While 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone dealing with a worldwide pandemic, this year has been extremely tough for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. In addition to the pandemic, Prescott has had to deal with the tragic death of his older brother Jace in April.
In a recent interview, Dak Prescott opened up about his brother’s suicide and explained how he also became depressed in the months that followed. Fox Sports personality Skip Bayless fired off some comments on Prescott’s admission, and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has responded.
Dak Prescott admits to having depression and anxiety
In August, Dak Prescott spoke to the media about his brother’s death and how it affected him. He mentioned how he was thankful to have the support of his family during that difficult time. Prescott recently divulged just how difficult it was for him personally in an episode of “In Depth with Graham Bensinger.”
Prescott said during quarantine, he’d gone through emotions in his life he had never experienced before, specifically anxiety. The quarterback said he also started encountering bouts of depression earlier this year soon after the quarantine started and, ironically, just days before his brother died.
“I didn’t necessarily know what I was going through. I hadn’t been sleeping at all,” Prescott admitted.
Skip Bayless criticizes Prescott
On Thursday, Skip Bayless offered his thoughts on Dak Prescott’s emotions during an episode of “Undisputed” with Shannon Sharpe.
“I have deep compassion for clinical depression, but when it comes to the quarterback of an NFL team, you [Shannon Sharpe] know this better than I do, it’s the ultimate leadership position in sports, am I right about that?” Bayless said. “You are commanding an entire franchise… And they’re all looking to you to be their CEO, to be in charge of the football team.
“Because of all that, I don’t have sympathy for him going public with, ‘I got depressed,’ ‘I suffered depression early in COVID to the point that I couldn’t even go work out.’ Look, he’s the quarterback of America’s team.”
Following his remarks, Bayless was on the receiving end of some stinging criticism. He also was reprimanded by his own network, which said in a statement that they supported Dak Prescott and “do not agree with Skip Bayless’ opinion” and “addressed the significance of the matter” with him.
Jerry Jones proud of Dak Prescott and shuts down Bayless
On Friday, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones offered his thoughts on Prescott in an interview on 105.3 The Fan. Jones said the quarterback’s willingness to be transparent and share his difficult times with such class reveals what kind of leader he is on and off the field.
“He has a way of sharing his experiences that just attract the people to him, and it’s not just his teammates,” Jones said. “He’s extremely gifted as a leader… he can articulate, share his foibles, not failures, but his vulnerabilities.”
When explicitly asked about Bayless’ comments, Jones focused on Prescott.
“We all know at this day and time, between regular programming and regular assessment of our team, and what goes on with social media. We know that, and I’m sure we can all put that in perspective,” Jones said. “But this is a great example and such a humanizing aspect to see Dak display. So humanizing. Anything else doesn’t have much substance frankly, any commentary, any assessment. Dak is talking about real, real life and inner thoughts. The other stuff is static outside and it pales in comparison to Dak’s message.”
While Jerry Jones and Dak Prescott may not have been on the same page in signing a new contract this offseason, it’s quite apparent the Cowboys owner is a big believer in the Cowboys quarterback not only as a player, but more importantly, as a person. Prescott’s character is second to none and will be as much a part of his legacy as what he does on Sundays. And no talking head will ever be able to take that away no matter what he says.