Dak Prescott widens Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl window
After winning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, quarterback Dak Prescott looks to widen the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl window. Dak is good. Can he be Super?
Dak Prescott is the first Dallas Cowboys player to win Associate Press Offensive Rookie of the Year since 1990.
The guy who took the award nearly 27 years ago? Some guy named Emmitt Smith. Prescott now belongs to an exclusive group.
Running backs Calvin Hill and Tony Dorsett have also won the awards. Smith, Hill, and Dorsett combine for a total of five Super Bowl wins. Oh, and you may have realized that the trio were all running backs for the Cowboys.
With Prescott nabbing the rookie of the year award away from teammate Ezekiel Elliott, the burden of winning a championship for the city of Dallas rests squarely on the shoulders of the former fourth round pick.
Many believed the award would go to Elliott. In fact, once the Dallas Cowboys pulled his name in last year’s NFL Draft, Zeke was a lock to win the award behind the league’s best offensive line.
Things didn’t go that way. And it wasn’t like Elliott didn’t try.
Zeke led the league as a rookie runner, running for 1,631 yards on 322 carries. He ended the 2016 campaign with 15 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards along the way. Yet, Prescott received seven more votes than Elliott for the award.
Expectations for Dak Prescott are now through the roof.
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The fourth rounder isn’t a rookie anymore. A new NFL chapter has begun. A new NFL season. Prescott must continue to compete at a high level; his play elevated him above other rookie quarterbacks, such as Carson Wentz, Paxton Lynch, and Connor Cook.
However the Tony Romo sweepstakes play out, know this: The clock to bring Dallas a sixth championship was rewound with Prescott’s emergence. Dak’s attitude, leadership, and football acumen has a lot to do with it.
Prescott, who turns 24 in five months, has reopened (read: re-energized) the team’s Super Bowl window. And the window margin isn’t small either. The expectations for Prescott’s sophomore year are high — anything short of a Super Bowl appearance is failure.
The quarterback managed 3,667 passing yards, 23 touchdowns against four interceptions, with a final quarterback rating of 104.9. He was 13-3 in the regular season, and 14-4 overall in 2016. He did not throw an interception in 13 of his 16 starts during the regular season.
Fair or not, quarterbacks who wear stars on their helmets are expected to win rings. Those who can’t bring a trophy home are teased. Playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys isn’t an easy job — it is widely considered one of the toughest spots to play in all of sports.
But with Prescott in the lineup, things are different. Dak has changed the fabric of the Cowboys, and his rookie award is a testament to what he has done on the field and off it. Prescott, combined with Elliott and the offensive line, shattered the old Super Bowl window and left fans with a fresh one.
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There’s no question about Prescott’s abilities, or the team’s Super Bowl expectations, both of which are alive and valid.
The real question is whether Prescott can earn a Lombardi Trophy and hoist it up before the next Super Bowl window closes. Though, thanks to Dak, the clock to win a title has reset.