The Dallas Cowboys clinched their second NFC East title in three seasons by beating the Commanders in the Week 18 finale. Things got off to an inauspicious start, but come hell or high water, Dak Prescott was leaving Washington with a win and another division crown.
Prescott closed the best season of his career in style, throwing for 279 yards and four touchdowns. He would've crossed the 300-yard mark, but he was pulled early in the fourth quarter being that the Cowboys were in cruise control.
From the first drive, it was apparent that Prescott had zero intention of letting the Commanders hang around. Sure enough, he made the Cowboys rivals quit by halftime to further punctuate his career-long dominance of the division.
Prescott's had a killer mindset all season. He's always chasing a Super Bowl, but fans have seen a different version of the former fourth-round pick. In fact, Prescott was unfazed after the Cowboys clinched the No. 2 seed going as far as to reject the NFC East champion hats that were given to the team.
Dak Prescott's reaction to Cowboys winning NFC East proves he owns the division.
"I wouldn't say I'm trying to send a message or anything," Prescott said after Sunday's win, via ESPN. "The hat is warmer. A shirt is a shirt. Yeah, I mean, won it before. Obviously, it's a huge accomplishment for myself, this team, the organization. Don't get me wrong by any means. But the focus is ahead. Simple as that ... I want something better."
Say what you will about Prescott's reaction being "corny" and "typical leadership jargon." The same people critiquing his reaction would be the first to jump him if he was spotted dancing and celebrating with his teammates for not having the bigger picture in mind.
Winning the NFC East obviously means a lot to Dak. Don't get that twisted. At this point in his career, though, he expects that of himself. How could he not? He's owned the division from the moment he became the starter as a rookie in 2016. He's the first Cowboys quarterback since Troy Aikman to win for NFC East titles.
It doesn't end there. For his career, Prescott is an impossible 32-8 against the division, which equates to a 80% winning percentage. He's 9-4 against Philly, 10-2 against Washington and 12-2 vs the Giants. This season, he went 5-1 in the division, winning each game by an average of 25 points.
In those games, he completed 69.01% of his passes for 1,802 yards (300.3 per game) and 17 touchdowns to two interceptions.
Those are mind-boggling numbers, record and all, but Prescott didn't reject the NFC East championship hat to send a message. Remember his killer mindset we alluded to earlier? The QB is simply staying grounded.
Nobody would bat an eye if Prescott took a victory lap after Sunday's clincher. He finished the campaign with the most passing touchdowns in the NFL, as well as the highest completion percentage, second-highest QBR and third-most passing yards.
The time for self reflection will come after the season. Dak's had a fantastic year and he's certainly aware of that. He just won't be satisfied unless the season ends with a Super Bowl ring on his finger. How else is he supposed to feel about winning the NFC East when he owns the division to this extreme?