In the 2016 NFL Draft, the Cowboys aimed to get a young quarterback to groom as a successor to Tony Romo. They tried but failed to trade up for Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook before settling for Dak Prescott in the fourth round (135th overall).
The Cowboys secured the NFC East title after finishing the 2016 season with a 13-3 record and played against the Packers in the Divisional Round. Prescott went 24-of-38 for 302 yards, 3 TDs and a INT to go with a 103.2 QB rating. Even though he played well, Dallas lost and their season ended with a 34-31 defeat.
Last time I checked, Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook weren't in the league anymore. Had the Dallas Cowboys drafted either of those players, where do you think the franchise would be today?
Prescott has started 103 games during his career and has won an impressive 63 of those games. With 63 wins, a quarterback being doubted by fans is a rare occurrence. Unless you are the quarterback for America's Team.
Cowboys Nation is a collection of self entitled fans. The vast majority are. They believe every backup QB is better than the starter. I recall people talking themselves into believing Steve Walsh was a better QB than Troy Aikman.
I have never seen a player face such intense scrutiny. This fan base will praise Tony Romo beyond his previous achievements.
Two players have stood out historically for playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. The names Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman are synonymous with the franchise. Tony Romo is neither one.
Romo doesn't even compare to Danny White. Critics were still unhappy with the Cowboys from 1980 to 1982, even though Danny White took them to three conference championships in a row.. Seems improbable.
Tony Romo was a fantastic QB, but in the most significant games, he didn't always play his best, and I've always acknowledged that. Even though I think Romo was the better QB, Eli Manning won two Super Bowls and performed better in clutch situations.
The way history will remember Eli Manning and Tony Romo won't be the same. People have convinced themselves that Manning is worthy of being in the Hall of Fame.
I think Dak Prescott has to achieve what Romo never did. In the two biggest games of his NFL career, Prescott has not played his best in the last two years. It's not too late for him to alter his story.
And that is where we sit today, isn’t it?
When you hold the quarterback position for the Cowboys, the expectations are more elevated than quarterbacking the Cardinals or Lions. Wild card victories are inadequate. The only acceptable outcome is to reach the Super Bowl.
There is no pursuit of Romo by Prescott. It was never the case. Prescott is in pursuit of a historic accomplishment. He is attempting to reach the high bar set by Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman. Prescott is tasked with defeating the demons of the past 25 years that have caused mental anguish for the fan base.
To stop the masses and media from talking in the age of click bait, explore uncharted territory no QB has visited since 1992. Signing a big dollar contract as an NFL quarterback, especially for the Cowboys, comes with a lot of weight.
Are the Cowboys able to secure a Super Bowl victory with Prescott as their quarterback? They can do it, no question.
The way the Giants won the Super Bowl with Eli Manning. The Ravens won with Trent Dilfer. With Brad Johnson at the helm, the Buccaneers emerged victorious. With Joe Flacco as their leader, the Ravens triumphed.
None of the QBs I've listed above are better than Prescott. He needs to replicate their success in the playoffs to make a name for himself.
With each passing year in the league, Prescott has shown improvement.
There is no throw that he cannot execute. He is an exceptional leader with great character. His teammates adore him. He doesn't have to do all the heavy lifting by himself.
The Cowboys' mission for 2023 is simple. Their aim was to enhance the skill positions and arm Prescott with better weapons, which they accomplished.
Brandin Cooks was a huge addition to the team. The Cooks trade will bring significant benefits in terms of downfield explosion for Dak, and I am confident about it.
The offense will get a massive power-up with a fit Tony Pollard and Michael Gallup, a better Jalen Tolbert, a rising Jake Ferguson, and the elusive Deuce Vaughn.
The plays will be called by Mike McCarthy from now on. McCarthy has shown his skill in calling a winning offense, resulting in reaching and winning the big game.
The talented defense put together by Will McClay and his scouting team can be truly elite. The Cowboys' offense need to compliment the defensive unit.
Prescott isn't perfect, but he's a damn good QB. He is undoubtedly one of the top 10 QBs in the league that has some fantastic QBs playing. The only requirement is for him to show up and perform well in the biggest games.
I can't wait to see how everything will unfold. Buckle up for what's coming. Football has returned.