As Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott enters his second season, we review the sophomore years of his most prominent predecessors.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had an unprecedented rookie campaign. Last season, the fourth round rookie out of Mississippi State had 3,667 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, four interceptions, and a passer rating of 104.9.
These gaudy stats have many wondering if Prescott can repeat his hot streak in 2017. It’s a lot to live up to. Even if Dak falls off a bit statistically, numbers even close to his rookie year will likely mean that the Cowboys are having a great season.
With no attempt to predict stats for Prescott’s second season, I thought it interesting to review how four decades of the Cowboy greats performed in their sophomore years. Obviously, not all were starters as rookies. I considered only their second full year at quarterback.
Note: QB ratings can be confusing, but are officially explained here.
First up, the great Roger Staubach. With only 14 regular season games in 1973, Staubach’s stats get an asterisk. The legendary quarterback’s second year stats were as follows:
- *2428 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and a rating of 94.6
I view Danny White as the most historically underrated Dallas Cowboy at any position. By 1981, White’s sophomore year, the NFL had converted to the current 16-game regular season format. The former Cowboys punter-turned-quarterback played in 15 out of 16 games.
- 3098 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, 13 interceptions, and a rating of 87.5
Troy Aikman is the quarterback that guided “America’s Team” back to dominance in the early 90’s. Due to a rebuilding movement under new owner Jerry Jones, Aikman’s rookie season was a disaster. His second season wasn’t much better. With a losing record of 7 wins-9 losses, Aikman played in 15 of 16 games with a result of:
- 2579 passing yards, 11 passing touchdowns, 18 interceptions, and a rating of 66.6
And finally, Tony Romo; arguably the greatest undrafted free-agent quarterback in NFL history. Romo relieved a faltering Drew Bledsoe at the midpoint of the 2006 season, appearing in 10 out of 16 games. I’ll treat 2007 as his sophomore year.
- 4211 passing yards, 36 passing touchdowns, 19 interceptions, and a rating of 97.4
Prescott joins a lineage of exceptional quarterbacks and appears ready to be the next to make his mark. There have been gaps of dominant quarterback play for the Dallas Cowboys throughout the years.
The years between Aikman and Romo were particularly brutal. But I cannot think of another team with the emergence of at least one great quarterback in each of the last five decades.
Please share any memories you may have about Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks in the comments below. Who was your favorite and why?