Being the franchise quarterback for “America’s Team” comes with a lot of baggage, some good, and some not so good. Recently, a former Dallas Cowboy and now ESPN personality Chris Canty, revealed that Dak Prescott is his most overrated player in the NFL.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, going by the eye test, and backing that up with the stats, it tells a whole different story. If anything, Prescott is not overrated, he’s an overachiever.
Long before arriving in Dallas, Prescott was a three-star prospect out of high school in Louisiana that didn’t receive much fanfare. This doesn’t come as a shock because he wasn’t a highly sought after prospect. In fact, the in-state powerhouse LSU initially was only interested in him as a tight end before his senior year and Dak told them, “No, I’m gonna play quarterback”. After he had a great senior season, LSU came back with an offer to play quarterback, but they were a little late to the party, as in-conference rival Mississippi State University already had Prescott committed, and he wanted to be a man of his word and stick with his commitment with the university.
During his first two seasons in college, Prescott played some, but in his junior year is when things started to take off which would propel him into a potential future in the NFL. He finished the 2014 season with 3,449 passing yards, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 27 to 11. He also ran for nearly 1,000 yards, got the school their first ever number one ranking, and capped off the year by finishing eighth for the Heisman.
In his senior year in 2015, Prescott ran the ball less and focused on becoming a better passer, and it showed as his completion percentage went from 61.6% in 2014 to 66.2% in 2015. He also passed for nearly 3,800 yards, and improved his touchdown to interception ratio to 29 touchdowns with only five interceptions.
By the time his days were done in college, Prescott was a solid prospect who showed that he could not only run the ball well, but could also throw it around the yard. Even with all the success he had at Mississippi State in the best conference in college football known as the SEC, he fell to the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft as many tabbed him as an average backup or special teamer.
Based on the situation he was coming into post NFL draft, he would start off as the backup to the backup to then starter and franchise quarterback, Tony Romo, which is perfect for a developmental prospect that was drafted in the fourth round. However, on August 25th of 2016, things changed as we knew it when Dallas’ franchise quarterback went down in a preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, and was later diagnosed with a back fracture. The injury would keep him out a minimum of six weeks.
After an 8-1 start, it was apparent that Dak Prescott had taken the job from Tony Romo and Romo knew it. It was an unfortunate way to end a career for Romo who essentially lost his job due to injury, but in typical Tony Romo fashion, he handled it like a total professional. By season’s end, a Dak Prescott-led Cowboys finished the season with a record of 13-3, finished sixth in the MVP voting, and won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. His first season in the NFL went from backing up the backup (Kellen Moore) to becoming the franchise quarterback.
Since that famous rookie year, Prescott has not only been durable (not counting 2020), but reliably good. His career winning percentage is just a shade over 62% which based on a 17-game season would equate to winning just under 11 games a season. In full seasons that he has played in since entering the league in 2016, has never had a record below .500. He has a career touchdown to interception ratio of 143 touchdowns to just 50 interceptions. Speaking of interceptions, Prescott’s interceptions per pass attempt ratio of 1.7% puts him fourth all-time, which is better than guys like Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. In addition to that, Prescott ranks fifth all-time in passer rating, fifth in completion percentage, 10th in average completions per game, and 13th in passing yards per game.
Last year alone, Dak threw for almost 4,500 yards with 37 touchdowns to only 10 interceptions. He also threw for his best completion percentage of his career which was 68.8%. By seasons end, his win-loss record was 11-5, and he finished second for the Comeback Player of the Year award.
Dak Prescott has already established himself to be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL, and that doesn’t equate to being overrated. Considering the journey he has been on since his high school days, he has gone from being looked at as a tight end prospect to now being in the upper echelon of quarterbacks in today’s game. If there is one word to describe Dak Prescott, it’s overachiever.