Can Dak Prescott carry the Dallas Cowboys?

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott /

With Ezekiel Elliott currently slated for a six-game suspension, fellow rookie phenom Dak Prescott will have to shoulder the load for the Dallas Cowboys.

Last year, the rookie combination of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott was without a doubt an electric one for the Dallas Cowboys. It was hard to talk about one of those players without bringing up the other’s name. However, one member of the dynamic duo is currently slated for a six-game suspension, and it looks like it’s up to Prescott to take the reigns of the team.

Critics have claimed Prescott was a “system” guy. They claimed that most of his success came off of the Cowboys’ phenomenal rushing attack, spearheaded by Elliott. Prescott ended up winning the AP “Rookie of the Year” award, but many suggested he should have been a co-recipient

This year, Prescott is going to have to prove to his naysayers that he can, in fact, carry a team by himself. His predecessor, Tony Romo, did it for years (albeit, with little postseason success).

However, if last year was any indication, Prescott proved his poise and bravado under pressure. With Tony Romo’s return from injury looming large, Prescott was able to keep a firm grasp on the quarterback job from one of the most beloved players in team history.

And while pundits also argue Prescott rarely had to play from behind, he showed he was able to do so in the divisional round of last year’s playoffs. If it wasn’t for Green Bay Packers’ All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ insane throw that led to a game-winning field goal, the Cowboys could have feasibly taken that game into overtime, and possibly completed one of the largest comebacks in playoff history.

That’s the Dak we’re going to have to see for the first six weeks of this upcoming season. And according to the coaching staff, he’s improved greatly since that crushing loss.

"“One of his great traits is just being in the moment and focusing on what he needs to do,” Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett told ESPN’s Todd Archer. “He prepares very well and I believe he has confidence in himself and the people around him. So to be unaffected by what happened the play before, if it’s success you throw a touchdown or if it’s adversity you throw an interception, you just keep coming back. I think he demonstrates that in how he lives his life and certainly how he plays the position. That’s what you need at the quarterback position. You need it throughout your whole team.”"

Next: Cowboys Preseason Week 3 - Three critical players to watch

Prescott has certainly proven he has the ability, and mental capacity to lead a team. Presumably, without Ezekiel Elliott in the mix, Dak will have to prove not only can he lead, but carry this team. With a year in the NFL already under his belt, Prescott should prove he could do just that.