The Dallas Cowboys' skill-position is flooded with playmakers who, in theory, need to have the ball in their hands to experience success. QB Dak Prescott is the trigger-man, but he's surrounded by an on-paper embarrassment of riches at running back, tight end and maybe especially wide receiver, where standouts Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb are about to be joined by a getting-healthy Amari Cooper.
What will be Dallas' key to keeping the playmakers feeling fulfilled?
“Winning,” Cooper said, offering the one-word key. “That’s how everybody will be happy.”
When Dallas opens the NFL preseason on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game at Canton, it won't yet be about "Step-Back'' Dak (nursing shoulder soreness) or about Cooper (rehabbing from ankle surgery). And it might not much be about Lamb and Gallup, either, as they have established themselves and don't necessarily need to be exposed in a relatively meaningless outing.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott and tight ends Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz? Their jobs are secure. They don't need much out of Canton.
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So at wide receiver, in particular, maybe Thursday will be about Cedrick Wilson and Malik Turner, and then about Noah Brown and Simi Fehoko. And it'll be QBs like Garrett Gilbert, backed up by Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci, trying to feed them all.
Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has a job here that is both challenging and potentially rewarding. He can discover some new talent on Thursday, knowing he's got established weapons who will be ready for the real Week 1, as the Cowboys start the NFL regular season on the road against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
And what will be the answer to any questions about Dallas' likely explosive offense on that night?
“Winning,” Amari Cooper might respond.