Critics Can't Handle Truth About Dak Prescott's Performance Against Philadelphia - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Critics Can't Handle Truth About Dak Prescott's Performance Against Philadelphia

Whatever your reason for not liking Dak, just make sure you tell the whole story

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    You don't have to like Dak Prescott, and a lot of you don't for whatever reason.

    Maybe, you think he's an average passer. Or you don't think he's good enough to win a Super Bowl even though dudes like Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer have done it.

    Perhaps, you're still mad because he took Tony Romo's job in 2016 and the former quarterback retired for the broadcast booth.

    Whatever your reason for not liking Dak, just make sure you tell the whole story when you criticize him. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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    For example, if you're going to criticize him for the two interceptions he threw and the fumble he lost against Philadelphia in the Cowboys' 29-23 overtime win — and you have every right to do so — don't ignore the other stuff he did.

    The stuff like Dak completing 17 of 20 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns with a passer rating of 156.8 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

    That's telling the whole story.

    "He's a mentally tough guy and that's the most important thing for that position — maybe any position," coach Jason Garrett said. "He demonstrates that week in and week out. He understands its a 60-minute game and he's done that ever since we got him."

    If you want to criticize Dak for overthrowing Michael Gallup down the right sideline when he was open by two yards, then feel free to do it. The same goes for criticizing his poor mechanics on the third-quarter overthrow to Gallup that led to an interception and Philadelphia's first touchdown.

    Just make sure you mention how he threw perfect passes to Amari Cooper on the touchdown receptions of 28 and 75 yards in the fourth quarter that helped Dallas get to overtime.

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    Make sure you mention Dak completed each of his five passes in overtime, including a pair of third-down throws that sustained the drive.

    That's telling the whole story.

    "I just have the feeling that if it's not going good for him, well then I'm glad we've got a little time left on the clock because it's gonna go good for him," owner Jerry Jones said. "I know one thing, he's not gonna go out there with his head down and dwell on the mistakes he makes early."

    Dak, the 135th player taken in the 2016 draft, is a flawed player. It's the reason he lasted until the fourth quarter.

    But instead of spending so much time focused on what he can't do and complaining about the Cowboys' plan to sign him to a long-term deal, why don't you focus on what he can do?

    After all, if you get rid of Dak, there's no guarantee the rookie you pay some team a king's ransom to draft with a top five pick is going to work out.

    For every Baker Mayfield taken No.1 overall, there's a Jameis Winston. For every Carson Wentz taken second overall, there's a Marcus Mariota.

    If you have a good young quarterback who can help you win games, then you invest in him. You give him the best coaches, the best personnel and then you give him time.

    You give him time to learn every nuance of the playbook. You give him time to study the division's best defensive players because those are the guys he'll face every year, and you give him time to learn from his mistakes.

    The NFL has only a few elite NFL quarterbacks: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers.

    Those players are an average of 36 years old, and they've made a combined a combined 1,325 starts, about 189 games apiece.

    At 41, Brady is the oldest. The 30-year-old Wilson is the youngest.

    Players like Kansas City's Pat Mahomes and Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams need more time and playoff success. Andrew Luck needs continued health to rejoin the NFL's elite again.

    If you're honest, Romo played his best football in 2013 and 2014. He was 33 then and had started 93 games. He averaged 3,676 yards passing with 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions from 2006-12.

    In his last two full years as a starter, Romo averaged 3,766 yards passing with 33 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

    Dak is 25 and has started 45 games. He's 30-15 as a starter and seems poised to win his second NFC East title in three seasons.

    He passed for 455 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the Cowboys' win over Philadelphia.

    But Dak's game is about moments — not numbers — and a litany of intangibles that compel his teammates to follow and his coaches to trust him.

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    "The real positive is when you make those mistakes with the ball, those can be real critical plays in the game and it's hard to overcome that," Garrett said.
    "But he kept playing, and I thought he did a great job leading our team with that mentality."

    "Not only was it inspirational. Not only was it great emotional leadership, it was performance. He made a number of big plays at critical moments of the game in the fourth quarter and overtime," Garrett said.

    "When you play quarterback and you have some of those balls go the other way, sometimes it's hard to pull that trigger and throw it the way you want to throw it," said Garrett. "That wasn't the case with him, he was ripping it in there and making a ton of big plays."

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