Despite his success, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott seems to have more critics than ever. Many of which are Cowboy fans themselves.
The Dallas Cowboys are known for many things. One of their lasting legacies has always been the men under center. Being the quarterback of America’s Team is arguably the most prestigious position in all of sports.
Legends like Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Don Meredith, Danny White, and Tony Romo have made manning the quarterback position in Dallas like being the fifth member of The Beatles, being LeBron James in the NBA, being Keanu Reeves on stage at E3, or sadly, even being a Kardashian.
It’s the ultimate glamor position in sports. And the men who occupy that position are under the brightest of spotlights and have much to live up to. The latest candidate under center for your consideration is Dak Prescott.
Coming into the NFL as a fourth-round selection out of Mississippi State in 2016, Prescott was initially thought of as a development prospect who would be slowly groomed behind an aging Romo on the depth chart in Dallas. But a preseason back injury changed the trajectory of both player’s lives forever.
Suddenly, Prescott was thrust into the most prestigious position in sports. And in a fairy tale story that I’m convinced will become a blockbuster movie one day like The Blind Side, Remember The Titans or possibly even The Replacements (Another Keanu reference); Dak exceeded expectations leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 season by posting the greatest rookie performance by a quarterback in NFL history. His play basically retired Romo to the broadcast booth before his time.
All Prescott would do the next two seasons is win, leading Dallas to a 9-7 record in 2017 despite not having premier running back Ezekiel Elliott for six-games due to a suspension. Last year, the Cowboys started the season 3-5. A midseason trade for Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper is credited for reviving the team and helping Dallas bounce back to win their division with a 10-6 record. But it was Prescott who was throwing Cooper the ball.
Dak Prescott has done everything that has been asked of him and more. Three winning seasons in his first three years as a pro. Two playoff berths. Two Pro Bowl nominations. One NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. And he’s done it all while making a fraction of the salary his peers do.
By all accounts, Prescott is the ideal teammate and locker room leader. His work ethic and dedication to his craft are unmatched. His off-the-field persona is impeccable. He’s simply everything you could want out of a modern athlete. How could you not absolutely love Dak Prescott?
Yet, there are many who don’t. Many of them being Cowboys fans themselves, which is hard to fathom. More than most, they watch the games. They’ve seen every play. If they’ve been a fan since the Triplets they’ll likely remember the quarterback nightmare Dallas experienced after the retirement of Troy Aikman in 2001. Any fan who went through those dark days surely recognizes the blessing Prescott represents.
Yet, the critics are now louder than ever. And that is due in large part to Prescott being on the precipice of becoming one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL, if not the highest.
Is Prescott the top player at his position? No, of course not. But when it comes to contracts, it’s not about past play or ability as much as it’s about leverage (as expertly explained here by ESPN). That’s why Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and Minnesota Vikings passer Kirk Cousins are currently the highest paid quarterbacks going into 2019.
The market and leverage will determine Prescott’s contract numbers, not necessarily his performance, which has been amazing at times. The kid’s simply done everything right in Dallas. Sure, he’s far from perfect. Passing accuracy and questionable vision being his biggest challenges. But he’s only 25-years old, he’s still improving and growing. And I believe new quarterbacks coach Jon Kitna is the perfect person to take Prescott’s play to the next level.
Fans of the Dallas Cowboys should absolutely love Dak Prescott. And if you are still on the fence, perhaps it’s time to go watch some of those classic Cowboy games that took place between the Aikman and Romo eras. That should help clear things up.
But hey, that’s just my point of view. What’s yours? Tell me in your thoughts on Dak Prescott in the comment section below.