want to be porous in the preseason with Dak," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on Tuesday on 105'3 The Fan's "Shan & RJ'' show.

That's a Jones 'word salad' way of saying that with Zack Martin and Travis Frederick both sidelined, the offensive line isn't what it is hoped to be once Week 1 of the regular season arrives (Dallas at Carolina) ... and thefore the importance of getting starting QB Dak Prescott those "all-important'' reps can be sidelined as well.

This comes on the heels of Jones making it clear that fellow backfield star Ezekiel Elliott shouldn't play this weekend against Arizona or next week at Houston, either, two other outings that are relatively meaningless.

"I don't need to see anymore of him until Carolina," said Jones after Saturday's exhibition loss to the Bengals.

Will the Cowboys experience some season-opening "rust'' on Sept. 9 at Carolina? So tradition says. But will six plays on Aug. 26 -- six snaps against the Cardinals, which might very well be Prescott handing off four times before exiting the contest -- really make the "up-to-speed'' difference two weeks later? If that's true, why didn't Elliott play last week against the Bengals? And why is the traditional "dress rehearsal'' game in the NFL always in Week 3 ... because when Dak and Zeke and other starters sit out Week 4 of the preseason, as Dallas and other teams always do it, why doesn't rust suddenly re-set in?

The truth is, NFL preseason games are more about revenue than they are reps. And so when stars sit, creative reasoning is required in the explanation.

To wit:

 "Plus, we need to see (backup quarterback Cooper) Rush play behind as good a group as he possibly can as we look at these next two preseason games,'' Jerry said. "It was a little challenging for him out there the other night. He's had a really top camp. We really should get him the most of the work the rest of the way."

Yes. There you go. Sitting Dak isn't about TV revenue or ticket sales or Prescott's protection.

It's about Cooper Rush. Sure. Perfect.

The Cowboys, like most any organization, make these decisions collectively. There is nothing wrong with the owner and the GM and the personnel director and the coaching staff meeting on such subjects. Jones said he'd leave the final decision on Prescott and others' playing Sunday against Arizona up to head coach Jason Garrett.

But, the owner/GM of the Cowboys added, "You can rest assured, we're going to be sensitive about injury risk."