The Dallas Cowboys won't head to Oxnard for training camp for another five days, but the team is already a popular talking point on social media.
With camp right around the corner, analysts and pundits are beginning to preview the 2023 campaign. That includes critiquing Dak Prescott's performance last season, which was overshadowed by his league-leading 15 interceptions despite missing five games with a fractured thumb.
While Prescott's decision-making (at times) left something to be desired, his overall performance wasn't close to as bad as the media painted it out to be.
His receivers not named CeeDee Lamb struggled to create separation.That forced Dak to make throws into tight windows, which increases turnover probability. Furthermore, miscommunication and dropped passes led to a handful of picks.
Prescott is fantastic at handling things between the ears, but even he is aware of the interception narrative. So much so that he made a bold guarantee about the 2023 season that puts a ton of pressure on Dallas' receiving corps.
Dak Prescott sends clear message to Cowboys WRs after interception-plagued 2022.
Prescott has been confident and lively behind the mic all offseason, but we can't recall an instance where he was this brazen. QB1 is sending a clear message to his receivers about being in the right place at the right time, knowing when to expect the ball and being focused at the point of catch.
What ESPN's Todd Archer is referring to by saying "what Prescott actually said," multiple major companies -- ESPN, Pro Football Focus and Bleacher Report among them -- spinned Prescott's guarantee about "tipped interceptions" to say "I won't have 10 interceptions this year."
Here's PFF's graphic that's generated a ton of engagement (nearly 10k likes) on Twitter. Even ESPN had the misquote projected in the middle of the screen on "Get Up" while the show's panel analyzed Prescott's turnover woes.
Prescott isn't calling his shot. He's merely sending a message to his receivers that tipped interceptions won't cut it.
Noah Brown dropped a routine pass in the second half that landed in the hands of a Jaguars defender before the Cowboys lost in overtime, while Peyton Hendershot performed a juggling act that led to an interception in Dallas' narrow win in Tennessee on Thursday Night Football.
Those are just two examples.
PFF, ESPN and Bleacher Report running with a misquote for clicks is embarrassing and a sad encapsulation of what sports media has become.
Putting that aside, Cowboys fans should love every second of Prescott putting pressure on his teammates to be more consistent. Prescott himself will have to perform, but it sounds like he understands the magnitude of the upcoming season and wants everyone to be playing with the same urgency.