Dak Prescott’s second season will erase all doubt

Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs onto the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs onto the field before the game against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional playoff game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

After posting one of the best rookie seasons by a quarterback in NFL history, Dallas Cowboys’ Dak Prescott will prove his doubters wrong in Year Two.

Merriam-Webster defines faith as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. But saying that Dallas Cowboys fans have faith in second-year quarterback Dak Prescott would not be an accurate statement using that definition.

No, they have proof. 3,667 passing yards. 23 touchdowns. Four interceptions. Six rushing touchdowns. A 67.8 completion percentage. A 104.9 passer rating. 13 regular season wins. Three losses. Oh, yes, they have proof.

If there is room for doubt against this faith in Prescott, it has to do with the limited sample size. We’ve all seen several one-year wonders in the NFL. And with talented and determined NFL defensive coordinators huddling around Dak’s game footage this offseason, devising ways to counter the young man’s success in Dallas, some are predicting a down year for the 23-year old phenom.

I guess posting one of the greatest rookie seasons by a quarterback in NFL history just isn’t enough.

"“There is nothing about Dak Prescott’s first season to discourage confidence, other than the size of the sample,” wrote ESPN staff writer Dan Graziano recently. “There is no reason to fear a Prescott tail-off, other than the history that tells us to pump the brakes. After 16 games, Robert Griffin III looked like a sure thing. After 13 games with Chip Kelly, Nick Foles looked like the quarterback of Eagles fans’ dreams. I think Prescott should be fine as long as his offensive line stays together, but a 16-game sample (no matter how brilliant) isn’t enough to erase all doubt.”"

Graziano hints at what Prescott’s second season motto should be: Erasing all doubt. And here are some reasons Dak will do just that.

Members of the media, analysts, draftniks and scouts scrambled to figure out why they were so wrong about predicting the football future of a late fourth round selection that rose to become the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year last season.

Labeled a mobile quarterback, Prescott fell to the Cowboys on the third day of the 2016 NFL Draft as every franchise passed on him several times. Even Dallas themselves tried to trade for two other rookie quarterbacks before settling for Dak.

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So, why did Prescott excel under center for the Cowboys where others had failed? And I’m not just talking about fellow rookies like the L.A. Rams’ Jared Goff or the Cleveland Browns Cody Kessler. But veteran quarterbacks like Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden and Kellen Moore; all of which had their chance to shine in Dallas the previous season, but largely fell flat on their collective faces.

Why was Prescott able to achieve more with nearly the identical group? Pundits believe the talented Cowboys players surrounded Dak allow him to flourish. And if a Goff or a Kessler had landed in Dallas instead, they would have had similar success.

But that begs the question why the combination of Cassel, Weeden and Moore were only able to muster a single win the previous season behind this identical offensive line and with a 1,000+ yard rusher in the backfield?

First, we have all heard about the intangibles Prescott brings to the table. His work ethic, character and leadership qualities are off-the-charts. It’s one of the reasons why he was able to navigate the Tony Romo controversy so well. And also a reason he was able to mentally play at a high level so quickly. Prescott put in the work. In the last two years, he has made himself a good pocket passer.

Secondly, Prescott is absolutely a mobile quarterback. Believe what you want about this Cowboys offensive line. They may bolster three perennial Pro Bowlers, but they aren’t perfect. Dak’s ability to feel pressure, get out of the pocket and throw on the run were all keys to his success in Dallas last season. Throw in his ability to become a terrific rusher when needed, and Prescott had opposing defenses on their heels.

Third, Prescott absolutely did have a great supporting cast. And his biggest boost came from fellow rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott. Let’s not forget that these two were both legitimate MVP candidates. And their success was certainly intertwined.

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So combine Prescott’s intangibles, with his ability to become a mobile quarterback at any moment plus a terrific supporting cast and I believe you have your reasons why Dak’s second season will prove the doubters wrong. This kid is the real deal in the perfect situation. He’ll put in the work to get better and his teammates will follow suit.

Dak Prescott’s second season will erase all doubt. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.