It's silly to think that Dak Prescott held the Dallas Cowboys back last season.
While the quarterback tied for the NFL lead in interceptions despite missing five games, the turnover narrative was overblown by the media -- a large contingent of which overlooked the fact the Cowboys scored over 30 points per game after he returned from injury.
In a vacuum, though, it's hard to blindly defend Prescott after 2022. While he delivered a playoff performance for the ages against the Buccaneers, he came up short in the following round against the vaunted 49ers defense.
The Cowboys' D limited the Niners to 19 points, while Prescott and company managed one touchdown and less than 300 yards of total offense. To make matters worse, Dak threw two costly (and avoidable) interceptions.
Given how the season ended and the prevailing turnover narrative, it's hard not to label Prescott's 2022 as a disappointment.
However, analyst Adam Schein of NFL Media believes Dak is primed to bounce-back this upcoming season.
NFL analyst believes Cowboys QB Dak Prescott will bounce back in 2023
Here's what Schein said of Prescott's bounce-back potential.
"Head coach Mike McCarthy is taking the play-calling reins for the first time in his Dallas tenure, a development I strongly support. Don't get it twisted: I think Kellen Moore -- now the offensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Chargers -- is a fine young mind. But clearly, McCarthy and Moore weren't always on the same page."
"Now it's McCarthy's offense from stem to stern. No confusion, no conflicting strategies. And seeing how I believe McCarthy is a true quarterback/offensive guru, I really think Dak and the 'Boys will reap the benefits of this change. Not to mention, Dallas acquired WR Brandin Cooks via trade back in March. Brilliant move."
What's this? A refreshingly candid take on Prescott? What a sight for sore eyes. It shouldn't be understated that McCarthy and Moore seldom were on the same page. That couldn't have been easy on Prescott. With Moore gone, Prescott should have a clear understanding of what's expected of him in the pocket.
The overall improvement of the Cowboys' WR room is just as significant, however. Schein notes that Noah Brown, who's probably a WR4 (at best) on a good team, was the team's second-leading receiver with 45 catches for 555 yards and three touchdowns.
Cooks enters with six 1,000-yard seasons under his belt and the attention he'll command from defenses will only create more opportunities for CeeDee Lamb, who actually made Schein's list this time last year.
Additionally, Michael Gallup is finally healthy two years removed from ACL surgery, and 2022 third-round pick Jalen Tolbert, who played sparingly as a rookie, is considered the team's most improved player this offseason.
When considering all of these variables, Schein has high expectations for Prescott. In fact, the columnist believes the two-time Pro Bowler will "throw for 4,500 yards and 40 touchdowns while reducing his interception total by at least five."
If that prediction holds true, Prescott will be in the MVP discussion and the Cowboys will be in the mix for the NFL's best record.