Dak Prescott is one of the most elite quarterbacks in NFL history through his first 24 career starts. Some have been waiting for him to come back down to earth. The thing is, he never really has. The Cowboys dropped the season opener to the Giants by one point in his first regular-season start, but then the Dak train got rolling. He helped lead a comeback against the Redskins on the road, knocked off Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau without Dez Bryant, and went toe-to-toe with Ben Roethlisberger at Heinz Field in an instant classic that came down to the final drive of the game.
Dak put together, perhaps, the greatest season by a rookie signal caller in NFL history. As a fourth-round selection. He took home NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, started in the Pro Bowl in his first season, and nearly led the Cowboys from behind against Rodgers in the playoffs while passing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns.
He has been elite this season, too. Because of the Cowboys’ slow start and the dreadful team performance in Mile High, Dak has been overlooked by most of the general public, it seems. However, from week three on, Prescott has shut up any talk of “sophomore slump” or “one-year wonder”. He has been tearing defenses apart nearly every single week.
Three touchdowns against the Rams. Four touchdowns against the Packers. Four more versus the 49ers. Another three this past Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. He has used his arm to hurt defenses through the air, but he also possesses the ability to burn opponents with his legs as well.
Following the Cowboys’ 40-10 beat down of San Francisco, we posted a piece explaining that Dak was putting up MVP-cailber numbers.
Dak is on pace to surpass almost every single statics that he recorded last season. He is taking more control of this offense and is developing into an elite quarterback in this league. Prescott has the ability to stress defenses with his legs, but he also has the IQ and the arm to make defenses pay through the air. His play has been on an entirely different level these past few games, which is awesome news as the Cowboys head into a critical stretch of games.
After the rainy game in D.C., Dak got back to his stellar performances against one of the league’s best. He threw two scores and added another on the ground. Despite being overlooked in the media, Dak has been putting up extremely impressive numbers this season. Just check this out (in one less game and it doesn’t even account for rushing numbers):
For the year, Dak Prescott is completing 64% of his passes for an average of 227 yards per game, w/ 16 TD & 4 INT, w/ an avg. rating of ~104— David Helman (@HelmanDC) November 6, 2017
Carson Wentz is completing 61% of his passes for 251 yards/game, w/ 23 TDs and 5 INT, w/ an average rating of ~104.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) November 6, 2017
He is isn’t just a one-year wonder. I believe that has been confirmed by now. But, he isn’t just having a streaky stretch of games, either. Dak, statistically, has been the best quarterback in NFL history through his first 24 career starts. Check out Marcus Mosher’s chart:
Notable QBs through their first 24 career starts (sorted by passer rating): pic.twitter.com/YjryA6ekUT— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) November 6, 2017
49 total touchdowns. The highest completion percentage in a quarterback’s first 24 starts ever. The best passer rating ever. More yards per attempt than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Carson Wentz through each of their first 24 career starts. Identical record to and more passing yards than Russell Wilson. Only Cam Newton has rushed for more touchdowns.
He has an absurd touchdown-to-interception ratio and has — by far — the least amount of interceptions from anyone on Mosher’s table. Jerry had some high praise for his superstar quarterback, saying that Dak is playing “at the highest level” in the NFL.
"He's playing right now at the highest level of anybody they see in the NFL," Jones said Wednesday morning on 105.3 The Fan's Shan and RJ show [KRLD-FM]. "The main thing is that they comment that he's maybe as mentally tough and mentally into it or least discourage-able with a bad play than any player they've ever seen."
Ed Werder agrees:
He is correct. Since becoming starter Cowboys have 2nd-best NFL record and Dak has 49 combined pass/rush TD and only 8 INT https://t.co/0y56IiXnjK— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) November 8, 2017
FanRag Sports’ John Owning wrote that its time to start recognizing Dak as one of the elite quarterbacks in the game.
Since he was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Dak Prescott is tied for third (with Matt Ryan) among QBs in total touchdowns (49)– just behind Aaron Rodgers (57) and Drew Brees (50). He’s sixth in QB rating (102.4), third in adjusted net yards per attempt (7.6) — which has a very strong correlation to winning — first in rushing touchdowns (10) and first in wins (18).
It’s time to take the kid gloves off. Prescott is one of the best QBs in the NFL — regardless of age.
Simply put it, Dak’s numbers have been insane.
Coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan deserve tons of credit for developing the 135th pick of the draft into a phenom this quickly. Dak credited his college coach, Dan Mullen, for helping him prepare for the NFL, but Garrett and Linehan have also been tremendous. Our own Tom Ryle referenced that:
It was well documented how head coach (and former QB) Jason Garrett spent extra time after each practice throwing the ball back and forth with Prescott. More importantly, he also was engaged in a running discussion of what Prescott needed to do, and not do. Scott Linehan played his part in constructing the game plan and calling the games. The results were obvious. A 13-3 regular season, an 11-game winning streak, and Offensive Rookie of the Year honors for Prescott - as well as pushing Romo into the broadcast booth.
Dak’s own work ethic deserves a lot of credit, too. Dating back to his days at Mississippi State, Prescott would not let anybody outwork him. We have seen this season how much his offseason development has helped. He appears to be seeing the field better, is well on pace to shattering his touchdown numbers from a season ago, and he has a realisitc chance to be the first quarterback in the storied history of the Dallas Cowboys to record 40 total touchdowns in a single season.
Dak Prescott still has plenty of room to grow too, which should strike fear into the rest of the NFL.