The league's official website believes the Dallas Cowboys floor for the upcoming regular season is a record of 6-10, coming off a down 4-12 year.
The Dallas Cowboys enter the new regular season with a number of unknowns. The biggest being under center as it was revealed over the weekend the Cowboys will be without 36-year old starting quarterback Tony Romo for an unspecified amount of time due to a back injury.
Romo's latest setback now places a rookie at the helm of America's Team, fourth round selection out of Mississippi State, Dak Prescott. The silver lining being the fact Prescott was undoubtedly the most impressive rookie this preseason, having possibly the best three outings of any NFL quarterback within that span.
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But the 23-year old has had a total of 50 passing attempts in his short pro career so far. All of which have taken place in the preseason. So exactly how Prescott will perform when the games actually count is anyone's guess.
But the rookie has likely the greatest support system in NFL history surrounding him right now. Prescott will play behind the top offensive line in the league. And he has weapons like wide receiver Dez Bryant, tight end Jason Witten and fellow rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott whom will all lighten his load.
Despite this group's obvious potential, trying to project what they will or will not do in the regular season is a crapshoot. Yet the good folks over at NFL.com decided to try and determine a floor and ceiling for each franchise recently. Here's their projection for the Cowboys upcoming season.
"Floor: 6-10. I don't think this team will go 4-12 again, even with Romo set to miss more time," wrote NFL Media analyst Elliot Harrison on the league's official site this week. "Last year, Dallas lost a bunch of close calls and also had receiver Dez Bryant go down. After what we've witnessed this preseason: Dak Prescott > Matt Cassel. That said, what if Prescott's preseason (78 percent completion rate, five TDs, zero picks, 137.8 passer rating) was a mirage? The depleted defense can't lose linebacker Sean Lee to injury again."
Harrison also projected the Cowboys ceiling as high as 12-4. That's higher than any other NFC East team other than the Washington Redskins. As for the Cowboys floor rating, he rated Dallas' basement to be higher than their divisional rivals, who all had projections of 5-11 or lower.
Only time will tell if Harrison's projections become reality. The truth likely falls in between his two guesses. But the immediate fate of America's Team most assuredly rest on the shoulders of a rookie quarterback.
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