Dallas Cowboys: Dak doesn’t deserve a pass

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after the Seattle Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-12 at AT&T Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 24: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys walks off the field after the Seattle Seahawks beat the Dallas Cowboys 21-12 at AT&T Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

After the Dallas Cowboys loss this last week, Dez Bryant was given majority of the blame, but Dak Prescott should get his share as well.

Following the loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Dak Prescott said about Dez Bryant, “I think I have to throw him a better ball, just put it right there on his face mask and don’t give him a chance to drop it, I guess.” While there has been a lot written about the decline of Dez Bryant and his drops this season, Dak should share more of the blame than he does.

While some are calling 2017 a sophomore slump for Dak Prescott, there are more reasons for concern than many realize. If we look back to 2016, there were more than enough reports that Dak Prescott had accuracy issues in practice. It was one of the major reasons Dak was graded as a fourth round quarterback.

There are a few things that were different this season than last season which did not help Prescott. First, Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez, and Kellen Moore not being on the team to help Dak were huge.

Several times this season there were wide receivers running wide open and Dak just didn’t see them. Other times, defenses shifted on Dak and he did not read the adjustment correctly. Last season those three veteran QBs helped Dak see and prepare for these things. This season they weren’t here to help.

The next huge change this season was the inconsistent running game. The suspension of Ezekiel Elliott and everything that came with it had to affect the running game. Dak needs the running game to help him in the passing game. Some quarterbacks can carry the team when they have to. See also: Aaron Rodgers. Dak is not that type of quarterback.

The other change from last season, was the offensive line. Tyron Smith was injured and the Cowboys changed personnel at two other spots. That would be an issue for anyone who was playing quarterback.

However, the issue Dak had this season with accuracy is an issue he had since college. His NFL.com scouting report looks like a rehash of his 2017 season.

"Increase in short pass attempts from 86 to 208 this year reason for higher completion numbers. Accuracy on intermediate and deep throws dropped sharply. Pocket poise has been compromised. Hyper­ aware of pressure around him and lacks awareness to slide and find temporary shelter to make throw. Concern over pressure too often trumps ability to get through progressions. Must speed up the pace of his reads. Footwork is a mess. Slight stride onto stiff upper leg with little weight shift. Restricted follow through and too often tries to muscle throws with upper body. Throws to target rather than leading or throwing them open on short/intermediate throws. Too respectful of underneath coverage and must be more willing to challenge the defense. Needs to improve anticipation."

Notice a few things that stick out? Increase in short yardage pass attempts, accuracy issues, pocket poise issues, progression read problems, footwork problems, throwing to a wide receiver rather than anticipate routes, and not willing to challenge defenses were all things that Dak did in 2017 that caused a lot of problems for the Dallas Cowboys this season.

The fact that Dak has a great work ethic and works hard should give some hope for fans, however, the fact he hasn’t  fixed the problems should give pause.

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Of course, Jason Garrett and his staff should have a lot of the blame for the lack of progression. Unfortunately, it appears Jason Garrett isn’t going anywhere, so what can Dak do to help the team?

Well, Dak has to work on his issues in the offseason with outside help. Dak has to be able to see he has issues with progressions, defensive reads, accuracy, footwork, and speed up his release. If he doesn’t realize he needs to improve in these areas, then he probably won’t be the quarterback for long term.

However, if he does figure out he has these problems and puts his work ethic toward fixing these issues, he could be okay.

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Dak needs to not only realize he has to get better, but he has to admit it. A good leader knows they have to work on things and be the example. He shouldn’t be pointing the finger at anyone without pointing it at himself as well. Dak shouldn’t get a pass this season for the issues in the passing game.