The Cowboys got off to a fast start this season, winning their first three games, but have struggled since then. The Cowboys followed up those three wins with a three-game losing streak to drop their record to 3-3. After a 37-10 defeat of the Eagles, the Cowboys appear to be back on track. One bright spot for the Cowboys through the first part of the season has been QB Dak Prescott.
Entering Week 7 play, Prescott led all NFL quarterbacks in an important passing statistic, QBR. Here’s a look at what QBR is and what kind of season Prescott is having.
What is QBR?
QBR, or total quarterback rating, is a proprietary statistic created by ESPN in 2011. It is intended to be a more complete and meaningful way of measuring a quarterback’s success than the traditional passer rating that the NFL adopted in 1973.
QBR incorporates all of a quarterback’s contributions to his team’s performance. It takes into account how the passer impacts the game on passes, rushes, turnovers, and penalties. QBR is built from the play level, so it accounts for the level of failure or success the team has on every play, allocating the appropriate credit to the quarterback and his teammates to provide a clearer evaluation of the quarterback’s efficiency.
Dak Prescott’s season so far
Through Week 7, Dak Prescott leads all NFL passers in QBR. His 79.1 mark in the category puts him 1.2 better than second-place Russell Wilson. To give you an idea of where he stands, Prescott’s current QBR is close to last season’s leader, Patrick Mahomes, who had a QBR of 80.3 in a nearly historic season, and his mark was 1.1 better than Drew Brees, who finished 2018 second in QBR.
Through seven games he is on pace to set career highs in the more traditional passing categories as well. His 2,123 yards put him on track for his first 4,000-yard season, and he has already thrown 12 touchdowns, more than half of his career-high 23, with more than half of the season remaining.
One area where he isn’t playing as well this season is with interceptions; he had eight all of last season and has already thrown seven in 2019. Prescott’s performance has the Cowboys in first place in the NFC East at 4-3, coming off their big win over the Eagles and heading into their Week 8 bye.
The importance of this season for Dak Prescott
It is critical for Dak Prescott to be playing well this season because he is in a contract year. He’s still playing under his rookie contract and has yet to get the huge contract that top quarterbacks sign when the time comes.
The time has come for Prescott — or it will after this season, at least. He is making just over $2 million this season, and he will likely start making more than 10 times that amount wants he signs his big deal, which will likely be following this season, as the sides don’t appear to be negotiating at this time.
Owner Jerry Jones called a deal with Prescott “imminent” as the regular season began, but Prescott turned down a reported $30 million annual salary Jones offered over the summer. Assuming that number was accurate, Prescott seems to be hoping his play this season will help him get an offer in the range of $35 million to $40 million. That would put him in line with the likes of Wilson, who signed a four-year, $140 million extension with the Seahawks in April.
One thing that Wilson has that Prescott doesn’t is a Super Bowl title — if Prescott can get that for Dallas this season, it would help him in his negotiations with the team in the offseason.