NFL

Cowboys Are The Perfect Situation For Dak Prescott

on

Two great preseason games does not a future All-Pro quarterback make.

With that firmly in mind, Dallas Cowboys rookie signal caller Dak Prescott has looked about as impressive as a rookie can look in his limited opportunities.

In Friday’s 41-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins, Prescott completed 12 of his 15 throws, for 199 yards with a pair of touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.  He added three rushes for 28 yards and two more touchdowns for good measure.

“It’s been a great start for him, and he’s excited about it,” Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo said of the fourth-round pick. “You just keep building on it every day, but you can’t ask for a better start.”

It appears that Prescott’s start has been mostly taken with a grain of salt based mostly on his draft status.  If he was taken in the first round, more would likely be made of his ability to matriculate the football down the field, even playing against mostly backups.

In two games the former Mississippi State Bulldog has completed 22 of 27 passes, for 338 yards with four passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and no turnovers.  Again, the outcomes of these games are meaningless, but it’s impossible to argue that fellow rookie signal callers Jared Goff and Carson Wentz haven’t looked nearly as good.

He was asked after the victory if the game was coming easy to him.

“I don’t think easy is the right word, I’m just putting the work in every day in practice,” the fourth round pick said.  “I’ve got great veterans, great coaches who are putting me in the position to have success out there on the field and I’m thankful for that.  It’s really just the hard work that goes into this.”

So why is this the perfect situation for Prescott?  

First of all, he grew up a Cowboys fan.

“This is something I dreamed about, running around the house acting like I was a Cowboys quarterback my whole life,” Prescott said during his post-draft conference call with reporters at Valley Ranch. “For it all to come true, it’s such a blessing. Just being here with my family when Mr. Jones gave me that call and just the excitement throughout my family, which the majority of them are Cowboys fans, it was awesome.”

Dallas got a good feel for Prescott and vice versa at the Reese’s Senior Bowl as Jason Garrett was coaching the North Squad.

“I got a good feel with the coaches but I didn’t put too much thought into who wanted me more than who. I got to meet with them at the Senior Bowl, met with Coach (Wade) Wilson at the Combine and then Coach Wilson flew into Starkville and worked me out. Then a few weeks ago they flew me up to Dallas just to get to know me for the visit. On that visit, them flying me in late was maybe they want me, maybe they’re thinking about me real good, real hard. So for it to all come true and they draft me today is just unbelievable and I’m still excited,” Prescott explained.

Every head coach seemingly wants to wait as long as possible before playing their rookie quarterbacks, and normally a high draft pick is going to a pretty bad team and there’s inherent pressure to play the young guys.

Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is under no pressure whatsoever to play Prescott.  He gets to learn behind a Pro Bowl quarterback in Tony Romo without much fan expectations for him to play.

In fact, many people don’t even believe that he can be the No. 2 this season.  Prescott strongly disagrees.

“Definitely. No doubt about it,” Prescott said when asked if he could be the team’s backup this season. “I’m going to come in and work and push all those other quarterbacks, make them better and make Tony better and play whatever role the coaches ask me to play.”

So what kind of quarterback can the young man become?  It’s tough to find a true comparison.  He’s certainly a dual threat as he can run and throw, but he doesn’t have the rocket arm of a Cam Newton.  Russell Wilson is often mentioned, but with Prescott’s 6-foot-2, 238 pound frame he can stand in the pocket a little better than the Seahawks quarterback and to this point hasn’t given up on clean pockets to run around nearly as much as you would expect from a young, inexperienced signal caller.

Prescott was asked about what kind of quarterback he can develop into and who his game compares to.

“Just a great quarterback,” Prescott said. “I don’t know if there’s any quarterback that I would say I mimic my game after. Obviously, Russell Wilson doing some good things and being a runner and thrower who’s throwing first and hurting people with his feet once he starts to run. But I just want to go in and continue to get better each and every day, learn this system and just play ball.”

If and when Prescott does get to take over for Romo, whether it be an injury or the eventual passing of the torch, he will have one of the best playmakers in the game to throw the ball to in Dez Bryant.  He and Bryant have hooked up for a touchdown in each of the Cowboys first two preseason games.

“If they give Dez (Bryant) a one-on-one opportunity, I’m going to take it against anyone in the league,” Prescott said.  “He’s great at going and making plays.”

 

Prescott was the eighth quarterback selected in the 2016 NFL Draft and you can make a case that he’s in the best position for long-term success than any of the 15 signal callers that were taken.  He might not have all the guaranteed money of a Jared Goff or Carson Wentz, but he doesn’t have the immediate expectations and mediocre offensive lines that both of those players possess.  Prescott can learn at his own pace from one of the best quarterbacks in football and do it with a great supporting cast and solid offensive coaching staff.

There’s nothing more right now that both Prescott or the Cowboys can ask for from each other.

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.