Dallas Cowboys: Why Cameron Fleming is insurance for Dak Prescott

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Cameron Fleming
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Cameron Fleming /

With All-Pro starting linemen on the Dallas Cowboys team, it’s easy not to see the value of Cameron Fleming. So why is Fleming insurance to Dak Prescott?

The principle of most insurance is the idea of indemnification. In layman’s terms, indemnification restores someone to their original state before a loss occurred. So, what does Dallas Cowboys‘ swing tackle Cameron Fleming have to do with being insurance for the quarterback Dak Prescott?

To understand the insurance worth of Fleming, one must revisit the 2017 season in Dallas. According to popular rumor, the suspension of running back Ezekiel Elliott exposed Prescott inefficiencies in 2017. In reality, the loss of left tackle Tyron Smith with swing tackles Chaz Green and Byron Bell as backups were the more prominent reasons for the collapse of Dak’s sophomore season.

According to Sports Illustrated, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz overtook New England Patriots passer Tom Brady in odds to win 2017 season MVP by Week 9.

Many viewed Prescott’s sophomore year as a slump. Taking a closer look proves Prescott was outperforming leading MVP candidate Wentz up to Week 8.

2017 – Wentz up to Week 8

Throwing Touchdowns:19
Rushing Touchdowns: 0
Passing rating: 101.66
Interceptions: 5
Yards: 2,063

2017 – Prescott up to Week 8

Throwing Touchdowns: 16
Rushing Touchdowns: 4
Passing rating: 102.85
Interceptions: 4
Yards: 1,818

Week Nine of the 2017 season for America’s Team proved the need for quality insurance against the risk of one of the starting tackles going down. In that week’s game versus the Atlanta Falcons, All-Pro left tackle Tyrone Smith was out due to injury.

Smith’s backups gave up a combined 8.0 sacks in that contest. Prescott went from slightly outpacing the 2017 MVP front runner to figuratively pulling a hamstring without Tyron in the lineup.

Smith missed three games in 2017. However, one can say he missed four because he only played the one series versus the Seattle Seahawks. In those four contests, the Cowboys were 1-3 and would have likely been 0-4 if Philly played their starters Week 17.

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Dak Prescott had a passing rating of only 62.25 when Tyron Smith was not playing in 2017. When Smith protected Prescott’s blindside, he had a passing rating of 97.78. In 2018, the acquisition of Cameron Fleming as insurance fully indemnified Prescott. When Fleming started in the absence of Smith, Dak posted a pass rating of 119.33.