by Todd Archer
FRISCO, Texas -- With a rookie quarterback, you would think the Dallas Cowboys would go into something of a shell to protect Dak Prescott.
That hasn't been the case at all. They have been more diverse than they were with Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel or Kellen Moore last year during Tony Romo's absence.
"I mean, we're running our offense and the aggressive nature of our offense always kind of applies to situations in the game but there's nothing we're holding back with Dak when it comes to what we do on offense," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "We do the same things we do with Tony. It's no different."
It's a little different. The Cowboys have incorporated more bootlegs and waggles to get Prescott on the edge. They also have the zone read in the playbook. In the win over the San Francisco 49ers, they went with a no-huddle look so the defense would have to stay relatively basic after showing a number of looks in previous weeks.
In the last three games the Cowboys have used more empty formations with Prescott, which is a formation in which Romo excels as well.
"I couldn't ask for a better offensive coordinator, play caller to start my career off in this league," Prescott said. "I mean he's been phenomenal in the play calling, allowing me to feel comfortable in everything. The drop-back passes, the play action, allowing me to play my game, just a lot of credit to the way he coaches me and the plays he's calling."
Prescott is averaging 33 passes per game and has yet to have one intercepted in 131 attempts. He is completing nearly 70 percent of his passes as well.
Until Moore took over as the starter in the final two games last season, the Cowboys' offense struggled for an identity. It was almost as if they played not to lose instead of playing to win. The question is whether the confidence in Prescott has led to the aggressiveness or if the aggressiveness has led to Prescott's play.
"I don't think we keep it too simple," Linehan said. "Dak handles everything that we give him ... There's not a lot of background so you're not going to make an adjustment in a game that you did two years ago since [he wasn't] here two years ago. So I think kind of stay there, especially with the younger players, but I think Dak does a great job of handling in-game adjustments and things that we might need to do based on how somebody is playing us that we maybe haven't run before."
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