Dak Prescott was almost ten when he predicted that he would play for the Cowboys and win the Heisman Trophy. Even though he didn’t win the trophy, he has become the member of the Dallas Cowboys. If he had won the prestigious award at Mississippi State, he would have been selected earlier in the Draft. Prescott is a young quarterback, but this guy behaves as if he has a lot of experience. Long before the game against the New York Giants, Cowboys legend Roger Staubach admired Prescott’s poise and leadership abilities, whereas Charlie Weis, former NE Patriots offensive coordinator compared Prescott to a young Tom Brady.
On Sunday, Dak Prescott completed 24 of 39 passes for the total of 268 yards and one TD leading Dallas to 19-3 victory over Eli Manning’s New York Giants. These were not extraordinary numbers, but it was more than satisfactory for the first game of the season. Near the end of the first half, Prescott completed all four of his passes and ran 17 yards for a field goal opportunity which increased the lead to 16-0.
Truth be told, the Giants were weakened since they played without Odell Beckham Jr. who missed the match because of the ankle injury.
Nevertheless, Prescott took over the control of the game which was decided in the first 30 minutes. He proved that he was and is going to be a franchise quarterback and a franchise quarterback is always more valuable than a franchise running back, no matter who it is – even if we are talking about Ezekiel Elliott.
Meanwhile, Elliott was allowed to play in the season opener even though he officially received a six-game suspension a few days earlier. However, Federal Judge Amos Mazzant granted a request by the NFLPA for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on the league’s suspension for alleged domestic abuse, which may allow Zeke to play the entire season. Elliott just continued to do what he did last year, recording 104 rushing yards on 24 carries, proving his worth once again.
Jerry Jones, the Cowboys owner, spoke highly of Zeke’s speed and strength, praised his work ethic and said that Elliott’s presence is crucial to the team. Jones said: “I think every person that was part of the Cowboys was uplifted by the [judge’s] decision. It was a good one. Although he was playing in this game no matter what, the idea that we could have him for an extended period of time was certainly inspirational.”
Elliott is a terrific football player, but if he wants to have a legendary career, he will have to change the way he behaves. In addition, Dallas struggles with suspensions of the other players as well, whereas Zeke has already been involved in several incidents prior to these accusations. Someone who wants to be a star needs to behave like one, on and off the field.
This is where Prescott kicks in. He knows how to carry himself in the news conferences and has been a role model both on and off the field. There is the reason the great Stauback praised the young quarterback as he told ESPN.com: “You can tell the players respect the hell out of him and that he’s already a leader. He is amazing at making decisions when … there’s a difficult situation there and he needs to dump the ball off. He also can throw to lead a receiver. … I think we’ve got a wonderful quarterback for the future.”
Just for comparison, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw four interceptions against a horrible loss to the Baltimore Ravens, even though he is a seven-year veteran. On the other hand, Prescott has had four interceptions in 17 starts in the regular season, which is the fewest for a QB with at least 300 attempts since 1970. The good thing is that he is still improving and he outplayed the two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, although he was slightly off against the Giants.
Jason Witten said about Prescott: “I thought the stats don’t do it justice for how Dak played, and that’s a big step for him. They give you a lot of different looks, they pressure you a lot of different ways, and he was constantly getting us in the right look.”
“I think line one for the quarterback position is to take command and always lead us into the right looks and the right plays. He made a lot of plays when we needed him to throughout the game; I thought that was a really good game for him, the way he played. He was in control against a good defense and a good defensive coordinator [Steve Spagnuolo]. The points might not say it, but it’s so much bigger than that, and he understands it. He should take a lot of pride in tonight’s performance,” continued Witten, who caught Prescott’s pass for a TD.
Prescott had better games in the past, and he is aware of it. This guy took the blame for the passes he threw slightly off and the minor mistakes he made during the game. Dak talked about his teammate Elliott being a “special back” whereas Witten called him a “special guy.” But at the end of the day, if Dallas plans to win the title, the most special guy needs to be Prescott. He has the arm, the pocket intelligence, and the mobility.
Elliott said Prescott was his best friend. “When we’re out there,” Elliott said, “it’s like nothing can stop us, and you know it’s just great having a guy like him to root me and kind of go through everything like this with me.” They are indeed a frightening tandem, but Dallas will always focus on Prescott’s stability than Elliott instability. Zeke must not create any more noise.