Somehow it has already been five years since Dak Prescott took over as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. Time really does tend to fly.
Prescott’s value to the Cowboys has never been more evident than it was last season when he was lost due to injury. It really is amazing that people used to debate just who was more important to the team, him or Ezekiel Elliott.
All week long we have been re-visiting the careers of certain Cowboys players on the Blogging The Boys podcast feed, discussing their top moments with the club. On Monday the Jersey Boyz discussed the aforementioned Ezekiel Elliott and on Tuesday The 75O went down the memory lane of Amari Cooper.
Sooner or later Dak Prescott was going to come up as an option and Talkin’ The Star stepped up to the challenged. You can listen to the episode below. Make sure to subscribe to the Blogging The Boys podcast network on Apple devices right here or on Spotify right here.
Deciding on the top plays or moments obviously is a difficult exercise. We have ranked them on each of the episodes that we have done this week, but for the purposes of discussion here we are putting them in chronological order.
With all of that being said, let’s begin.
Rookie Dak Prescott starts off strong in the preseason in Los Angeles
While the circumstances were hardly revolving around him as the would-be starter for the team, there was still a lot of intrigue when it came to Dak Prescott’s preseason debut. During the NFL’s first game back in Los Angeles the Cowboys took on the newly-transferred Rams and Prescott impressed.
Establishing a legitimate backup quarterback was an important part of that offseason given that no backup could properly carry the team in Tony Romo’s absence the year before - the team is somewhat in that situation again in our current moment - so seeing him prosper put some of those concerns at ease.
Prescott went 10 of 12 for 139 yards with two passing touchdowns (Dez Bryant catching one also alleviated some concern from the season before). Little did we know what it was truly the beginning of.
Dak Prescott helps lead the team to victory in Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh game in 2016 obviously came up when we were discussing Ezekiel Elliott, but it was also an important day for Dak Prescott.
While the big Elliott plays get remembered, this was also the first contest in which Dak Prescott eclipsed 300 yards passing (the Elliott screen certainly helped). It was an emotional day for the Cowboys and specifically wide receiver Dez Bryant, and like he has many times since, Dak served as a guiding force for his teammates all the way to earning the win.
At the time of this game there was still a sense of wonder as to whether or not the team would return to a just-about-healthy Tony Romo. They did not. In fact Romo’s famous “football is a meritocracy” speech came the week following this game.
Dak wins the game in New York with one of his greatest throws ever
When the Cowboys traveled to take on the New York Giants in 2018, they had already celebrated an NFC East title with caps and t-shirts. What’s more is that they were firmly cemented within the NFC playoff picture as the number four seed.
2018 was a rocky season for the Cowboys and then-head coach Jason Garrett decided that getting in some competition before the playoffs for some players was a good idea. Ezekiel Elliott rested, but Dak Prescott played and so did the New York Giants.
Trailing the Giants by seven inside of the two-minute warning Dak Prescott went to work. On one particularly glorious play he rolled out to his left and fired an absolute rocket to Cole Beasley on fourth down for the game-winning touchdown (thanks to an eventual two-point conversion).
This season saw Dak really elevate himself as a passer and this moment somewhat crystallized that. While it was a meaningless game as far as consequences were concerned, these types of throws are never easy. Seeing Dak pull it off in what was technically an enormously clutch situation went a long way.
Shout out to Cole Beasley for the incredible catch, too.
Dallas wastes a great Prescott performance against Minnesota in 2019
Kirk Cousins had a proclivity for shrinking in primetime games until he visited AT&T Stadium two years ago. The Dallas Cowboys stepped up to meet his challenge but Cousins walked away a winner.
None of that was really Dak Prescott’s fault, though. Trailing by four with under five minutes to go in the game Dak took over at his own six-yard line and got the Cowboys within range before the coaching staff tripped over itself.
- Dak to Randall Cobb for 20 yards
- Dak to Amari Cooper for 10 yards
- Dak incomplete to Michael Gallup
- Dak to Michael Gallup for 13 yards
- Dak to Amari Cooper for 20 yards
- Ezekiel Elliott for 4 yards
- Dak to Jason Witten for 8 yards
- Two-Minute Warning
- Dak to Amari Cooper for 8 yards
- Ezekiel Elliott for no gain
- Ezekiel Elliott for -3 yards
- Minnesota timeout
- Dak incomplete to Ezekiel Elliott
Facing a 2nd-and-2 on the Minnesota 11-yard line with a minute and a half to go the Cowboys decided to run the ball... twice. They squandered an incredible game-winning drive from Dak Prescott. Sigh.
Dak’s first playoff win against the Seattle Seahawks
There is no denying that what happens in the playoffs carries a bit of an extra weight compared to the regular season. When quarterbacks win games they are regarded as heroes, when they win playoff games they are legends of a different level.
Prescott getting his first playoff win was an important step in his career and the fact that he had a heroic moment near the end added a lot to the narrative of it all. To date it is the only playoff win that the Cowboys have had under their franchise quarterback, but obviously we are all hopeful that there are many more to come.
These are all great moments from Dak Prescott’s career. It is wild to think that five years have flown by.