Does Dak Prescott deserve the disrespect he gets from Cowboys fans?

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after losing to the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 16: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after losing to the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at AT&T Stadium on January 16, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Being the quarterback of the storied Dallas Cowboys franchise is not an easy task, as the tormenting media and high expectations of fans constantly result in the belittling and overanalyzing of one’s performances.

Day after day you can open your phone or turn on your television and see either media pundits or Cowboys fans on Twitter or Facebook arguing things like, “Is Prescott an elite QB?”. It is such a tired argument that fans and media alike have already made up their minds and dug their line in the sand on Prescott. You either love him or you hate him, there is no in between.

Unfortunately, recently there has been much more hatred than love for Prescott, with him consistently being put behind the likes of Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, and Derek Carr on quarterback rankings or outside the top 10 completely.

So the question is… does the Cowboys’ QB deserve the disrespect?

How does Dak Prescott’s win-loss record weigh into the criticism?

If this article would’ve listed Prescott’s statistics first, then we would’ve likely seen the typical reply of something along the lines of “stats don’t matter unless we win.” While that mantra holds some truth to it, it would be wrong for No. 4.

Only playing 85 games since 2016, he ranks fourth in wins in that time period, being bested by only Tom Brady (71 wins in 93 games), Aaron Rodgers (59 wins in 87 games), and Russell Wilson (58 wins in 94 games). Yes, those are regular season wins, but something has to be said about winning regardless of when and how it is done.

Of course, getting into the playoffs is important as well, which is something Dak has done three times out of his five full seasons. While the Cowboys haven’t won when getting there, that hasn’t necessarily been all Prescott’s fault.

However, you will constantly hear the argument that the 28-year-old’s losing record against winning teams is a scar on his record and doesn’t actually point to him being a productive quarterback. Well, let’s compare that to other QBs around the league, shall we?

Prescott currently ranks 10th among active NFL quarterbacks in winning percentage versus winning teams. While that percentage isn’t all that impressive at .393, it is among the norm for NFL quarterbacks to have a losing record against winning teams. The list of quality quarterbacks who join him on that under .500 list are Rodgers (.456), Allen (.411), Murray (.333), Watson (.269), Carr (.237), and Stafford (.106). There are actually only five quarterbacks in the league who have a winning record versus winning teams and this should not be used as an argument for a mark of an elite QB in the NFL.

The other stain on Prescott’s status as a winning quarterback is his playoff record of 1-3. There isn’t a great excuse for this, and much like Romo, this is what haunts him and is what has fueled the media flame. Prescott simply just has to get it done in the postseason. If he does that, he can quiet every critic, as he certainly has the numbers to speak as an argument for the other aspects of his game.

The Cowboys QB has some of the best stats in the league

Since 2016, the Mississippi State product has piled up some incredible numbers which clearly put him in the category of elite. All-time, Prescott ranks fifth in career passer rating (tied with Drew Brees with 98.7), fourth in career pass interception percentage with only 1.7%, and fifth all-time in completion percentage with 66.6%.

To go along with that, since 2016, he ranks eighth in total passing yards, 11th in yards per game, and 10th in passing touchdowns while missing 11 games in the time span. Prescott has also finished top five in QBR in three of his five full seasons and top 11 in four of the five.

Since 2019, though, Prescott has only been improving as a passer. No QB ranks higher than Prescott in yards per game, and only eight rank above him in total passing touchdowns, despite the games Dak lost to injury.

To go along with long-range stats, No. 4 was pretty spectacular stat-wise this past season as well. He posted the Cowboys’ single-season record for touchdowns with 37, 4,449 passing yards, and a third in the league ranking passer rating of 104.2 in 2021.

The advanced stats also supported Prescott’s performance last season. He ranked first in red zone accuracy rating, fifth in true passer rating, 10th in expected points added, eighth in deep ball accuracy rating, second in red zone completion percentage, and first in touchdown passes versus the blitz.

Now, with all that in mind, imagine if he was healthy all year long and had an offensive line that didn’t rank 23rd in pass block win rate in 2021. When compared to his peers, Prescott ranks highly, as the stats clearly tell. So, why is he often ranked below quarterbacks like Jackson, Carr, and Murray, when he puts up better numbers than them and so many others?

Statistically speaking, we should be viewing the 29-year-old Cowboys QB as a without a doubt top five to 10 quarterback in this league, but the Collin Cowherds and Bart Scotts of the world do not seem to think so.

Many Cowboys fans agree with them as well, ignoring the numbers, since the numbers haven’t equated to playoff success. To the ones that support Prescott, though, much of that hatred seems laughable, as football is a team sport, wins aren’t easy to come by, and Prescott and Romo both have helped this team cling to relevancy despite all the surrounding issues this dysfunctional franchise has brought to the table.

So, to answer the question… Prescott doesn’t deserve the disrespect he gets. Any QB that puts up the wins and numbers that he has doesn’t deserve the disrespect. However, while he doesn’t deserve it, it will never go away unless he gets the Cowboys to the Super Bowl and wins it, just as it didn’t go away for Romo.

Only then, can Prescott get the monkey off his back and escape the noise that comes with the territory of quarterback for America’s Team. Until then, though, I would suggest to the overly critical Cowboys fans to enjoy the quality quarterback play we currently have on this team, because if the 2020 season taught us anything, it’s that this team is dreadful to watch without quality quarterback play.

Next. 3 Realistic Goals for Dak Prescott This Season. dark

**All stats obtained from ESPN, Statmuse, and Pro Football Reference, unless otherwise specified**