The Cowboys finally got themselves a quarterback. While the selection of Mississippi State's Dak Prescott doesn't surprise a lot of fans, getting him with the 135th pick in the draft is a bit of a surprise. The team has shown a lot of interest in him as he met with the team a couple different times. Prescott is a great addition at this point in the draft. He's a quarterback that is labeled as a game manager and could offer up the all-important trait that coaches love - protecting the ball.
The Cowboys are looking for a viable backup for Tony Romo. Now, they have a player than can battle with Kellen Moore. Prescott is a work in progress, but has a great football IQ and makes good decisions. He's an accurate passer, completing 66 percent of his passes in 2015. Prescott has good mobility as he's had 1,574 rushing yards over the last two seasons. This could be key if he's asked to play early as a result of a Romo injury. Because of his size and mobility, he could use his legs to complement his passing in helping the Cowboys move the football. As he works more on his footwork and throwing technique, he should mature into a very competent passer. There's no question about his arm, but his footwork is a big key for the Cowboys coaches.
Prescott is great overall athlete that shattered SEC records and has gotten better and better every year. Has mobility, a strong arm, and pocket awareness. He's a great-effort and team-first guy. He possesses good football character that could translate into a future leader on this team. And he has high potential to be much more than a backup in the NFL.
Let's see look at some of the reports on Prescott:
Lance Zierlein (NFL.com)
Thick, muscular frame. Has proven over last three seasons that he can withstand a pounding. Has enough natural arm strength and hip snap to fit throws into an NFL window. Stands tall and delivers a tight spiral with over-the-top delivery. Very little windup and gets ball out with the flick of a wrist. When pocket is clean, can deliver accurate strikes around the field. Played with improved vision and care for football this season and eliminated many of the ill-fated throws that turned into interceptions in 2014. Still a work in progress, but continues to show a level of growth as a passer. Threat with his legs, scoring 37 rushing touchdowns over last three seasons and had 94 rushes of ten yards or more during that time. Can be used as goal-line rushing option. Willing to extend plays outside of pocket with legs but look to finish the play with his arm. Mentally tough enough to carry a heavy offensive burden for the Bulldogs over last three years. When protected better in 2014, showed an ability to challenge deep and strike with accuracy and touch.
Beat up this year thanks to poor protection. When he wasn't being sacked, he was being hit hard. Not as competitive a rusher in 2015. Sacks and usage in run game might be taking a toll. Increase in short pass attempts from 86 to 208 this year reason for higher completion numbers. Accuracy on intermediate and deep throws dropped sharply. Pocket poise has been compromised. Hyper aware of pressure around him and lacks awareness to slide and find temporary shelter to make throw. Concern over pressure too often trumps ability to get through progressions. Must speed up the pace of his reads. Footwork is a mess. Slight stride onto stiff upper leg with little weight shift. Restricted follow through and too often tries to muscle throws with upper body. Throws to target rather than leading or throwing them open on short/intermediate throws. Too respectful of underneath coverage and must be more willing to challenge the defense. Needs to improve anticipation.
Dane Bugler (CBS.com)
Scouts are most impressed with his development above the neck, showing above average awareness as a passer, recognizing things quickly and working through his progressions to easily load and fire.
Displays an ability to use his eyes and hold defenders and has a quick memory to move on from mistakes and not let the negative plays linger. Overall, he has a much more natural feel in the passing game than in 2013 and appears in complete control of that offense.
When he does step into his throws, Prescott can deliver strikes. He's a very dangerous runner, combining aggression, agility and the power to break arm tackles.
Work in progress as a passer but has a live arm and good field vision. His footwork is inconsistent and he loses accuracy when his feet are not set.
Tends to predetermine some throws and relies on a lot of back shoulder patterns, something that got him in trouble against Auburn and Alabama. Has not shown the consistency to lead his team through the air in tough road environments when the ground game is shut down.