Since Week 10, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is last in the NFL with an average passer rating of 57. Could he play worse? Absolutely!
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a point during this three game losing streak where Cowboy Nation is screaming for the occupational slaughter of head coach Jason Garrett. I’m hear to warn you that I’m not the greatest fan of Garrett, but his system isn’t broken.
Garrett and his staff are criticized for the lack of adjustments. I would argue the opposite – with Prescott, they have effectively “dumbed-down” the offense to help him have success. Running back Ezekiel Elliott helped mask the simplicity of the offense.
Multiple times, Cowboy Nation has witnessed Elliott turn a simple screen pass into touchdowns. There was the 4 yard screen pass that went 72 yards against the San Francisco 49’ers earlier this year. Last year against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Elliott took a short pass that never crossed the line of scrimmage 83 yards for a touchdown. Those plays pad the stat sheet and made the front office look at Prescott through beer goggles at closing time.
The majority of Prescott’s highlights involve him running the football, but that’s not the strength of the Air Coryell – Garrett’s offensive system. There’s a reason we didn’t see our legendary, former quarterback Tony Romo using the read option – Romo could throw the football! See, that’s another adjustment we aren’t giving Garrett’s staff credit for making.
I enjoy saying that the defensive players get paid too. Yet, since Garrett became offensive coordinator in 2007 until 2016 (but excluding 2015), the Cowboys offense has the average ranking of 9th in offensive points scored. This season, as I write this, the Cowboys offense is ranked 15th in points and 16th in yards. The defensive coordinators haven’t figured out this simplistic offense just yet.
Off Rank Points
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When the Cowboys managed to go 13 – 3 against a weak 4th place schedule of opponents in 2016, Prescott supporters claimed that he would only get better. Without Elliott, he’s gotten better at getting sacked, throwing interceptions and not leading the offense into the end zone. I would love to scream otherwise, but replacing the head coach isn’t the answer to fixing Prescott.
There have been too many quarterbacks that have been ruined early in their careers by coaching changes. Even experienced quarterbacks like Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel were horrible adjusting to our system.
Weeden was with the team for two years and failed to have success. Cassel followed by posting four straight losses. A coaching or system change may have the devastating effect of making Prescott worse!
In Prescott’s rookie year, he probably knew 40% of the playbook. Now the play calling is repetitive and predictable, it seems like he knows 25% of it and 20% of those plays involve handing the ball to Elliott. Why the Cowboys would try to win a Super Bowl without the $18 million dollar, 14 year veteran that memorized the entire playbook is beyond me.
With that said, backup Cooper Rush has less time with the system than Prescott. That causes me to point to the guy Prescott called a football genius – demoted quarterback Kellen Moore. Moore knows the entire playbook and last threw for 435 yards and three touchdowns – #MakeCowboysGreatAgain. Unfortunately, the front office has shielded Prescott from any true competition at the quarterback position.
It’s doubtful that #9, #17 or #21 will come out of the tunnel to save the day. Since Week 10, Prescott is last in the NFL with an average passer rating of 57. Could Prescott play worse? If the Cowboys have a coaching change that hinders his development, the answer is – Absolutely!
So, until Elliott returns, everyone can only remain patient with Prescott to develop rapidly and find his inner Tony Romo.