Is Dak Prescott Really A Franchise Quarterback? Print E-mail
Written by Denis Krusos   
Tuesday, 24 July 2018 11:05


Dak Prescott had a terrific rookie season (311 completions in 459 attempts (68%), 3,667 yards, 8.0 yards per attempt, 23 touchdowns, 4 interceptions).  Every quarterback needs surrounding talent to be productive, but some require more than others.  Prescott benefitted in 2016 from the NFL’s best offensive line and a very productive ground game that was powered by Ezekiel Elliott (the NFL’s leading rusher). The Dallas rookie quarterback frequently had time to throw and the Dallas ground game took a lot of pressure off of him.  Prescott could throw off of play action and frequently faced comfortable 2ndor 3rdand short situations.  His effectiveness on 3rdand long passing situations was near the bottom of the league.  The Cowboys’ coaching staff did a good job of incorporating lots of short and safe intermediate throws for Prescott.  The former Mississippi State quarterback protected the football, displayed toughness, durability and mobility.


The Dallas signal caller had a less productive 2ndseason (308 completions in 490 attempts (63%), 3,324 yards (6.8 yards per attempt), 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions). The suspension of Ezekiel Elliott for six games and Tyron Smith dealing with a bad back and missing three games were major factors.  The Cowboys were crushed in Denver (42-7) when the Broncos shut down Elliott (9 carries for 8 yards).  Clearly, Ezekiel Elliott is the engine that drives the Dallas offense.  Prescott can be effective when he has a top-notch ground game supporting him.  He is an average passer on intermediate and deep pass routes.  In comparison, Russell Wilson with a terrible offensive line and virtually no running game had an excellent 2017 season (339 completions in 553 attempts (61%), 3,983 yards (7.2 yards per attempt), 34 touchdowns, 11 interceptions).  Prescott would struggle mightily if he had Wilson’s 2017 supporting cast.  The Seattle star throws one of the best deep balls in the NFL and regularly produces chunk pass plays.  Prescott is very much a dink and dunk passer who struggles to back defenses off by consistently burning them with big plays.


This is a critical season for Dak Prescott.  The Cowboys have not even been to a NFC Conference championship game since 1995. Their last championship was also in 1995. That’s a really long time for a franchise with such a storied history.  Ezekiel Elliott is not going to be able to run roughshod over every defense he faces.  Prescott is going to have to be a playmaker and not just a good game manager for Dallas to win another Super Bowl.  He’s going to have to make a bunch of tight window, downfield throws when it’s 3rdand 9 against a good defense.  The jury is very much undecided on whether Prescott is a franchise quarterback.  

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