Cowboys' Garrett: Dak knows he's got to get better

After the Cowboys slipped from preseason Super Bowl hopeful to postseason afterthought, no one in Dallas questions that Dak Prescott's regression in Year 2 led to some of the team's struggles.

At this week's Annual League Meeting in Orlando, head coach Jason Garrett didn't get into the specifics of which areas his young QB needs to get better in 2018, but knows Prescott will put in the work to improve.

"Really everything," Garrett said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. "At the quarterback position -- and maybe every position, but maybe most glaringly there -- there's so much to learn over the course of your career. That's why the guys at that position play longer and it seems like they're playing their best football well into their 30s."

Prescott's backslide in 2017 was visible by any metric. Most notably he had three times as many interceptions (13) as he did in 2016.

Dak Prescott's last two seasons:

2016: 13-3 W-L; 229.2 Pass YPG; 23-4 TD-INT; 104.9 Passer Rating

2017: 9-7 W-L; 207.8 Pass YPG; 22-13 TD-INT; 86.6 Passer Rating

"He's done a lot of good things, but he knows, we know, everybody knows he's got to get better," Garrett said. "One of the exciting things about him is he has such a determination to get better every day. He has a great spirit. He loves the game. He's going to work very hard at it. I think he has to work on the physical part. The fundamentals have to continue to be refined. And that's everybody. That's footwork, delivery, getting away from center, his mechanics in the gun, getting the ball out quicker, being more accurate. All the things that every quarterback in this league is working on, he has to continue to refine those.

"His understanding of what defenses are trying to do to us, how the offense overlays on the defense, he'll continue to get better at that. But this guy is a natural leader. He's had a lot of success right away. He has a great hunger to get better. And he's certainly going to do that."

A sophomore slump isn't a new NFL phenomenon, with many young players -- particularly quarterbacks -- struggling once defenses get enough tape to break down tendencies.

Dak's troubles in 2017 also didn't come in a vacuum. He had to deal with a plethora of issues beyond his control: Ezekiel Elliott's suspension, Tyron Smith's injuries, a struggling receiving corps.

The Cowboys attempted to address the final problem, adding Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson in free agency. Dallas also should look to add a receiver through the draft.

After watching the Eagles hoist the Lombardi Trophy with their backup quarterback, the Cowboys know they need improved play from their starter to close the gap in the NFC East.