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PFT 2019 story line No. 24: Will the Cowboys finally take the training wheels off their offense?

Cowboys WR Amari Cooper explains why he needed to leave Oakland, his relationship with Dak Prescott and his lofty expectations for 2019.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has survived in Dallas for more than eight years despite an offense that relies far less on creativity and innovation than it does on physicality and skill of its players. With Garrett entering an up-or-out year in 2019, the question becomes whether the offense will make enough changes to take the team to the next level -- and to get Garrett a third contract.

Changes apparently are coming, with 29-year-old (until Friday) Kellen Moore serving as offensive coordinator after only one season as an assistant coach. In May, COO Stephen Jones explained that the goal is to make the offense “a little harder to diagnose when we snap the ball.” Which implies that, previously, it hasn’t been all that hard to spot what the Cowboys will be doing before the ball is snapped.

The way to do that is to use different formations and alignments, along with pre-snap motion and players who are capable of lining up in multiple positions. The return of Jason Witten, the arrival of Randall Cobb, and the 2018 trade for Amari Cooper gives the offense intriguing elements that, fueled by a potent running game and a still-strong offensive line, can make things far more interesting offensively.

Then there’s quarterback Dak Prescott, who seemed to elevate his game in a pair of postseason contests in January, arguably performing more impressively in the loss to the Rams than the win over the Seahawks, because the running game went nowhere in L.A., with Elliott gaining a mere 47 yards on 20 carries. If Dak can continue on that trajectory, taking full advantage of his weapons and of the attention Elliott still commands, the Dallas offense could take it to the proverbial next level, extending Garrett’s tenure, vaulting the team to its first NFC title game since 1995, and helping owner Jerry Jones in his quest to recapture a little of the glory hole.