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Cowboys news: Mike McCarthy talks about Dak Prescott and the media glare

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Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Cowboys’ Mike McCarthy backs Dak Prescott after up-and-down start to 2023 season -, Nick Shook

When you’re the Cowboys quarterback, there is always talk.

Dak Prescott’s career has included the highs of an unexpected stellar rookie campaign and the lows of both significant injury and postseason heartbreak.

As the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, he’s constantly in the spotlight. And because he hasn’t propelled Dallas to a title in his first seven seasons, he’s constantly subjected to intense scrutiny. That pressure is not lost on his coach, Mike McCarthy, who heard the criticism of Prescott following Dallas’ narrow win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night.

“I love Dak Prescott as our quarterback,” McCarthy said during an appearance with Adam Schein on SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Sports Radio. “The way he’s built all the way through, obviously his physical skill set is excellent, but what he endures mentally and emotionally compared to the other 31 (quarterbacks) is unique. In speaking on experience being around great quarterbacks, I’ve never seen a quarterback under a microscope like he is.”

McCarthy isn’t wrong. Prescott is a frequent topic on every football-focused morning show, and each time the Cowboys falter, he’s the primary target for talking heads. Prescott received a heaping amount of criticism following Dallas’ blowout loss to San Francisco in Week 5, a disappointing result from a highly anticipated matchup between supposed NFC powers, with some Cowboys fans even admitting they’re ready to end the Prescott era in favor of something different.

Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey has a shot at NFL history in his 2nd pro career after soccer - The Associated Press, Schuyler Dixon

The one part of the Cowboys that has been the most consistent is the same one that was most worried about in the offseason.

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dallas Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey was watching on TV nine months ago when Brett Maher, his predecessor, missed four consecutive extra points in a playoff game.

The former Major League Soccer prospect who never kicked in high school or college was four years into working toward what he hoped would be a new profession, unaware that his biggest opportunity was just months away — with his hometown team, no less.

Then the 28-year-old rookie shanked his first kick in the NFL — a PAT, of course. Aubrey hasn’t missed since.

Aubrey is 16 of 16 on field goals, two shy of the NFL record for consecutive makes to start a career set by Travis Coons with Cleveland eight years ago.

“Maybe when I feel like he’s got a pretty good chance is when he missed the first PAT and he came back and made the next one and the next one and the next field goal and the next field goal,” special teams coordinator John Fassel said. “What a great sign to miss your very first attempt and not freak out.”

As much as Micah Parsons wants, Cowboys, Dak Prescott won’t get ‘same energy’ as others - The Athletic, Saad Yousef

Micah Parsons backs his QB.

Parsons has spent a good amount of time starting his bye week verbally sparring with critics. Parsons did his regular solo podcast, “The Edge with Micah Parsons” on Bleacher Report, on Wednesday, dedicating a portion to addressing critics the Cowboys’ critics, and particularly, Prescott’s critics.

“I see my quarterback, maybe not have the red zone success but move the ball way better than the Eagles did on Sunday,” Parsons said. “We want the same energy for everybody because there’s a whole bunch of bashing when it’s Dak Prescott but not the same when it’s the Eagles.”

For Parsons’ own sanity, especially as he plans to stick around in Dallas for the long haul, it’s best he understands as quickly as possible that there is no keeping “the same energy” when it comes to the Cowboys, and especially not when it comes to their quarterback.


Penalties. penalties, penalties. Starts at the top.


Wasn’t this supposed to get fixed this offseason? For two years running now, penalties have greatly affected the Cowboys in big games. Dating back to the 2021 Wildcard loss versus the 49ers where the Cowboys had 14 penalties, we have been waiting for the discipline to kick in.

The Chargers accepted 11 penalties on Monday night, and that’s not counting the three or four flags that were picked up after Los Angeles decided to decline. No team is perfect, and there are some penalties that are easy for the referees to call in the heat of a play, but the mental mistakes are concerning.

Of the 11 penalties, five of them were of the pre-snap variety. One 12 men on the field, one illegal shift, one illegal formation, and two offsides penalties. Los Angeles was given four 1st downs by penalty, which made up nearly 25% of their total for the game.

Hopefully a reset on the bye week will show us a more disciplined team on the other end.

Barnwell’s NFL trade tiers: Who’s worth a first-round pick? - Bill Barnwell, ESPN

Even though the Cowboys won’t be sellers, here are some thoughts on what certain players could bring in a trade.

Multiple first-round picks: OLB Micah Parsons. The cap for the vast majority of non-quarterbacks in a trade would be two first-round picks, as we saw with the Khalil Mack and Jalen Ramsey deals. Parsons’ production on a rookie deal at a premium position makes him the exception to that rule. He has made first-team All-Pro in each of his first two seasons, and it would be a shock if he wasn’t there again at the end of Year 3. Even after this season, the 24-year-old will have up to four years of cost control remaining on his deal.


One first-round pick and change: WR CeeDee Lamb, QB Dak Prescott. Lamb is coming off a 1,359-yard season and is on pace for 1,346 yards in 2023. I’m not sure he’s the sort of plug-and-play superstar we typically associate with deals involving two first-round picks, but he’s close. It helps that he doesn’t turn 25 until next April.

This is too long of an article to have a lengthy debate about Prescott. The short story: He’s a 30-year-old quarterback who consistently produces above-average numbers but is also about to get paid a lot more money on a new deal. That sort of certainty might not appeal to a team that wants to take a shot on a quarterback with more upside on a rookie deal, but there are a lot of teams that wish they had a quarterback as good as Prescott.

One first-round pick: G Zack Martin, G Tyler Smith. Not many teams have two guards who would net first-round picks, but the Cowboys are unique. Martin turns 33 in November, but he’s still the NFL’s best guard and is competing to become the best guard in modern league history over the next few years. It’s almost impossible for a player in his mid-30s playing interior lineman to be as valuable as Martin is to the Cowboys.

Smith is an entirely different player, as the 2022 first-rounder proved he could play left tackle when he filled in for Tyron Smith during his rookie season. Tyler Smith moved back to left guard this season, but he’s a very good guard now and likely will become Dallas’ left tackle of the future once the team moves on from its longtime blindside protector.

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