The Deal With Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys have become one of the hardest-to-put-a-finger-on teams heading into the 2020 NFL season.
This year brings a number of new faces, most notably at head coach, with Mike McCarthy in for the departed Jason Garrett.
But there are also a slew of new questions, and at the center of those inquiries looms one player: Dak Prescott.
After the Cowboys were unable to reach a long-term extension with their franchise quarterback this offseason, Prescott will play the 2020 season under the franchise tag.
A new deal, if it comes, can't be reached until January at the earliest.
Prescott has said the right things all along, expressing his desire to be a Dallas Cowboy for the rest of his career.
One thing that's for sure coming into the season: regardless of Prescott's contract uncertainty, the expectations for Dak and the Cowboys are all over the place.
On one hand, there's a camp that sees Dak as an MVP candidate, a camp that includes Good Morning Football's Kyle Brandt:
"Dak Prescott, welcome to the inner circle of MVPs! ... Dak, go get it, the MVP is yours. That's my call."
NFL Network analyst and former league scout Daniel Jeremiah shares that MVP sentiment:
The Cowboys don't necessarily go as Prescott goes. He has plenty of Pro Bowl-level talent around him, like running back Ezekiel Elliott and wideout Amari Cooper.
It's that supporting cast, on both sides of the ball, that has Nick Wright convinced the Cowboys will make the Super Bowl next winter.
"With Zeke, with that front four ... I think the Cowboys win the conference this year."
Colin Cowherd, however, disagrees, saying the Cowboys will be "average" this season.
"(Dak) has an aging offensive line, they lost a Hall of Fame center. Zeke's slightly slower every year, new coach, new system, and Dallas has struggled the last several years to beat really, really good teams."
Dallas' aging core being an issue is a point that Shannon Sharpe echoed on Undisputed.
"You lost Travis Frederick. La'el Collins is going to start the season on (Injured Reserve). Your guys are getting older. Tyron Smith ... he's on the injury list with that back. Zack Martin, he's on the injury list with that knee."
As for the bookmakers, they seem to envision a solid season ahead for Dallas.
Per FOX Bet, Prescott is the fourth-favorite to win the MVP award at +1400, behind Russell Wilson, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, in that order.
The Cowboys are also sixth-favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season at +1500.
Dallas will kick off its season on the road on Sunday Night Football against the Los Angeles Rams.