By now, you’re well-aware that Dak Prescott did not attempt a pass over 15 yards last week.
This statement is true in an NFL world where the rules are completely skewed towards the quarterbacks and receivers. The Dallas Cowboys were on the road in Seattle last week, but with speedy wideouts like Tavon Austin and Deonte Thompson, there’s no excuse as to why Dak did not push the ball downfield.
If you’re wondering how Dak Prescott’s deep ball (a throw of over 20 yards) does historically, you’re in luck. The Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota put together an incredible graphic that represents Dak’s deep balls across his career.
Dak Prescott didn’t attempt one deep ball last week (20-or-more yards in the air), so I went back and watched every one he’s thrown in his career. Here’s what I found: pic.twitter.com/Vf4Ott5XZN— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 29, 2018
When scouring the data there’s something that jumps out quickly (among a few things). A 38% completion percentage when going deep isn’t too poor considering, well, you’re going deep, but it goes without saying that this has to fix and it has to fix quickly. Especially from a utilization standpoint.
The primary takeaway has to do with the recipients of Dak’s deep passes. Our own Tom Ryle even pointed it out on Twitter because he’s a genius.
Check that Brice Butler line.— Regular Season Tom (@TomRyleBTB) September 29, 2018
The Dak Prescott to Brice Butler deep ball connection is successful 59% of the time. That’s insane for throws over 20 yards. It’s no wonder that Brice averaged over 20 yards per reception last season (granted on only 15 catches). If you were wondering why the Cowboys brought Butler back, here’s your reason.
There’s no denying that this connection is good for Dak Prescott, good for Brice Butler, and subsequently good for the Dallas Cowboys and their lackluster offense. This is something that even Dak knows, consider one of the first things he said when news of Brice’s return became official. The word deep is in it.
Dak on pending return of Brice Butler: A guy that I've been comfortable w/ the last 2 years. I know what he can offer, he can stretch the defense deep, can run over the top, he's a great route runner. W/ [receivers] Coach Sanjay [Lal] helping him, he's only going to become better— Kate Hairopoulos (@khairopoulos) September 18, 2018
The Detroit Lions game is only the second one that Brice Butler is on the roster for this season, and he wasn’t active last week in Seattle. There are reports that Terrance Williams won’t play on Sunday, could this week be the return of Brice Butler and therefore the return of the deep ball?
Let’s cross our fingers.