Interested in sparking a fiery debate? Just bring up the name of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to a group of Cowboys fans. You will surely get a variety of opinions. Statistically there isn’t much argument, Prescott has built an impressive career of stat stuffing. But his place among the pecking order of NFL quarterbacks is a subject that has no end.
The latest to wade into this territory is ESPN as they continue a “Best Of” series they have been running recently. They recently ranked the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL heading into 2022 based on input from over 50 NFL coaches, execs and scouts. Prescott just slides into the top 10.
Highest ranking: 7 | Lowest ranking: Out of top 10
Age: 28 | Last year’s ranking: 7
Voters pointed to Prescott’s consistency, helping him beat out other top-tier passers here. Though the Cowboys quarterback did not receive a single top-five vote, he was a fixture in the Nos. 7 to 10 range, helping him outdistance Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson for the last spot in the composite rankings.
“A good but not great QB; he has to play well in the playoffs,” an NFC exec said. “Has to prove [he] can take them to the next level. He’s not in the top echelon.”
His résumé speaks to that: very good but not great. Prescott had the fourth-most passing touchdowns (37) in 2021. He ranked fourth in the NFL in completion percentage (68.8%) and QBR from inside the pocket (65.5), numbers that showcase his ability to work through progressions. And he is 53-32 as a starter since entering the league in 2017.
“He has good poise in [the pocket], sturdy,” an NFL offensive coach said. “Always been deadly when they space the field in empty. Sometimes needs an extra hitch to confirm things, but he’s typically a good decision-maker in their dropback game.”
A few interesting items to note here.
Last year Prescott ranked seventh in this survey and he had a statistically strong year in 2021, yet he dropped. Several issues come into play. One is the rise of some of the young guns in the NFL including guys like Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert. These guys are pushing Prescott down the rankings.
Another issue is obviously the Cowboys post-season success, or more accurately, lack of success. That’s one reason Joe Burrow is ranked fifth and a rejuvenated Matthew Stafford is ranked sixth. Until Prescott finally puts together a post-season run, he will always be hanging out in the “good not great” category.
Prescott brings almost everything you want from a quarterback. He’s a leader, he’s able to put up volume and efficiency stats, and he has a good won-loss record. But until that post-season success comes, he will never move into the top-tier of quarterbacks.
The list of the top 10:
- Aaron Rodgers
- Patrick Mahomes
- Josh Allen
- Tom Brady
- Joe Burrow
- Matthew Stafford
- Justin Herbert
- Russell Wilson
- Deshaun Watson
- Dak Prescott