Has Dak Prescott proven he can win with his arm?
By Richard Ball
When you look back through Prescott’s career, this story repeats itself. The Cowboys have a 1-10 record when Ezekiel Elliott plays and rushes for less than 70 yards. The only victory was in Week One this year against the Giants when Elliott was on a pitch count. Prescott’s record improves to 4-12 when any Cowboys running back fails to rush for more than 70 yards.
A similar pattern emerges when you look at the number of passing attempts for Prescott and the relationship to wins. In games where Prescott has less than 30 passing attempts, the Cowboys have an 18-4 record with one of the losses to the Eagles in the 2016 season finale. In games with 30 or more passing attempts, Dallas has a 19-16 record.
With more attempts per game, the win percentage falls further. When Prescott has 35 or more attempts, Dallas has an 8-10 record and with 40 or more passing attempts, the Cowboys are 2-5.
It stands to reason that the Cowboys are playing catch up in the games where Prescott throws more so it is more likely that Dallas will lose. This was not the case against Minnesota. The ‘Boys held a slim one-point lead in the third quarter and were no more than one score away the rest of the game.
What the passing attempts stat reveals is that so far through Prescott’s three year and nine-game career, the Cowboys have not been able to count on him to win games with his arm. Want more proof, in 2019 the Cowboys have lost three of Prescott’s four highest passing yard games. All four Cowboys losses have come with Prescott attempting more than 30 passes evening his record at 4-4 in 2019 when he throws that many times.
Cowboys Nation desperately needs Prescott to win games with his arm when the running game is held in check. Starting in 2020 when Prescott’s salary cap hit will be much greater, it will be a necessity for Dallas to have any success. For now, we are still waiting for that Prescott to arrive.