Was Dak Prescott actually snubbed from the Pro Bowl?

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The NFL revealed the rosters for the 2020 Pro Bowl this week and noticeably absent was Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

There’s no denying Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is having a solid season. But whether or not the fourth-year-starter has outplayed his fellow competition to earn a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl roster is up for debate.

Statistically, Prescott is having one of the best seasons of his career. He’s second in the league in passing yards (4,334) and fifth in touchdowns (26). He boasts a 99.3 passer rating and 73.9 QBR, both of which are second-best of his career, just a tad lower than his rookie season.

However, when compared to the rest of the NFC starting quarterbacks, including those selected to the Pro Bowl roster — Russell Wilson, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers — I’m not buying into the narrative that he was snubbed.

Most seem to have taken aim at Green Bay Packers passer Aaron Rodgers for making the Pro Bowl team, claiming that Prescott is more deserving. While Dak is among the top quarterbacks in the NFC, I don’t think he’s any more deserving than the ones who made the Pro Bowl roster, especially Rodgers.

Save for passing yards — which Prescott has thrown for nearly 1,000 more of than Rodgers — both quarterbacks have nearly identical stats. Prescott has thrown for 26 touchdowns, while Rodgers has thrown for 24.

However, the Packers quarterback has a much better touchdown to interception ratio. Prescott has thrown 11 interceptions this season versus just two thrown by Rodgers. Currently, Rodgers has the higher quarterback rating (100.4), but his QBR (55.8)— a metric calculated by ESPN — is much lower than Prescott’s.

I’ve seen some arguments that Dak’s stats, including his passing yards, have been inflated in fourth-quarter garbage time. But you could play the numbers game with situational stats for hours and not find a conclusive answer.

According to NFL’s situational stats breakdown, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback has thrown for over 2,400 yards while behind in games. However, 1,302 of those came when trailing by  just a touchdown. Another 473 yards came when behind two touchdowns.

In other words, the Cowboys have been close in most of their games and Dak’s performances likely have something to do with that. However, it’s also hard to ignore the fact that the Dallas Cowboys offense has been completely shut down at times this season, especially when facing better defenses.

We can debate stats all day long, but there is one key number not shown in their individual stat-lines by which we judge quarterbacks on: wins. Simply put, Aaron Rodgers wins the games that matter. In fact, he beat Dak Prescott head-to-head earlier in the season when the Packers defeated the Cowboys 34-24, a box office score that reflected a much closer game than was actually played.

Whether it’s fair or not, quarterbacks are judged based on their ability to win games — especially the big ones. The Packers are 11-3 and atop the NFC North division. The Cowboy, at 7-7, are technically in first in the NFC East but have gone through tumultuous stretches throughout the season. They beat their first team with a winning record just last week.

There’s no standard rubric when it comes to Pro Bowl voting, so when stats are close, it’s understandable that someone would look towards the player’s overall team record. This is especially true for the quarterback position since they have the biggest impact on the game.

There’s a winning aura around Aaron Rodgers. Dak Prescott is part of a team that has been on a rollercoaster this year, some of which can be attributed to his poor play as well.

Dak’s stats are impressive but it’s not like he’s head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. And when you’ve got so many quarterbacks throwing up video game numbers, does 1,000 extra yards really make the difference?

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In my opinion, it’s a quarterback’s ability to win games and elevate the teammates around him that make him a Pro Bowler. The three quarterbacks leading the NFC team have done that and on a consistent basis, too. So no, I don’t have a problem with Dak Prescott not making the NFC Pro Bowl roster despite his impressive stats this season.