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Cowboys @ Rams: Two Rookie Quarterbacks Go Toe-To-Toe In Opener

A pair of rookie quarterbacks took to the field in the preseason opener between the Cowboys and Rams.

The first overall pick was overshadowed.
The first overall pick was overshadowed.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Goff, who was the first-overall pick in the 2016 draft, has already been projected as the future for the Los Angeles Rams while fourth-round selection Dak Prescott is viewed as a project to develop for the Dallas Cowboys. With Tony Romo firmly in place the Cowboys have some time to watch their young passer grow into the job. The Rams do not have that luxury. Before long they will throw Goff to the wolves and allow him to learn on the go. Case Keenum is penciled in as the current top quarterback, but the Rams did not trade up to have Goff sit on the bench.The only fly in the ointment for Dallas is the fact that some feel that Prescott is not ready to serve as the second quarterback in Dallas.

Their play in the opening contest of the preseason would have you wondering if the two players traded uniforms prior to opening kickoff. It was Dak Prescott who played like he was the top pick in the draft while his counterpart experienced a few jitters. That is not to say that Goff was terrible, but Dak was nearly perfect. His outing was good enough that he earned the recognition of the team's top pass catcher.

Bryant was the recipient of one of the two touchdown strikes that Prescott threw on the night. The other went to Terrance Williams. Perhaps the most impressive thing was that the rookie did not get fixated on feeding the ball to Bryant or any other receiver. He had no problem with spreading the ball around. With all the talent the Cowboys have on offense this is a trait that will serve him well. All told, the former Mississippi State Bulldog went 10 for 12 passing. He threw for 139 yards and no interceptions. The only thing keeping the rookie from turning in a perfect stat line were two passes that were dropped.

Prescott played his first game like veteran. If he was nervous the young man certainly did not show it.

By contrast, Goff had some issues. He did not have a terrible debut, but he was not in the same league as Prescott on Saturday night. Goff went four of nine on the night and threw an interception. He accounted for just 38 yards passing. To be fair to the Rams rookie he did start to look a little more comfortable as his limited time in the game wound toward a close. No doubt he will see better days in the future, but for the evening he was not the best passer on the field, draft pedigree be damned.

The outing was enough to impress the most important person in the organization, Jerry Jones.

The outing, if coupled by continued performances of a similar caliber, should help to put to rest speculation about the dangers of the team going into the season without a proven veteran behind Tony Romo. As Jones said, Dak Prescott is far from an established talent, but he took a huge step toward his future against the Rams.