Two weeks ago, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and several teammates, including running back Ezekiel Elliott and the bulk of the starting offensive line took a fishing trip to Key West, Florida over Memorial Day weekend.
Prescott plans to take a similar bonding excursion with his receivers during the break between minicamp, which ends Thursday, and the start of training camp, set July 24 in Oxnard, Calif.
It’s about football for Prescott. But it’s also about creating those bonds that turn a team into a family.
“It’s about being a family and not just being a team,” Prescott said. “When we walk in here we are a team but it’s more than that. Finding where we can get that camaraderie in the right way. Being a brotherhood and family and doing things like going to Key West
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And now the trip with the receivers. We’ll definitely get away. Work out in the morning, throw, then hang out in the afternoon.”
It’s necessary because Prescott and the Cowboys revamped receiver corps need chemistry, which has been very evident during this week’s minicamp. The passing game has struggled and there have been a number of drops.
The release of Dez Bryant and the retirement of tight end Jason Witten have left the Cowboys with a bevy of unproven pass catchers. Cole Beasley is the primary holdover but he is learning to run routes form new spots. Terrance Williams has been sidelined with a fractured foot.
Prescott is still trying to get on page with free agent signees Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson and trade addition Tavon Austin as well as rookie draft picks Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson.
“We know it’s a lot of work to do; we knew that coming into minicamp,” Prescott said. “I think it’s a work in progress. We’re not anywhere where we need to be. We know the strides we need to make, and we know where we need to get to. We’re not going to stress too much or get too frustrated over a few drops here and there. Obviously, I miss throws, so that’s part of it. But we’re definitely getting better, and that’s the main importance of this right now.”
There is no panic in Prescott nor offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, who acknowledges the receivers and the passing game lacks consistency.
But he says part of the reason is the Cowboys are running a lot of different receivers in the lineup to see what they have. They will narrow their focus in training camp and he believes some players will emerge.
“We got a ways to go,” Linehan said. “We got to sharpen some things up. We are throwing a lot at them. The thing that is challenging thing is that we are rolling a lot of people in groups. Sometimes are going to stick a young guy in with the ones, let him see and give him a chance. This is going to be our learning curve, evaluate and make sure it’s the speed we need it to go so we can be ready to play week one.
“Right now it’s going to be some highs and lows. What we go it to do is be more of a consistent group right now. It’s showing as an area we need to improve. Things are going to show its hand pretty significant when we get into Oxnard and in these games in the preseason.”