It's coming. You know it; I know it. All it will take is a bad outing, an ill-timed interception or two and there will be some talk of letting backup quarterback Dak Prescott take the helm. Tony Romo has always has his detractors and that will never go away. Some of those will take Prescott's unbelievable start to his NFL career and combine it with a Romo faux pas to falsely generate support for a new day in the Dallas offense. The older heads among us remember when it was Staubach vs Morton and White vs Hogeboom. Soon there will be some calling for Prescott over Romo.
That would be the biggest mistake the Dallas Cowboys could possibly make, and one they won't make. Dak has set the world on fire with an impressive debut against the Los Angeles Rams and then he improved upon his start in his first ever appearance at AT&T Stadium. That does not mean that young Mr. Prescott is ready to assume the helm of the Cowboys. Far from it. Keep in mind that he was working with a vanilla offense against vanilla defenses. He seems to have the basics down, but the basics will only carry a player, or a team, so far at this level.
Prescott still needs time to mature into being a professional quarterback and he is in the perfect situation to do just that. His primary role for the next couple seasons is to serve as a sponge and learn everything that he possibly can about the Dallas offense. For that he has a group of mentors starting with Romo and a few other guys who have had a measure of success at the professional level. That coupled with the experience he gains in the opportunities he is given in the preseason, and in a mop up role, is what will eventually take the young passer to the next level. Pushing the issue will not do anybody any good and could serve to hinder the development of the young quarterback.
Once the season starts the Cowboys offense will become more intricate. Opposing defenses will mix things up and become more exotic. Learning how to deal with the complexities on both sides of the ball is something that will only come with time. Dak has the luxury of being able to study without having the added burden of leading an offense week in and week out. He has voices of experience to turn to as he progresses in his lessons and he has the time to learn them. He will have opportunities, but for the short-term it is beneficial that those be limited.
The Dallas Cowboys find themselves in a fortunate situation. They have a young and talented understudy to serve behind a crafty veteran for a couple seasons. This is how teams used to develop quarterbacks. Making the assumption that Dak Prescott will get the first crack at being the heir to the throne in Dallas, the time will come when we have a quarterback controversy. That time is not in 2016, and most likely not in 2017, either. It is far too early for Prescott to be thrown to the wolves. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply asking for failure. The kid has experienced one heck of a debut, and it looks like he may have a bright future in Dallas, but he is not ready for the big time yet.
There was a heck of a drought from Aikman to Romo. If Dallas can handle this situation carefully they might be able to avoid a similar situation when #9 rides off into the sunset. They will have to ignore calls for an abrupt change and allow things to develop in their own time. The future might be here for Dallas, but the future is not now.