When it comes to identifying the struggles of the Dallas Cowboys offense, there has been a lot of finger pointing going on this season. People everywhere have their own idea as to what the problem is. Offensive line injuries certainly come up a lot and we can’t go a day without hearing about how terrible Scott Linehan has been calling plays. But one of the most divided subjects is the play of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Recently, former Cowboys tight end and the current Monday Night Football announcer, Jason Witten, offered up his thoughts on his former teammate. Witten discussed how right from the beginning Dak had the mental make-up to step in and lead the charge.
“That year was a crazy year on how that played, Tony goes down in the third preseason game,” Witten said. “Dak comes in, I mean, fourth-round pick, he doesn’t even blink. The guy, he is unwavering with his mental toughness, which is a great trait for a young quarterback.
And that has been pretty consistent with what those around Prescott have said from the beginning. Head coach Jason Garrett always talks about his maturity, poise, and resolve as he’s fought through adversity at different points in his young career. But a lot of that can also be credited to his preparation. Witten even talks about a funny moment where Ezekiel Elliott caught Dak rehearsing his new role in front of a mirror.
“Zeke came down to dinner and says, ‘Dak’s been sitting in the bathroom calling the plays to himself in the mirror.’ We all laughed and giggled about it, but I left there and I go, ‘I love that.” I love that he was working at calling a play. There’s something different about (speaking confidently) ‘double-right-scat-right-439-run-F-drag-H-swing-1-1, now go make a damn play boys, let’s go!’ or coming in there saying, ‘hey...double-right, uh...scat-right?’ you know what I mean? I don’t want to play for that guy. Dak didn’t blink.”
Prescott’s teammates have embraced his dedication and mental fortitude right from the get-go. Dak had huge shoes to fill as a rookie and the game never appeared too fast for him, but he was also fortunate to have so many good pieces around him. Witten made a point to talk about how good Dak had it and the missed opportunity of Tony Romo.
“I was fortunate enough to go 14 years with Tony. I don’t think he had the roster around him with the offensive line, and the playmakers that Dak did. I would have loved to see what Tony would have done with that group and with him being healthy. In saying that, I think the future’s bright with Dak. He’s going to continue to develop.”
Prescott is only in his third year in the league. He’s far from a finished product. How far this Cowboys team goes will depend largely on how Dak performs, but if he’s not playing at the level people want right now, it’s not the end of the world. He still has time to get there.
Witten is one of the most respected guys among Cowboys fans everywhere. When he speaks, people listen. If this Cowboys legend believes Dak has what it takes, that counts for something and in time - it will be apparent to all of us. Of course, Witten has first-hand experience of what can come when you don’t give up on Prescott.