Dak Prescott might be proving Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wrong after years of what many believe to be disrespect on Jones’s part. Prescott, who was franchise tagged this year after failing to reach an agreement with the team that made him famous, was forced to end his season prematurely after a gruesome ankle injury. However, after the Cowboys’ first game without him, it’s clear that the team needs Prescott more than he needs them.
Prescott’s Cowboys journey
Nothing about Prescott’s rise to glory was a surefire thing. A fourth-round pick out of Mississippi State, his future in the NFL was far from a sure thing when he first got into training camp. Despite this, he was the team’s starting quarterback on week one and kept that title every week until his injury. The man who once usurped the beloved Tony Romo had big shoes to fill, and he did.
Prescott led the team to a 13-3 record as a rookie while throwing for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference. On top of this, he remained one of the few things keeping the team afloat in the ensuing years of mediocrity. While it is easy to blame the quarterback for a team’s struggles, Prescott did what he needed to do to keep the team afloat.
From weak offensive lines and defenses to a vast drop off in talent past the stars and coaching, the blame for the Cowboys’ struggles to contend are not on Prescott. He’s consistently one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the game. Despite the team hovering around .500 for most of his career after his rookie season, Prescott is near the top of every quarterback list.
Last year was a prime example. Not only did the quarterback throw for just shy of 5,000 yards, thirty touchdowns, and only eleven interceptions, but he did so at a 65-percent clip. Despite this, the team was 8-8 at the end of the year. At a certain point, the blame has to go where it’s deserved.
Jerry Jones vs. Prescott
Jerry Jones has always been slow to max guys if he’s not entirely sold. While some organizations try to build relationships with their marquee players through loyalty, Jones makes them earn his respect. That is no small task, as his respect can often get in the way of good roster moves. The owner of one of the most valuable sports teams, Jones was slow to re-up Ezekiel Elliott last year, and he’s even slower to do so this year.
Many have speculated that Jones isn’t high on Prescott and believes a similar quarterback will not be hard to find. While the team secured a reliable backup this year in Andy Dalton, however, his first game as the starter following Prescott’s gruesome ankle fracture showed that maybe the time to pay the quarterback was this last year, not next year following a significant injury.
The Cowboys without Prescott
In their first game without Prescott since he became the starter, the Cowboys showed just how valuable he is to them. The team didn’t just look worse than it did in years. It looked downright awful. Dalton was 34-54 for one touchdown and two interceptions while being sacked three times. On top of that, the defense gave up 38 points to the Arizona Cardinals.
The internet took notice as fans called for answers. To many, it vindicated Prescott.
The Cardinals Twitter account may have even thrown shade at the Cowboys, including that Kyler Murray joined Prescott with his outstanding performance.
Whatever the case may be, Jones might have some explaining to do if this keeps up. Hopefully, this will end with Prescott fully healing and getting a new deal in Dallas. If he doesn’t, Jones may never live down fumbling his best shot at recreating his early glory as the Cowboys’ owner.