Dak Prescott arrived in the NFL and his career took off in a way no one saw coming.
The Dallas Cowboys drafted Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State University. He entered training camp that year as the third-string quarterback. However, he moved to second string when Kellen Moore went down with a leg injury. During the preseason, Tony Romo went down with a back injury, and the door immediately swung open for Prescott. As a rookie, he broke several records and won 13 games, becoming the first rookie to do so since Ben Roethlisberger in 2004.
After a brilliant rookie season, his career started going in a different direction as he began to stumble. Heading into his third year in the league, it’s clear that he’s nowhere near the level he was as a rookie and he’s struggling to find his groove. Dallas Cowboys fans are growing impatient.
This season, he’s off to a below average start and the Cowboys are 2-2. Prescott is currently without a reliable tight end and wide receiver and he struggles when under pressure. His ability 200+ yards in a game seems to be a stressful issue for him. It’s clear that Prescott’s statistics aren’t great.
Did the Cowboys rush Prescott to the position of a franchise quarterback?
No, they didn’t and here’s why. When Romo went down during the 2016 preseason, the Cowboys could have possibly made a trade or a move via free agency, but they chose to trust in there young quarterback. The best way they went about it was synthesizing the playbook.
Prescott would go on to perform well in the preseason. He was winning the fans and his teammates over with his feet. But it was more than just his mobility. The former Bulldog was making accurate throws and good anticipation. Above all, he was safe with the pigskin which was an added bonus.
With Ezekiel Elliott by his side, Prescott’s job was somewhat easier. Elliott had a breakout performance in the third game of the 2016 campaign against Chicago in which he ran for 140 yards. Prescott’s backfield mate would finish the season with seven 100-yard performances making the quarterback’s job easier.
Prescott would do a lot of his damage on play-action passes. The threat of Elliott was enough to buy him enough time in the pocket or on roll-outs to find his favorite targets in Jason Witten, Cole Beasley, and Dez Bryant.
Dallas would finish 13-3 and lose in the playoffs to Green Bay. However, there was excitement around Big D as Prescott was there new building block on offense.
Fast forward to this season, Prescott hasn’t really morphed into the star many thought he would be. He is still accurate and mobile, but those safe moments as a passer has made him gun-shy. Being reliant upon Elliott has made him a handicapped thrower. But there is blame to be had elsewhere.
The Cowboys front office need to put some talent around him so he along with his entire offense can be effective and show some positive results. One of the biggest problems on the offense is the fact that Prescott is doesn’t have a go-to-guy in the passing game. That needs to fixed. His offensive line needs some refurbishing too. The Cowboys have wasted their window of opportunity with Prescott on his rookie contract.
The Cowboys didn’t rush Prescott, but they haven’t done much to help him progress since his rookie year.