When the Dallas Cowboys selected Dak Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the trajectory of their entire franchise changed. The Cowboys didn’t know it yet, but the Mississippi State product was about to become Dallas’ next star quarterback.
Since being drafted, Prescott has been one of the better quarterbacks in all of football. The 28-year-old is 53-32 in 85 starts with the Cowboys and has thrown for over 22,000 yards and 143 touchdown passes to just 50 interceptions.
Prescott’s Quarterback Rating during his time in Dallas is an impressive 98.7, and the signal-caller has had just one losing record as a starter, coming in the 2020 season when he played in just five games and went 2-3.
Whether or not you think Prescott is worthy of being the third-highest paid player in football after signing a four-year, $160M deal back in March of 2021, there is no denying finding a star quarterback in the fourth round is one of the Cowboys’ greatest moves in franchise history.
On Friday, Jon Machota of The Athletic backed up this sentiment. Machota published an article detailing the “Cowboys’ 10 best decisions of the past decade”, and had Dallas drafting Dak Prescott at No. 1 on his list.
Here’s what Machota had to say about Dallas finding their future franchise quarterback in the fourth round.
1. Drafting Dak Prescott. It’s difficult enough to find a franchise quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft. The Cowboys found one in the fourth. Prescott was the 135th pick in 2016. He has gone on to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, make two Pro Bowls and lead Dallas to three playoff appearances. He is a top 10 NFL quarterback and one of the biggest reasons to be optimistic about the Cowboys’ future.
With Tony Romo’s injury issues causing a sudden end to his playing career, who knows where the Cowboys would be if they never drafted Prescott. It’s not easy to find a franchise quarterback in the NFL, just ask the Commanders, Giants, Jets, or Bears, all of which have been searching for one for the good part of the last decade.
Prescott’s polarizing, it comes with the job of being starting quarterback for America’s Team, but he’s an outstanding football player, and as Machota said, is one of the biggest reasons to be optimistic about Dallas’ long-term future.
Whether he wins a Super Bowl or not, drafting Dak Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft will always be one of the most significant and positive moves in Dallas Cowboys history.