Dak Prescott Explains What Can Propel the Dallas Cowboys Through the Playoffs and to the Super Bowl

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys finished the regular season at 12-5 and with an NFC East division crown. It’s been a remarkable year for Dallas, and the upcoming Wild Card weekend matchup with the San Francisco 49ers is just a continuation of that.

This is a team that has the opportunity to do something special in the playoffs. From an explosive offense to one of the most dynamic defenses in recent league memory, the Cowboys have a unit that, on paper, looks like a contender.

What will give the Cowboys that extra edge great teams often use to come out on top in big games, though?

Prescott says it’s all about the locker room.

The Dallas Cowboys have been through a ton of ups and downs this season

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys on the field before the game| Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Cowboys have been an exciting team to watch, albeit a frustrating club at times. When push came to shove, though, the Cowboys found a way to end the season winning five of their last six games, putting a November that saw them lose three of four in the rearview mirror.

This is a team that has had some ups. Beating the New England Patriots in Foxboro on a walk-off touchdown pass from Prescott to CeeDee Lamb in overtime certainly qualifies as a highlight. The 56-14 route of the Washington Football Team in front of the home crowd also comes to mind. That game saw Prescott throw for 330 yards and four touchdowns.

There were also some downs for Dallas, though.

Losing 30-16 to the Denver Broncos to end a six-game winning streak was a low point. The same could be said for Dallas’ overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Christmas day, or the clunker at home to the flailing Arizona Cardinals in Week 17.

The Cowboys have strong locker room camaraderie going in their favor

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Frankly, it’s been a roller coaster of a regular season for Dallas, but all things considered, the Cowboys did finish strong. The ups and downs and highs and lows of a long season all play a role in bringing a locker room together and creating a bond.

Having a talented roster is usually the No. 1 indicator of playoff success, and the Cowboys certainly have a ton of big-time players. The other thing most teams that go on to win a Super Bowl also have is momentum. The Cowboys have found that after trudging through a tough middle portion of the season.

The X-factor for many teams is the actual team culture, though. Team chemistry is so underrated, but it can oftentimes be the difference between winning a close game and losing one, especially in the playoffs.

As a player, you want to look to either side and know that your teammates have your back and that you are all striving for the same goal together. According to Prescott, the good news for the Cowboys is that they do have that bond. He thinks that camaraderie can take the team far in the playoffs.

“Just knowing the opportunity, we have in front of us. Not only the talent, but the brotherhood, the relationships, just the special bond we’ve got,” Prescott explained via the team website. “That’s going to be the factor that we take into this game that can carry us far.”

Talent and togetherness can propel the Cowboys through the playoffs

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys warms-up before the game against the Arizona Cardinals | Tom Pennington/Getty Images

One of the beautiful things about sports, and especially football, is that for as much as schemes and gameplans matter, at the end of the day, it’s the 11 people on your squad versus the 11 on the other side of the football.

There’s an old coach’s saying that goes like this: “Football is not about the X’s and O’s, it’s about the Jimmy’s and Joe’s.”

That’s a poetic way of saying that no matter how much you practice and scheme, it ultimately comes down to the players you have on the field. They have to be talented, of course, but they also have to play with each other and for each other.

When you combine talent with heart and the ability to rally as a team, anything becomes possible. No, that’s not just something that sounds good in high school football or college, where pageantry and passion are king. It’s also true in the pros. As business-oriented as the NFL can be, it still comes down to passion.

That’s just the game.

A mediocre team that plays together can beat a talented team that has fractures. A team that has talent but also has the heart? That team can be a real problem in a one-and-done situation.

If you’re a Cowboys fan, Prescott’s assessment of what makes this team special has to be exciting. If you’re to believe what he says, this is a squad that has come together and has excellent chemistry. Dallas is also a team that has incredible talent, though.

From Prescott to Ezekiel Elliott on offense to Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs on defense, you can go down the Cowboys roster and match their talent up with any other team in the NFC playoffs and they’ll be just as good, if not better.

Throw in the fact that the Cowboys will have a rowdy AT&T Stadium behind them, at least in round one, and it’s hard not to expect big things from Dallas as the 49ers come to town.

“You can feel the atmosphere in warm-ups, and really just from the time you show up at the game, Prescott said, explaining what it feels like to be down on the field at AT&T Stadium in a playoff environment. “You can feel it. It’s something special. It’ll be exciting to see Cowboys Nation show out and be a big part of this game.”

Stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference. 

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