The abilities of Dak Prescott as a pocket passer are debated through every sector of the internet. Narratives are crafted, statistics are pulled, and the circle of it all continues and I’m certain this will be the case long after civilization is gone.
Whether you believe Prescott is a great thrower of the football (no big deal, just an essential trait for a quarterback) is moot for the purposes of this discussion. While people differ on that subject we can all acknowledge that Prescott’s legs are in fact elite. He’s a great runner and has the scoring prowess to prove it.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about his success on the ground is that it is still apparent despite the Cowboys almost trying to hide it. Prescott is one of the game’s best quarterbacks as far as abilities on the move, but Scott Linehan refused to steer into it all.
.@dak ran for 2,500+ yards vs SEC competition at https://t.co/885LFUFfsd. I’ve never understood why the @dallascowboys haven’t fully taken advantage of his skills as a dual-threat playmaker. Running the rock is a part of his game.. Makes sense to use him to complement No.21 https://t.co/6K2s7LFl4K— Bucky Brooks (@BuckyBrooks) June 29, 2019
Kellen Moore holds the key to unlocking Dak’s legs
As the new offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, the future of Dak Prescott as an offensive skill-player rests in Kellen Moore’s hands (left-hand dominant!). Moore is the engine that will drive Prescott and he best be running that car like Fred Flintstone literally ran his own.
ESPN recently ranked NFL quarterbacks by their abilities on the ground (this was done through a fantasy football lens so keep that in mind) and in a world where they sorted them into tiers, Dak Prescott didn’t even make the top one.
The worldwide leader is definitely a fan of Prescott’s skills as a runner, but they too are aware of how rare of a quality it is that we see from him.
Prescott doesn’t rush quite as often as those in our first tier, but he’d be in that group if this were based solely on touchdowns. Prescott has rushed for exactly six touchdowns in each of his first three seasons. Incredibly, he joins Otto Graham (five), Newton (five), Jake Kemp (three) and Michael Vick (three) as the only quarterbacks to reach that mark in at least three seasons. Prescott’s production is no fluke, as his eight carries inside the opponent’s 5-yard line were three more than any other quarterback had last season. His 18 rushing touchdowns and 13 carries inside the 5 since entering the league are both highest at the position.
It is strange how it can be true that the Cowboys don’t utilize Dak’s ground game enough but that he had more carries inside the five-yard line than any other signal-caller in 2018. This tells us that the Cowboys at least do recognize that he has a nose for the endzone, but the thing is you can also utilize that asset in other parts of the field.
ESPN went as far as putting together projections for every quarterback in their tiers, and they’ve got Prescott staying with relatively normal (for him at least) action in the run game:
- 2016: 57 rushes, 282 yards, 6 touchdowns
- 2017: 57 rushes, 357 yards, 6 touchdowns
- 2018: 75 rushes, 305 yards, 6 touchdowns
- 2019 projection from ESPN: 66 rushes, 334 yards, 6.4 touchdowns
If Kellen Moore is able to tap more into Prescott’s ground strengths then we could see far more than 66 rushing attempts from him. With the threat of Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, Prescott does have quite the favorable matchup more often than not, refusing to exploit that doesn’t make sense.
Please do things that make sense, Kellen Moore. Use Dak Prescott in the rushing game. A lot.