What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Today’s Take: Dak Prescott is the most over-rated quarterback in the NFL.
The Argument: This is what I said about Dak Prescott at the beginning of the 2017 season:
FACT: In 2016, Dak Prescott ranked last among all NFL quarterbacks who played in all 16 games, and 23rd overall in number of passes attempted, which was less than both Trevor Siemian and Brock Osweiler.
FACT: In 2016, Dak Prescott had a passing completion percentage of 67.8%. Prescott’s high completion percentage is largely because the Cowboys made it a point to at all costs avoid a lot of obvious passing situations like 3rd and long. If this were golf, Prescott’s been playing “best-ball” with a guy who’s leaving him a lot of three-foot putts.
FACT: In 2016. among the quarterbacks who played 16 games, the average number of passing attempts per game was just over 35. Dak Prescott’s record against teams with winning records when attempting more than 35 passes in the 2016 regular season: 1-2. After the play-offs and the first two games of this season, that number is 2-4.
The recent success of the Dallas Cowboys is all about controlling the ball, not making mistakes, and taking the “high-percentage shot.” Obviously, a team can win a lot of games with that formula. But in the end, seeing is believing, and before I believe Dak Prescott can beat a play-off team throwing the ball, I’m going to need to see it.
So what’s changed? Not much.
He still completes a bunch of low-risk passes at about a 67% rate, he still attempts around 500 passes a year, and has yet to break 4,000 passing yards in a season. By pretty much any statistical measure you want to use, Prescott is a middle-of-the-pack guy. But if you listen the blow-hacks at ESPN, you would think Dak Prescott is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.
He’s not. It’s that simple.
In his rookie year, Prescott was handed a stripped-down offense which was largely spoon-fed to him. Since then, he’s had a top-flight offensive line placed in front him, a big-time wide receiver added to his bag of weapons, and a game-changing running back in his backfield. In other words, as much as that offense has been built for performance, Prescott’s numbers have not reflected that.
Forget about statistics; I’m not a big believer in them anyway. There’s only two types of stat-quoters; the guy who didn’t watch the game and the guy who doesn’t know what he’s looking at. But in the case of Prescott, the numbers and the eyeball test tell the same story. Let’s be honest…even in the quarterback-starved NFL, this guy was a fourth-round pick for a reason, and after three full seasons, he hasn’t grown past that.
To be fair, Dak Prescott doesn’t suck. Barring injury, I can see this guy this enjoying a decent career as an NFL quarterback; he’s a middle-of-the-pack guy in a league where far too many teams don’t even have that. But he’s also not a “franchise” quarterback; he’s not the guy you’re building your offense around. Hell, even the Cowboys haven’t done that. You would have to be supremely delusional to think the entire concept behind the Cowboy offense is that Dak Prescott is just a vehicle to get the ball into Ezekiel Elliott’s hands 35 times a game.
This is the bottom line on Prescott. He doesn’t have a big arm, and he isn’t accurate throwing the ball down-field. While he can escape a collapsing pocket and can pick up some cheap first-downs with his legs, until he improves his ability to put the ball on the hands of a receiver in stride on a deep pass (why else does Amari Cooper exist?), he’s simply never going to be the guy who can carry a team through a play-off run.
Change my mind.
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