Newy Scruggs, sports anchor at NBC5 in Dallas-Fort Worth (KXAS-TV), answered questions on the Cowboys in a live chat recently. Here are some of the highlights.
Question: Is Jaylon Smith’s health/knees at 100%?
Scruggs: Jaylon Smith is back. Last season we saw how good he can be and I expect him to be a dominant player for the Cowboys this season.
He wants a new contract and the best way to achieve that is by playing top-notch football.
In a radio interview, No. 54 said: “When it’s time for Jerry [Jones] to cut the check it will happen.”
Smith wants to play in a Pro Bowl. He watched rookie Leighton Vander Esch make the roster as a Pro Bowl linebacker and I suspect that will be motivation for him in 2019.
Question: What changes are you hoping to see in the Cowboys’ offense this year?
Scruggs: The Cowboys have to find a way to score more points in the red zone this season.
Having tight end Jason Witten back will help.
In 2018, the Cowboys’ red-zone conversion percentage was 51.7%. That was good for 26th in the league. It’s a big part of the reason why they scored a mere 21 points per game, as they scored touchdowns on just seven of 18 red-zone trips in the final five weeks of the regular season.
New play-caller Kellen Moore was realistic about the approach during OTAs saying, “We’ve got to get better, we’ve go to execute, we’ve got to run the football. Take advantage of 21 and 4 and we’ll have some opportunities outside, as well.”
If Dallas scores more points they have shot to repeat at NFC East champ and maybe win two playoff games.
Question: Where does Zack Martin rank among the best offensive linemen in the NFL?
Scruggs: I think Zack Martin is THE best guard in the NFL.
He’s a five-time Pro Bowl player. Martin has made All-Pro three times in his five-year career.
This is Hall of Fame stuff he is putting on his resume.
Zeke Elliott has won two rushing titles and if I’m not mistaken, the Cowboys have rolled out a one-thousand-yard rusher every year Martin has played.
The best thing the Cowboys did was overrule Jerry Jones on draft day and selected Martin over former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel in 2014.
Question: Where do you think Ezekiel Elliott ranks among the NFL’s most indispensable players?
Scruggs: Zeke Elliott is near the top of the most important players in the NFL.
The Cowboys’ offense revolves around his talents.
I think of Zeke in the same way Emmitt Smith was so valuable to the 1990’s Dallas Cowboys.
Question: Do you have a favorite Cowboys memory?
Scruggs: Being at my first Dallas Cowboys training camp in 1993 in Austin, Texas, was a dream come true.
I always wanted to be a sportscaster and I grew up rooting for the Cowboys.
Arriving at St. Edward’s University to cover the defending Super Bowl champs is something I will always remember.
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