Speaking with the media Thursday afternoon about the difficulties of being a great team “year-in and year-out,” Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy stressed the importance of having someone who sets the tone every day in practice and leads by example.
...And we have that part right,” McCarthy said. “We have the quarterback. We have the right person, the right leader, and he’ll be a huge part in that.”
But McCarthy wasn’t done singing quarterback Dak Prescott’s praises, going on to liken his work ethic and leadership abilities to some of the legendary QBs McCarthy has coached in his career.
“That’s what we had with Montana, that’s what we had with Rich Gannon, that’s what we had with Brett Favre. It’s not only what they do on Sundays, but what they do in practice during the week. They’re so competitive, and they make the whole environment better. That’s how you win consistently. Dak is that for us.
While the majority of the discussion around Prescott throughout training camp has been tied to either the latissimus strain in his throwing shoulder or his surgically repaired right ankle, McCarthy and the Cowboys have remained vocal in their assertion that there’s no reason to be concerned long-term.
Dak Prescott stretched and threw some warmup throws before leaving to apparently throw outside while the team works inside the Ford Center. Prescott isn’t playing in tomorrow’s preseason game, so Garrett Gilbert continues to work with the first team in practice— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 20, 2021
Despite being limited for the majority of camp, Prescott has resumed throwing, albeit on a “pitch count” as he works with some of his receivers. Earlier this week, it was determined Prescott would not play in any of the remaining preseason games. Typically, a team will play a “dress rehearsal” game in their second-to-last preseason contest before the regular season, playing anywhere from one to two quarters before turning things over to the backups and roster bubble players. Since Prescott won’t be partaking in any such dress rehearsal, Cowboy fans will have to wait until opening night for his much-anticipated return and a look at the complete first-team offense.
In that way, Prescott’s work ethic and leadership qualities McCarthy spotlighted are more imperative than ever as Dallas progresses toward the opener. He may not be under center for every drill or at full speed but he can encourage and inspire his team through his own tenacity as he attacks his rehab exercises and routine.
Most of players have left the practice field.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) August 1, 2021
Dak Prescott is out here running sprints. pic.twitter.com/TjQ8z86wKO
Throughout his career, teammates have never been shy in voicing their support for Prescott, not just because of his charisma but because he works hard in every practice and makes a point of connecting with each of his teammates up and down the roster. This is what McCarthy was pointing to, the point at which great talent meets true leadership. Not every quarterback has those qualities, no matter their greatness. Prescott, however, does, making him the ideal man to lead Dallas forward as McCarthy seeks to build that consistency “year-in and year-out.”