Cowboys QB looking to avoid sophomore jinx

After stellar rookie campaign, Prescott says there is plenty to improve on

After winning offensive rookie of the year and leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record in a storybook ascension, QB Dak Prescott won't be catching anyone by surprise this season.

Now squarely in charge during the offseason for the first time, Prescott is taking on more responsibilities while his teammates are urging him to be a more vocal leader.

With a more imposing schedule that pits him against some of the league's best defenses and passers, he won't have much room for error if he starts to show signs of a sophomore slump.

For RB Ezekiel Elliott, one focal point is to become "more dominant" as a second-level runner.

Despite having a league-best 14 runs of 20-plus yards last season, Elliott believes he can be more elusive after hitting the hole. Another potential room for growth is as a receiver, an area in which he was mostly shielded last season while serving the heaviest workload on the ground of any back.

Dallas will have its three Pro Bowl anchors — left tackle Tyron Smith, right guard Zack Martin and center Travis Frederick — yet it must replace two starters in Ronald Leary and Doug Free.

Once pegged to be the Cowboys' next standout guard, La'El Collins is now working out at right tackle and could fill in there as the Cowboys evaluate their options. That could leave the remaining guard spot to Jonathan Cooper, a former first-round pick who signed with the team this offseason after washing out with the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots.

USA TODAY

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