Dak Prescott played a sensational game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon, yet there’s a faction of a Cowboys’ fans that doesn’t appreciate it based on a lot of social media criticism.
Those fans need to get over themselves.
Understand, Prescott is never, ever going to be a quarterback who dazzles you with his statistics.
He’s never going to have a plethora of 300-yard passing games, and he’s not going to break a bunch of Tony Romo’s passing records.
But if you surround him with talent and create a playbook that accentuates his skill set, then Prescott is good enough to consistently win games in the NFL.
Dallas 40, Jacksonville 7.
Prescott passed for 183 yards and two touchdowns with a passer rating of 107.5. He ran a career-high 11 times for a career-high 82 yards, including a career-long 28-yard run.
He led the Cowboys to points on eight of 11 possessions against one of the NFL’s top defensive teams as Dallas tied the second-most points it has ever scored in a game Prescott started.
Still, some of y’all ain’t happy.
FYI: Romo is happy in the CBS broadcast booth. He ain’t never walking through that locker room door again.
You need to be on your knees praying that Prescott is that guy, the quarterback to lead the Cowboys for the next 8-10 years. If he’s not, and the Cowboys have to start the search for that franchise quarterback again, understand there’s no telling how long it might take.
Sam Darnold looks like he might be the New York Jets’ first franchise quarterback since Joe Namath. Pat Mahomes looks like Kansas City’s first franchise quarterback since Len Dawson.
The Detroit Lions waited nearly 50 years between Bobby Layne and Matthew Stafford, and Tampa Bay has never had one in its 42-years history.
That’s why the Cowboys will give Prescott every opportunity to prove he can be their starter for the foreseeable future.
Performances like the one he turned in Sunday gives the organization confidence he can be the guy. There’s one play in particular Prescott made Sunday that encapsulated his entire skill set.
On second-and-eight from the Dallas 27, the Cowboys lined up in an empty backfield. Prescott felt pressure from the right side as the pocket collapsed, so he reverse spun out of pocket, nearly stumbling in the process. He ran left looking for someone to throw before turning upfield and sprinting 28 yards to the Jacksonville 45.
Seven plays later, Brett Maher kicked a 46-yard field goal that pushed the Cowboy’ lead to 27-7.
“If you ask me about line one for that guy, it’s who he is. The character of the guy. How he handles himself on the field, off the field, through success, through adversity, and just how he competes,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s a very talented guy.
“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s athletic, he’s flexible, he’s a good passer and he’s a good runner. But at the end of the day, what makes the guy who he is is who he is. His makeup. His character. I think you see that on a play like that because he won’t go down.
“Somehow, someway, he’s going to keep the play alive and go do something good for your football team. That’s why guys follow him, he’s an outstanding leader and we’re lucky to have him as our quarterback.”
Earlier this year, Prescott carried seven times for 45 yards in a 20-13 win over the New York Giants.
This is a season the Cowboys need Prescott to run. It won’t always be like that as the Cowboys get more talented players at receiver and tight end.
This year, however, the Cowboys need the extra dimension his running provides. Play-caller Scott Linehan called some read options and even a QB Power on third-and-short against Jacksonville.
Prescott scored the Cowboys first touchdown on a 17-yard read option around left end, but seven of his 11 carries were the result of leaving the pocket on scrambles.
Dallas needs more of that.
“He can attack you a lot of different ways. Some of the runs we have are runs that if you get a favorable look, you hand it off,” Garrett said. “And if they’re all stacked up in there, he can be a threat to run it. He made good decisions for the most part throughout the game and again when things broke down in the passing game.
“Maybe he didn’t have somebody right away or he had to get out of the pocket, he took advantage of those. Used good judgment, made good decisions.”
But this game wasn’t just about Prescott running, he made enough plays in the passing game to keep Jacksonville off-balance, and that’s really all the Cowboys need him to do.
He threw more intermediate routes than he has all season, which is why Cole Beasley caught nine passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Gallup caught a 27-yard pass on the Cowboys’ first drive.
“We know Dak likes to protect the ball, but he threw it down the fields a lot more today,” Vice President Stephen Jones said. “I don’t think anyone had to tell him to do it, but we need him too attack like that when it’s there.”
When he does, he’s good enough to help the Cowboys win a lot of games.