The Dallas Cowboys have been linked to several different positions entering the 2020 NFL Draft: defensive tackle, pass rusher, secondary, and wide receiver are just a few. Adding a corner that can play day one would help this defense tremendously, while you can never have too many players that can get after the quarterback. Adding another wide receiver to the duo of Michael Gallup and Amari Cooper is also an attractive idea.
One position that has not been talked about much is quarterback — and rightfully so. Dak Prescott is the unquestioned franchise quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Coming off of a career season in 2019, there are high expectations that Prescott takes another leap under the tutelage of Mike McCarthy.
Still, for whatever reason, the Cowboys have yet to reach a new deal with Prescott. Whether it is because of money or the length of the extension, the two parties have yet to agree to any terms. Prescott is currently on the franchise tag, which he has yet to sign, but many expect that at some point a new deal will get done.
Interestingly enough, the Dallas Cowboys tweeted out that they virtually interviewed one of the more fascinating prospects in the entire draft class: Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Take a behind the scenes look at the first Cowboys draft interview with OU QB Jalen Hurts as the coaching and scouting teams conduct their first ever digital interview.— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) April 4, 2020
Follow along for more behind the scenes content this week. #StayHomeStayStrong https://t.co/J661Vg3Lpp
Hurts, of course, put together a stellar career on the collegiate level: winning SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a freshman for Alabama, playing for a national championship, and finishing second in the Heisman voting after transferring to Oklahoma.
Jalen Hurts has often been compared to Dak Prescott
Some question how Hurts’ game will translate to the NFL. Not known for his elite accuracy like Joe Burrow or arm strength like Jacob Eason, Hurts is best known as a leader that can hurt defenses with his legs and his intelligence. Perhaps the most common comparison for Hurts during the draft process has been none other than Dak Prescott himself. From The Draft Network’s Jordan Reid:
NFL Comparison: Dak Prescott
There aren’t enough positive things to mention about Hurts to this point. From accepting his reduced role at Alabama to being the next in line for the Sooners, he has firmly thrust himself into the early Day 2 discussions and possibly becoming a first-round selection. Like Prescott, even though he was involved in a run heavy offense (Alabama), a common misconception was formed about him in that they were attempting to hide his deficiencies when in fact that was one of his biggest assets.
Under the tutelage of Lincoln Riley, his passing potential has been on full display. Hurts has shown accuracy, touch down the field, but also how much of a threat he can as a runner to help him become incorporated into games. Similar to the Cowboys QB, he will need an offense tailor made to his skill set that enables him to be a thrower and a runner when necessary. Hurts natural leadership abilities will be a welcome addition to any huddle, but his ability to continue to progress as a thrower will be the ultimate litmus test.
Bucky Brooks, a former NFL scout and current contributor to the Cowboys’ team website, also sees the similarities between Prescott and Hurts. Brooks has been a fan of Prescott’s talent.
NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks on why Jalen Hurts' draft stock is going ⬆️.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) March 10, 2020
"When I look at him, I see another version of Dak Prescott."#OUDNA | #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/dYa4MAQmnv
Even Hurts’ quarterback trainer, Quincy Avery, said that he sees similarities between the two quarterbacks.
Jalen Hurts’ QB coach sees Dak Prescott in his pupilhttps://t.co/wphTSgtJT1 pic.twitter.com/bUcZzTs0Im— 247Sports (@247Sports) October 10, 2019
The buzzword that keeps coming out of people’s mouths when describing Hurts is “leadership”, a huge reason why there have in fact been plenty of comparisons to Dak Prescott. Dak is said to have the “it” factor, and Hurts has shown that he does as well.
This was likely due diligence from the Cowboys, but it is interesting
Blue Chip Scouting’s and BTB Talkin’ The Draft co-host Dalton Miller broke down the comparison of the Cowboys’ signal caller and the former Alabama and Oklahoma star back in late October:
They are both natural throwers moving up in the pocket with urgency and rolling to their right, although there aren’t many examples of Hurts rolling and throwing left. Prescott rolling left is a magician, where even in college he displayed an innate ability to generate velocity and place passes with precision, because it forced him to use his core to the maximum.
Personally, if a pro comp doesn’t hit me over the head with a chair like I’m on Monday Night RAW, I’m not going to make it. The Prescott and Hurts comparison seems to materialize from their general measurements, general ability with their legs and general accuracy.
But where it really comes from is their intangibles. Both young men are L-E-A-D-E-R-S in every sense of the word. Hurts handled the Alabama situation with grace and humility. His teammates and coaches absolutely adore him, as they do with Prescott. Both also have an unbelievable work ethic, which makes it a fool’s errand to completely write Hurts off.
There are several differing opinions on where Hurts should be drafted. Some believe Hurts will be limited by his lack of elite traits, while others are banking on him continuing the success that he enjoyed during his college career. One of those believers is Daniel Jeremiah, who recently moved Hurts inside his top-50 prospects.
Hurts is slightly undersized for the position but his production, poise and playmaking ability are very impressive. He has crisp footwork in his drop and he throws from a very firm platform. He has a quick release and generates excellent velocity on drive throws. Hurts flashed the ability to touch the ball up, but his ball placement still needs to improve. His vision and anticipation are other areas that need work. He’s an outstanding runner, both on designed runs and when pressured. He gains ground quickly and runs through contact consistently. I love his competitiveness and toughness. Overall, Hurts must continue to improve in the passing game, but I’m going to bet on his eventual success due to his playmaking skills and overall competitiveness.
This was very likely just a due-diligence interview for the Cowboys. Their franchise quarterback is not under contract after this season, and you just never know how the draft will unfold.
It is also worth mentioning that behind Prescott is a ton of uncertainty. Cooper Rush, who recently signed his restricted free agent tender, has shown nothing to give fans any kind of hope if number four were to go down with an injury — though Dak has proven to be very durable in his career. It would be smart to upgrade the backup quarterback spot and improve the depth behind Prescott.
It is interesting that the Cowboys virtually met with not only a quarterback, but a quarterback that has consistently been compared to Dak Prescott. If Hurts were to fall in the draft, adding a developmental quarterback to the room that already has similarities to Prescott would not be a bad idea.