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Cowboys 2018 over/under: 25 TD passes for Dak Prescott

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Will the Cowboys veteran signal-caller set a career high in 2018?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing our series of over/under for the 2018 Dallas Cowboys, we’re going to look at quarterback Dak Prescott. Specifically, we’re setting an over/under number on touchdown passes by the third-year veteran.

Over the two season Dak Prescott has played so far in the NFL, many of his major statistical markers have been remarkably similar and that includes his touchdown passes. In 2016, his rookie year, he threw for 23 TDs, and in 2017 he threw for 22 TDs. The issues in 2017 surrounded his uptick in INTs, 13 compared to four in his first season, and his drop in completion percentage, 67.8% down to 62.9%. But his TD output remained remarkably stable.

Heading into 2018 you can make arguments for either a rise in TD passes, or a decline. Let’s discuss, then set our number.

Increased TD output

  1. Prescott is now going into his third year. This is the time when we should start start seeing an experienced quarterback. He’s seen all kinds of NFL defenses so he’s going to be surprised much less often. His ability to process action quickly should increase as he’s had the experience of the past two years. He knows the playbook, he should be more comfortable running the show. Basically, experience is now in his favor.
  2. The Cowboys have seemingly improved their offensive line. They picked up Connor Williams to play left guard. They brought in Cam Fleming in case Tyron Smith has any health issues. La’el Collins should be better after a year manning right tackle. Prescott should see a better pocket on a consistent basis.
  3. The Cowboys are going to make the offense Dak-friendly. The idea is to run plays that better fit Prescott’s style of play. This in turn should boost his production.

Decreased TD output

  1. The Cowboys running game may play a bigger part of the offense. Dallas will feed Ezekiel Elliott, especially if the offensive line returns to form. They may also let Dak run the ball a little more and Tavon Austin could get involved. If all that happens, Prescott’s opportunities could be less.
  2. The Cowboys lost both Jason Witten and Dez Bryant this offseason. Those two were the leading TD receivers in 2017 (six for Bryant, five for Witten) accounting for half of Prescott’s TD passes. Dallas is going to need to replace their production and how that’s going to happen isn’t totally clear yet. Especially at tight end. They also lost Brice Butler who had three TDs in 2017.
  3. Prescott’s game started to go downhill in the second half of 2017. What if that is the start of a trend. His interceptions were way up in 2017 (13 over the season), so the case could be made that we don’t know the real Dak Prescott yet.

As you can see, you can make arguments on both sides. Given all that, we’re setting the number at 25 passing TDs. If Prescott is a franchise QB, he should start making his move toward the upper echelons. 25 passing TDs would have put him just inside the Top 10 of leaders from last season. Yes, the Cowboys are a run-fist team, so Prescott will probably never have seasons with TD pass numbers like a Drew Brees or Tom Brady, but 25 is not out of the question.

Over to you BTB? What’s you call?

Poll

Are you taking the over or under on 25 passing TDs for Dak Prescott?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    Over, I believe his trajectory is up.
    (632 votes)
  • 37%
    Under, not in this style of offense.
    (377 votes)
1009 votes total Vote Now