- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is a huge fan of New England Patriots rookie Mac Jones
- The two quarterbacks battled it out in the Cowboys’ Week 6 overtime victory
- Patriots fans should be extremely excited by Prescott’s praise for Jones
The television networks aren’t the only ones disappointed by that reality. After their intense overtime thriller in Week 6, Prescott certainly sounds like someone who wants to regularly square off with the Patriots’ rookie signal-caller.
Dak Prescott has high hopes for Mac Jones following their Week 6 matchup
Five years later, Prescott is an elder statesman in his own right. He’s the most experienced of the healthy starting quarterbacks in the NFC East and among the league’s longest-tenured signal-callers. The Patriots can only hope that Jones, the 15th overall pick in April’s NFL draft, makes the strides that Prescott has over the years.
For his money (and with a $160 million contract in hand, he’s got plenty of it), the Mississippi State product is confident about Jones’ NFL future. In the Oct. 18 edition of Football Morning in America, Prescott told NBC Sports’ Peter King that he was extremely impressed with the Patriots’ rookie gunslinger.
“You gotta be able to take a lick and not flinch and make the play when the hard hit’s coming. And when you have a bad play or an interception and the game changes right there, you gotta have the water-down-a-duck’s-back mentality. Let it go. It’s over. Mac’s got that.”Dak Prescott
Jones completed 15 of 21 passes in Week 6 for 229 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in Week 6. With 2:36 left in the fourth quarter and the Patriots up 21-20, Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs intercepted his former Alabama teammate and returned the pass 42 yards for a touchdown.
The error didn’t deter Jones, who torched Diggs and the Cowboys’ secondary on a 75-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne on the Patriots’ next play from scrimmage. However, Prescott led the Cowboys to a game-tying field goal and engineered a game-winning drive in overtime to extend the Cowboys’ winning streak.
Nonetheless, Prescott saw enough to offer the 23-year-old rookie a ringing endorsement.
“He’ll be a good quarterback for a long time,” Prescott said.
Jones is playing much better than he’s getting credit for
Much of the NFL’s quarterback talk is rightly regarding Prescott, who is apace for 5,137 yards and 45 touchdowns this season. It certainly helps that the Cowboys entered their bye week at 5-1 and fully control a weak NFC East division.
Still, it’s time to start giving Jones some more credit. He’s completed 71.1% of his passes for 1,472 yards, seven touchdowns, and six interceptions in a mediocre Patriots offense and with a porous offensive line. Offseason acquisitions Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith haven’t yet provided the game-changing impact at tight end that Bill Belichick likely imagined entering this year.
Although Damien Harris has 331 rushing yards on 4.1 yards per carry, he’s the only Patriots player who has even topped 50 rushing yards. Remember, New England had played six games as of publication. Rhamondre Stevenson, who has 48 rushing yards on less than three yards per carry, is second among the Patriots’ leading rushers.
Jones, much like Tom Brady did before him, is learning to do more with less. Granted, he was almost guaranteed to face that reality after leaving an always-loaded Alabama offense, but he certainly isn’t providing agita and heartache the way Trevor Lawrence has in Jacksonville or Zach Wilson is doing for the New York Jets.
Patriots fans should be thrilled by Prescott’s praise of Jones’ demeanor and ability to work through difficult situations. Those traits will carry him a long way, given New England’s outdated and conservative offensive approach.
Jones stands to benefit from his heavyweight matches with the likes of Brady and Prescott
Jones is working through the ups and downs of a rookie season, one which will likely end in the Patriots missing the playoffs once again. If there are any positives, outside of the fact he went from unpaid at Alabama to receiving an $8.69 million signing bonus, it’s that he’s facing some of the NFL’s top quarterbacks along the way.
Two weeks before he squared off with Prescott, Jones held his own against Brady when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers left Gillette Stadium with an emotional victory on Oct. 3. Barring an injury or benching, he’ll challenge Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills twice in three weeks come December.
New England also has road games against Justin Herbert’s Los Angeles Chargers and Matt Ryan’s Atlanta Falcons. Although Ryan isn’t the same player who watched his defense blow a 28-3 lead to the Patriots in Super Bowl 51, he’s nonetheless looked impressive at age 36.
It’s not quite a baptism by fire, but Jones is experiencing life in the NFL and welcoming all obstacles along the way. If Prescott’s belief comes to fruition, it doesn’t sound unrealistic to think we’ll witness a long-anticipated Cowboys-Patriots Super Bowl in the coming years.