Last year at this time, fourth-round rookie quarterback Dak Prescott was sitting at the kids table. Buried on the depth chart behind Tony Romo and Kellen Moore, Prescott was just a young player trying to prove himself. Then, over the next few months, fate would intervene and yada yada yada, he was the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.
After a historic rookie season and the retirement of Romo, Prescott now enters camp as the undisputed number one QB in Dallas. What a difference a year makes. But as great as last year’s performance was, all of that is just an afterthought now. It’s a new season. A clean slate. As the mystique of what lies ahead has many of us anxious to see what happens, there are some that are concerned about the Cowboys new franchise quarterback falling victim to regression. All eyes will be on Prescott as he tries to avoid the infamous “sophomore slump” that has plagued many quarterbacks in the past.
But the real-deal Dak won’t let this happen. With last year’s achievements nothing more than a bag full of experience, the kid will be looking to perform even better as he enters his second season. On Monday, he showed up to OTA’s not only a year smarter, but he’s stronger and faster as well. Clarence Hill Jr. recently reported that according to Cowboys’ QB coach, Wade Wilson, Prescott has eclipsed his rookie numbers in the team’s off-season program in terms of speed, strength and agility.
“They tested last Monday,” Wilson said Wednesday during the media availability of the first week of OTA practices. “He has improved strength-wise, flexibility-wise, speed-wise, quickness-wise. He is not resting on anything that went on last year.”
Prescott’s off-season workout program was spent with the same coach that helped prepare him for the NFL Draft, Tom Shaw, who runs the Performance Enhancement Camp in Orlando. Shaw has a long-lasting reputation of training elite quarterbacks, including Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. It always help to have one of the best providing the instruction, but credit Prescott with such a strong desire to put in the work. Dak had this to say about his off-season program results...
“My numbers went up,” Prescott said. “It’s just working hard continuously. That is how I have gotten to where I am in life. I’m not going to forget that and keep working hard. … I don’t look at what’s behind me. I look at where I can go and what I can do. The only way I know to do that is through hard work. That is something I continue to try to do.”
Prescott’s work ethic and desire to win aren’t likely to be questioned in Dallas. Many players will talk about how much it means to get to the very top, but Dak is demonstrating a strong level of devotion towards constantly getting better. It’s part of his make-up and he’s doing all the right things to develop into one of the elite quarterbacks in the league.
During Jason Garrett’s press conference after the first OTA practices, he had this to say about Prescott:
“He’s someone who values preparation, someone who’s always ready for his opportunities. He’s worked very hard this off-season, being around this building working with his teammates.”
Prescott is in a great situation in Dallas where there are so many complementary pieces around him. He’s got a great offensive line. He’s got an outstanding running back. His pass catchers of Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Jason Witten are as good as one can ask for in this league. But Prescott, himself is looking to take the next step to be one of the tougher quarterbacks to defend against.
Cowboys All-Pro guard, Zack Martin was recently on A.J. Hawk’s radio show, The Hawk Cast, and was asked about his new starting quarterback.
Hawk: What was his (Dak), the first regular season games when he comes in to start, what was he like in the huddle?
Zack: You wouldn’t think he was a rookie. He’s extremely poised and takes command of the huddle. He’s got a ton of...I always tell people he’s got a ton of confidence, but he’s not cocky. He kind of has that commanding personality that when he steps in guys are locked in on what he’s saying.
He already has his teammates believing in him so why not jump on board. If Prescott follows up a rookie season with a performance that is even better than 2016, the Cowboys are in store for a finish of epic proportions.
A year ago at this time, third-string QBs Jameill Showers and Dak Prescott watch Zeke take handoffs from Tony Romo pic.twitter.com/tFoSr2qlIL— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 22, 2017
Turned into this...
And I can’t wait to see what’s next.