Dallas Cowboys fans are divided when it comes to Dak Prescott. Dak lovers and haters are the terms used in discussion boards. How’d we get here?
The most polarizing player when it comes to the Dallas Cowboys is quarterback Dak Prescott. Just look at any comments section under any article on the Landry Hat site, debate over if Prescott is worthy of being the franchise quarterback of America’s Team is always at full blast. This isn’t an article debating which side is right or wrong, this is one exploring how the deep divide has occurred over four seasons of Prescott.
It starts with Prescott being the fourth-round pick who replaced former quarterback and “golden goose” of the franchise, Tony Romo, following a preseason injury in 2016. The division of the fanbase started here.
Following a 20-19 loss to the New York Giants in Week 1, Prescott led the Cowboys to 11 straight victories. He never handing the starting job back to Romo when the veteran passer was available to return later that season.
Most felt the 2016 team was one of the most talented rosters in Cowboys history and was destined for a successful season and playoff run. The division lies in the impact Prescott had his rookie season.
Some say the rookie was the reason the team was so successful and his low turnover rate and mobility were more effective than Romo ever could be. Some say Prescott was handed a successful roster and Romo should have taken over again as the more experienced quarterback.
A key play in cementing the original division was the 36-yard pass from Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers to tight end Jared Cook on a 3rd and 20 with 12 seconds left in the 2016 NFC Divisional Playoff game. Leading to a 51-yard game-winning field goal by kicker Mason Crosby. Leaving a 13-3 regular season empty, not a single playoff win to accompany it.
The next point of division in the fan base is weeks 10 through 12 of the 2017 season for Prescott. Who through 24 career regular-season games had a record of 18-6, also throwing for 39 touchdowns. Compared to only eight interceptions at the time of his career.
This was the first three games of running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s six-game suspension. The Dallas offense scored 22 total points those three weeks, leading to three consecutive losses. Taking the 2017 Cowboys out of contention. Prescott threw seven interceptions those six games without Elliott.
At this point, the fanbase saw the young quarterback without his star-running back for the first time in his career. Some say the distraction and a costly injury to left tackle Tyron Smith took the team out of contention. Some say the loss of Elliott made the offense too predictable and exposed Prescott as a quarterback who needs a perfect scenario to succeed.
2018 didn’t have a major division point. Prescott played well in both playoff games and gave the Cowboys a chance to beat the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Divisional playoff game. Unfortunately, the defense wasn’t a match for the Rams offense and a suddenly recharged backup running back C.J. Anderson.
Going into 2019 is where things got tricky for fans of America’s Team, was it time to give Prescott the long term contract the other younger and successful quarterbacks were receiving around the league. Some say, Prescott, boasting a record of 32-16 his first three seasons was worthy of the long term deal. Some say, wait just a second, 32-16 is good but where are the playoff wins, let’s ride this out another year.
Elliott got his money before Prescott and going into 2019 it seemed the Cowboys were in a position to reach their first NFC Championship game since 1996 in a changing NFC. Things didn’t play out that way though, leading to even more division amongst fans.
The two most divisive stats were 4,902 passing yards for Prescott and a 2-6 record versus winning teams in 2019. Some say that Prescott’s elite numbers show that with a polished roster, Prescott has the ability to win playoff games with the Cowboys for the next decade. Some say Prescott is the reason the Cowboys talented roster can’t get over the hump, why pay him so much money just to lose every game versus good teams.
That is where the division stands as of 2020, you probably picked up on my use of the words “some say” throughout the article to illustrate the division of Dallas fans. It doesn’t matter what some say, it matters what the organization says when it comes to Prescott being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. We still are waiting, what will be the verdict after the 2020 season?
Comment below some other moments in Dak Prescott’s career that solidified your stance of the quarterback. It doesn’t matter which side you are. Both sides deserve to be heard as we all are fans of America’s Team.