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Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott among those hoping to fill team’s leadership void

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The Cowboys will miss Jason Witten, Orlando Scandrick and Dez Bryant. Witten and Scandrick served as two of the team’s captains last season, and Bryant provided energy and enthusiasm.

So who replaces Witten, Scandrick and Bryant as team leaders?

Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott both insist they are ready to take on more responsibility.

“I have been a little more vocal,” Elliott said. “That’s definitely something I’m focusing in on this offseason. Not only leading by example, but coming out and encouraging guys.”

Prescott, who earned the “C” on his jersey for the first time last season, said he learned a lot watching Witten’s leadership style the past two seasons. It’s becoming “more and more natural” to Prescott, the quarterback said.

“As we said when we lost those guys, we are not trying to replace those guys,” Prescott said. “Those are guys who are irreplaceable. We can’t say we need you to be the leader Dez was or be the leader Witten was. We have a lot guys and lot of guys who have been in this league that lead, and sometimes they lead by just by example by going out there and not saying a word and giving all their energy, and it pays off and shows. Young guys can look and say that is the way you practice. That is the way you come in and handle your business. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything to do it, and we have those guys. We have the rah-rah guys, the guys who are screaming, the guys who are getting everybody going to make sure the energy is there.”

Sean Lee, Dan Bailey and Tyrone Crawford join Prescott as returning captains. Zack Martin and Travis Frederick also have shown leadership ability.

“I think there’s more guys than you would think that challenge people with intensity day in and day out,” Lee said. “I look across at the offensive side, and Dak does that, and Zeke does that; the whole entire offensive line does that. If you look at our defense, Ty Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence. I’m a guy who likes to do that. I think that’s something we pride ourselves on by challenging each other day in and day out, working hard together and working hard against each other.”