Gil LeBreton

Jerry Jones, Cowboys have reasons to feel lucky over Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott, left, will have a lot of top-notch players to help him navigate the NFL, including tight end Jason Witten.
Dak Prescott, left, will have a lot of top-notch players to help him navigate the NFL, including tight end Jason Witten.

A helicopter?

Ah, the glitz! (to use Jerry’s word)

Ooh, the glamour!

If only Vince Lombardi trophies were in the Neiman-Marcus catalog, Owner Jones would have a showroom full of them.

But you can’t buy Super Bowls. To build a playoff team, as Jones’ Dallas Cowboys learned only recently, sometimes you have to rely on the luck of the draft.

Do they feel lucky?

All signs say they do. No one has taken injured quarterback Tony Romo to a faith healer or shipped him to Switzerland for experimental treatment. Instead, they trust in Dak.

“I think and expect us to play winning football with him at quarterback,” Jones landed and told reporters at The Star in Frisco on Thursday. “I think we’ll win football games with him.”

Some of us do, too.

Rayne Dakota (Dak) Prescott may be a rookie, but he’s going to have an exceptional supporting cast. And there’s the difference that, as first-year starters, Troy Aikman, Quincy Carter and Romo himself didn’t have.

A rejuvenated running game, a healthy Dez Bryant and the conference’s best offensive line will protect Prescott from the pratfalls that afflicted last season’s Romo stand-ins. And if Dez is covered, watch Dak run, a mostly missing element in Romo’s game since he started getting hurt.

“Make no mistake,” Jones cautioned. “We would be a better team with [Romo] out there.”

Prescott’s three NFL exhibition appearances, however, during which he threw for five touchdowns and compiled a near-perfect 137.8 passer rating, have infused Cowboys, Inc., with optimism.

Their one hedge of the bet is the team’s stubborn refusal to place Romo on the injured reserve list, which would mandate that he couldn’t return for at least eight weeks.

Jones’ colorful explanation for this was that there was no sense “circumsizing the mosquito.” There was no one, he meant, that could help the Cowboys as the 53rd player on the roster worth taking a chance on more than keeping that spot open for Romo’s possible return.

That makes sense, as long as it doesn’t open the weekly debate about Romo’s recovery. If Jones had really wanted to show the franchise’s faith in Prescott, he would have placed Romo on IR — out of sight and out of mind.

It’s a conservative decision, and I’m wondering how much of it was dictated by the conservative head coach. The same conservative head coach, Jason Garrett, who kept last season’s fill-in quarterbacks on a tellingly short leash, which proved to be no small contributor to their 1-11 record in replacing Romo.

Hmm. Surely, Garrett won’t have the same binds on Prescott, the rookie, will he?

If he does, he’s going to cost himself his job. Trying to keep Prescott in the pocket, handing the ball off and making minimal pass coverage reads, would rob the Mississippi State star of his most dynamic weapon — his mobility. And he can throw the football downfield, as long as the head coach will let him.

Of course, Owner Jones is optimistic. Jerry has another birthday coming in four weeks, and a 74-year-old has few choices but to be optimistic.

But count me among those who think he got lucky this time. Jones used a fourth-round pick and may have gotten the best quarterback in the draft.

Jones was at The Star on Thursday showing off his newest toy, a Cowboys-themed helicopter. It can make the trip from AT&T Stadium to the new Frisco facility in 13 minutes.

It’s taken Jones 21 years — and counting — to find the Super Bowl. But, hey, who’s timing it?

Ah, the glitz! The glamour!

The playoffs?

Gil LeBreton: 817-390-7697, glebreton@star-, @gilebreton

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