Next Gen Stats’ 2022 QB recap will infuriate Dak Prescott haters

NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers
NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

Dallas Cowboys fans need to tread lightly whenever they open Twitter.

If not, they run the risk of landing in a Dak Prescott rabbit hole, which typically composes of the QB being slandered by an analyst or a rival fan who has nothing better to do than push agendas. The hate has been more prevalent than usual after Prescott led the NFL in interceptions last season despite missing five games.

Not even Prescott's biggest apologists would deny he has to cut down on turnovers and make smarter decisions in the pocket.

But for folks to push the narrative that Prescott's INT woes overshadowed all the great work he did under center is erroneous. He led the league's most prolific offense after he returned from injury and threw 23 touchdowns in 12 games.

A big knock on Prescott since he became the starter has his been his deep ball accuracy, or lack thereof. Well, last season he ranked among the league's top deep-passing quarterbacks, according to Next Gen Stats.

Cowboys' Dak Prescott among NFL's best deep passers in 2022

Per Next Gen Stats, Prescott went 14-of-35 for 484 yards and five touchdowns to one interception on deep passes (115.2 passer rating), which are regarded as passes that travel 20-plus air yards. He completed 40% of his deep passes and had a 29.7% deep xComp, which is a QB's average "completion probability" that constitutes the level of difficulty of a set of passes.

Further, Prescott produced a deep completion percentage above expectation of +10.3% -- the difference between a QB's completion percentage and expected completion percentage -- and had a deep passing score of 99.

That score not only cracked the top 10, but checked in at No. 4, higher than Josh Allen (No. 10), Joe Burrow (No. 9) and Patrick Mahomes (No. 6).

Here's a telling nugget from NFL Media's Nick Shook:

"If you need one metric that illustrates a lack of downfield effectiveness from Dallas' passing game as a whole, look at Prescott's expected completion percentage on deep attempts, which fell short of 30. This suggests the Cowboys' lack of firepower helped opposing defenses limit Dallas' downfield opportunities."

Another disadvantage Prescott had to overcome throwing deep balls? CeeDee Lamb was the only Cowboys receiver who caught more than two deep passes. Despite that, Dak had the third-highest completion rate over expected.

With the speedy Brandin Cooks, who's averaged 13.7 yards per reception in his career, joining the receiver room, and a rejuvenated and healthy Michael Gallup primed for a bounce-back season, it's not crazy to think Prescott could make a sizable jump in these rankings next season.

The haters will have nothing to stand on at that point.

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