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The Slate

The Best Sports in 7 Days

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will have to work twice as hard to avoid a sophomore slump after the recent suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott has a chance to become a top quarterback in the league if he can keep the Cowboys winning.

Thursday, Aug. 17

NFL (7-10:30 p.m., ESPN): Tune in for Sunshine State battle as running back Leonard Fournette and the Jacksonville Jaguars host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Friday, Aug. 18

NFL (9 p.m.-12:30 a.m., NFLN): The Seattle Seahawks host the Minnesota Vikings, who will soon be the Saints' foe in week one of the regular season.

Saturday, Aug. 19

NFL (2 p.m.-1 a.m., NFLN): Strap in for a preseason triple-header, with the Carolina Panthers against the Tennessee Titans, the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Indianapolis Colts, and the Denver Broncos taking on the San Francisco 49ers.

Sunday, Aug. 20

NFL (3-6:30 p.m., NFLN): The Super Bowl runner-up Atlanta Falcons take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. ... NFL (7-11 p.m., NFLN): The Saints look to reverse their preseason losing skid against the Chargers.

Monday, Aug. 21

NFL (7-10:30 p.m., ESPN): Eli Manning leads the New York Giants on the road to take on number-one pick Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns.

Tuesday, Aug. 22

College football (7:30-9:30 p.m., ESPN2): Back-to-back "Championship Drive" episodes look at the "Path to the Playoff" and "Coach Speak," as guests discuss effects of playoff system.

Wednesday, Aug. 23

College football (7:30-8 p.m., SECN): Get ready for the upcoming season with the "Mississippi State Football Preview," as analysts break down everything from the roster to the schedule.

The Cowboys' playoff hopes could hinge on how much Prescott has grown in the offseason. He has to play at a high level to help make up for a defense that has holes in it.

Follow Bryan Flynn at jfpsports.com, @jfpsports.