On the surface Dak Prescott and Forrest Gump have very little in common. One is a real-life professional athlete, while the other is a fictional movie character. The differences between the two are vast, but it’s the commonality that could help the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback get out of the funk he currently finds himself in.
When he found himself in troubling situations throughout his life Forrest Gump fell back on the advice he received from his childhood friend Jenny Curran, “Just run away Forrest”. Whether it was escaping bullies, playing collegiate football, or dodging bullets Jenny’s advice helped him tremendously when he needed it and could help Dak Prescott as well.
Throughout his collegiate and professional career, Dak Prescott used his dual-threat ability as both a runner and passer to attack defenses. Sadly, we haven’t seen much of that from No. 4 this season. Instead, he’s become much more of a pocket passer this year, which is understandable considering the season-ending ankle injury he sustained last year.
Whether it’s Prescott’s fear of sustaining another serious injury or the Dallas Cowboys trying to protect their franchise QB, Dak’s production as a runner has dropped dramatically this year. To date, he has only 106 rushing yards, which is by far the lowest of his career - he usually averages around 300 a season - with the exception of his shortened 2020 season. Reintroducing that part of his game could not only help No. 4, but the entire offense as well.
All year Kellen Moore and the Cowboys offense has been taking what the defense has been giving them. Because of that they have become a little more passive instead of attacking defenses with the plethora of talent they have at their disposal. To get out of their current offensive slump, it may be time to get back to that attacking style of offense.
This is where Dak Prescott channeling his inner Forrest Gump comes into play. Dialing up more designed QB runs, run/pass options (RPO’s), and zone reads could not only greatly benefit Prescott, but the entire offense as well. It would add an entirely different wrinkle that opposing defenses haven’t seen much of this season.
One of the things that has made Dak so successful since taking over the starting QB as a rookie has been his legs. While he continued to develop as a passer over the years it was all ways his mobility to extend plays and turn himself into a runner that he fell back on. That really hasn’t been the case this season, but it may be time for him to reincorporate that aspect of his game.
It’s such a small thing, but could be the simple solution to get Dak Prescott and the rest of the offense out of their current funk. “Run, Forrest run!”, is the mantra that got Forrest Gump through his troubling times and could do the same for Prescott if he would only channel one of the more iconic movie characters of our time. Will he, or won’t he, is something we’ll have to wait to find out about.