Dak Prescott has always believed in himself. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback knew he just needed a chance in the NFL. That chance came in the form of injuries to two quarterbacks prior to the 2016 season. Prescott took full advantage. After one bad game during Prescott’s 13-3 season, some, including Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, wondered if Romo should be reinserted as the starter. Prescott recently said he considered Jones just “another doubter.”
Dak Prescott was the eighth quarterback taken in 2016
Dak Prescott was taken in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL draft. The Dallas Cowboys took a chance on Prescott with the 135th overall selection. Prescott was the eighth quarterback taken in a draft where the top two picks (Jared Goff and Carson Wentz) were quarterbacks.
Prescott, who played his college football at Mississippi State, wasn’t expected to seem much, if any, playing time with Tony Romo cemented as the starter for the Cowboys. Romo had a history of getting injured, so the Cowboys needed some insurance, but waited until Round 4 to make their quarterback selection.
Goff and Wentz were the two prized quarterbacks headed into the draft. Goff went first to the Los Angeles Rams before Wentz was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles. The Denver Broncos selected Paxton Lynch for the final quarterback taken in the first round. Other quarterbacks taken ahead of Prescott were Christian Hackenberg, Jacoby Brissett, Cody Kessler, and Connor Cook.
Prescott named the starter in his rookie season
Dak Prescott was slated to be no higher than third in the Dallas Cowboys depth chart when he was drafted in 2016. Tony Romo was already the established starter, while Kellen Moore was set to back up Romo. Prescott and second-year quarterback Jameill Showers were in a battle for the third-string job.
Moore went down with an injury at the beginning of camp, breaking his right tibia. During the third preseason game, Romo went down with an injury and was expected to miss up to 10 weeks. Prescott was named the starter in the season opener.
Prescott played like a veteran. He led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and he was voted to the Pro Bowl. He started all 16 games, threw for 3,667 yards and 23 touchdown passes. Prescott has maintained his hold on the starting job ever since.
Prescott said Jerry Jones was ‘another doubter’
In a recent interview with Graham Bensinger, Bensinger asked about a specific moment during Dak Prescott’s rookie season. Prescott, filling in for the injured Tony Romo, went 13-3 that season. Bensinger asked Prescott about one game where Prescott didn’t play that well, and Jerry Jones publicly questioned if Romo should return as the starter. Prescott said all the right things at the time, but Bensinger asked him, “Deep down, what were you thinking?”
“Another doubter,” Prescott answered. “Whether he meant it intentionally or whether he was just trying to raise another man up, it was just another doubter. Because I’ve done so much for this time and you’re still questioning that? It’s all right. To give him a little bit of credit, he saw what Tony had done. I think of that as well.
“For me, it was another doubter and I can’t wait to make you eat those words,” Prescott said.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.