Cowboys: Any Regret Over Paxton Lynch Now?

Aug 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates a touchdown in third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Dallas won 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates a touchdown in third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at AT&T Stadium. Dallas won 41-14. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cowboys, notably owner Jerry Jones, expressed regret over not doing enough to draft Memphis quarterback, Paxton Lynch this spring. Think he’s still regretting it now?

The Cowboys set out this offseason eager to address a position that doomed them in 2015: back-up quarterback. In Tony Romo’s injury-plagued 2015 season, Cowboys back-up QBs combined to earn an embarrassing 1-11 record in Romo’s absence. It was a hard lesson in reality for everyone.

It was clear – The Cowboys needed both a back-up at QB and a future at QB.

It seemed former Memphis QB, Paxton Lynch, could have solved both for the Cowboys – had they been able to finagle a way to trade up for him in the draft, that is.

Following the first round of the draft, Ian Rapoport reported the Cowboys fervently tried to move back into the first round to do just that.

But with the asking price too high, Jerry Jones stepped back. He stepped back just long enough for the Denver Broncos to swoop in and secure their future at the NFL’s most important position. The missed opportunity resulted in anger and regret for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

"“When I look back on my life, I overpaid for my big successes every time, Jones said. “And when I tried to get a bargain, get it a little cheaper or get a better deal on it, I ended up usually either getting it and not happy I got it. Or missing it. And I probably should have overpaid here.”"

Such candidness is rare in the draft. Most teams are busy trying to convince anyone and everyone that things fell to them perfectly and things transpired just how they planned. Not Jones. To make the situation even more curious was Jones doubling down and naming Connor Cook his preferred target later in the draft.

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After missing out on both, the Cowboys settled on guy named Rayne Dakota Prescott. Rayne, better known as “Dak”, had a unique set of tools and intangibles. The 6’2” 226lbs duel threat QB from Mississippi State had long been linked to the Cowboys so Cowboys Nation was familiar with the new developmental passer.

Most fans liked the pick, but truth be told, it was hard to be too excited amidst Jerry Jones’ unavoidably-discouraging public regret.

How much regret ya feeling now, Mr. Jones?

Dak Prescott, the seventh QB taken in the 2016 NFL Draft, is leading the entire NFL in passer grades. He’s  collected more touchdowns (6) than incompletions and that’s with a hefty yards per completion stat, as well as two very catchable drops.

He’s done so against first-team defenses and under pretty consistent pressure. According to Pro Football Focus, Prescott has passed under pressure 16 times compared to 15 times without pressure. He’s found success with various formations and to various targets.

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Dak Prescott has shown the arm strength to get the ball deep downfield, accuracy to fit it into tight windows, and touch to drop a dime in stride between coverages. He’s done it all and even improvised a little bit as well.

The other rookie QBs?

Not so much.

Only two games into the preseason, it’s still extremely early to proclaim Dak as a better QB than Paxton Lynch and/or Connor Cook but it’s hard not to get excited about what’s been shown to date.

Paxton Lynch has been noticeably uncomfortable. He struggled early but was able to put together a couple decent looking drives against the scrubs. The jump from Memphis to the NFL is significant and it’s not surprising he’s a little tentative back there.

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All indications out of Raider Nation are that Connor Cook looks like a good QB. In relief action to Derek Carr, Cook collected 101 yards on six completions and an interception. That’s good for a 64.8 passer rating. Not great but what do you expect from a rookie QB?

Surely not Dak Prescott’s nearly perfect 156.4 rating, that’s for sure.

That’s what makes Dak Prescott’s performance so fun to watch. It’s far beyond expectation for even pedigreed first round QBs, let alone a former three-star recruit who nearly fell to the fifth round.

Keep in mind, Paxton Lynch still has a skill set that makes every scout drool. He has time to develop and is still the odds on favorite to be the starter by this time next season. But this season? He’s backing up Trevor Sieman and Mark “Butt Fumble” Sanchez. Not exactly something to lose sleep over, Jerry.

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The story is far from finished and Paxton may prove to be what Jerry Jones hoped feared he would be –  a franchise arm. Dak Prescott may even prove to be a bust. But as of today, things look right as “Rayne” in Cowboys Land and there’s no regret in sight.