5,477 yards. That's the record. It is held by Peyton Manning who threw for that many yards in his 2013 season. It is the most passing yards in a single season for an NFL quarterback. Given the way NFL offense have exploded in the passing game over the last decade, it’s a record that likely won’t last too much longer. Could 2021 be the year it falls?
Recently we discussed the idea of Dak Prescott joining the 5,000-yard club. Given that he almost did it in 2019, that idea is not far-fetched at all. In fact, if he would have maintained the pace he was on to start the 2020 season he would have obliterated the 5,000-yard mark. But what about breaking the 5,477-yard mark set by Manning?
Bill Barnwell recently took a look at records that could be broken in 2021 and who might do it. One reason records could fall is the extra game introduced this year. When discussing the all-time passing mark for a single season, Barnwell has Patrick Mahomes as the most likely candidate to do it this year. But who is right behind him in Barnwell’s estimation? Dak Prescott.
Prescott started and finished four games last season before breaking his ankle in the fifth. In those four games, he racked up 1,690 passing yards. No quarterback in league history had even topped 1,600 yards over the first four weeks of the season before last year. If Prescott had kept that up for an entire 16-game season, he would have finished with 6,790 yards, blowing away the passing record with weeks to spare without even considering the possibility of adding a 17th game.
Of course, drawing conclusions from that four-game sample isn’t so easy. His performance likely would have regressed toward the rest of the league over a larger run. The Cowboys played from behind for most of that first month, leaving Prescott in situations in which he had no choice but to throw over and over again, and they shouldn’t be as awful on defense in 2021 as they were last season. At the same time, though, he did that behind an injury-hit offensive line, and he gets both that line and his three star receivers back for 2021. One way for team owner Jerry Jones to justify that massive contract? Get Prescott to set a passing record.
So the question is simple, do you see Prescott threatening that record in 2021?