Dak Prescott is not as bad against good teams as you think

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys could win big this year if Dak Prescott can be as good as last season.

The Dallas Cowboys are looking to make noise this year, in what shall be a comeback season, of sorts. After the disappointment that was last season, this year should provide just the stage to make up for the agony that was a failed year in 2019.

While the team as a whole should have been much better, people tended to try and find ways to lay the blame solely on the shoulders of one player. While that is more than fair, as the player in question here is the quarterback in Dak Prescott and as we all know the quarterback takes all the blame while getting all of the glory, it wasn’t all his fault.

In fact, as the commonly shared belief or theory has tended to be that he doesn’t play well or as well against the better teams in the league, that isn’t the truth at all either. Let us use last season’s numbers to show you.

The top five overall defenses in the NFL last season, from a yards per game allowed perspective, were the New England Patriots, the San Francisco 49ers, the Buffalo Bills, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Cowboys had games against two of them in the Patriots and the Bills.

If you look just a bit further, for sample size purposes, the Cowboys had games against four in the top 10 when you add the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets to the Bills and New England. The NFL league averages for quarterback rating per game last season was 90.4, with a completion percentage of 63.5 percent, and 235 yards per game through the air.

Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, isn’t as good against the NFL’s elite … or is he?

When you look at Dak Prescott’s game log numbers from last season, he had five games last season where he was significantly below the league average for quarterback rating, five games where he was significantly under the league average in completion percentage, and only three games where he passed for fewer than the league average yards per game through the air.

Out of those 13 compiled occasions, only five of those instances occurred against a team in the top 10 defenses. Against New England, he was below league average in all three, while he was below league average in completion percentage and quarterback rating in the second contest against the Eagles.

When you look at the fact that he played five games against top 10 defenses last season, meaning  15 possible opportunities to flub in any particular statistical category that we are discussing here, only not being up to snuff 1/3 of the time is alright. It isn’t great, but it isn’t awful.

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While you look at it optimistically there, you look at it as a realist in the following. The five instances where he did perform below league average standards against top defenses were against a division rival in the Eagles, who knows Prescott and the Cowboys so well, and last season’s New England Patriots, one of the more dominant defenses of the last five seasons at least.

While being close only counts in horseshoes and grenades, this isn’t to pat Dak Prescott on the back here for being average or slightly better than. What this is to do though is to say this, he isn’t as bad against good teams as some might have you to believe.

When he is good, he’s good and when he’s not so good, he’s not, no matter the competition. Could he be more consistent, regardless of who the opposition is, certainly, but it isn’t against the upper echelon teams where he just goes into a shell. That is absolutely a false narrative.

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Look, and as painful as it is to actually admit it, Dak Prescott can be very good against anybody … and equally as bad as anybody. Thankfully, his very bad is still good enough to win ballgames, we would just prefer it not look or turn out that way. Those are just the facts of the situation. It’s also why Dak Prescott isn’t as bad against good teams as you might think.