Whether or not Dallas Cowboys’ starting quarterback Dak Prescott is ‘any good’, has become a passionately contested debate – not unlike today’s Yanny or Laurel argument.
Much like the debate over “Yanny or Laurel”, everyone in Cowboys Nation has a strong opinion of third year quarterback, Dak Prescott. Some love him. Some do not. On one hand, you have a fourth round pick playing well above his pedigree. His first two seasons in the NFL were among the best the NFL has ever seen and seem to prove his mettle.
On the other hand, you have a player who has repeatedly missed open targets and has statistically regressed rather than progressed as a passer. Worse yet, he committed to unforgivable act (to some) of forcing Tony Romo into a premature retirement.
I give you Team Yanny and Team Laurel.
Forgive me for exploiting the social media craze of Yanny or Laurel but the parallels are strikingly similar. The Yanny or Laurel thing started when this tweet, and subsequent Instagram post, went viral the other day:
The manipulated voice was designed to cause conflict in its listeners, leading them to either hear the name “Yanny” or “Laurel”. There was no middle ground and listeners will now fight to the death for what they perceive as the truth.
Much like the Yanny or Laurel debate, Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback, Dak Prescott, draws starkly different reviews for his play. Dak Prescott is either the next great franchise arm or he’s a colossal mistake that possibly cost the Cowboys a Super Bowl in 2016.
And like the Yanny or Laurel folks, these Cowboys fans will die arguing their stance.
Chelsea Sanker, who is a phonetician at Brown University, spoke to The Atlantic about the social media craze on Wednesday. Amazingly enough, her advice may help us all in this Dak Prescott debate as well…
"First of all, the clip, according to Sanker, is “not prototypical” of either laurel or yanny. It’s somewhere in the middle…the linguistic perspective on this whole debacle is that everyone is right. We’re all just trying to classify the sound waves we’re hearing into categories we’re familiar with…"
People who like Dak Prescott point to the amazing start to his career. They cite his win-loss record as well as pure passing stats. These details tell us Dak has had one of the best first two years, if not THE best first two years, in NFL history.
And these people are right.
People who don’t like Dak point to his poorly timed passes, his occasional inaccurate delivery, and his unwillingness to throw deep. These observations tell us Dak has been exposed and will never approach the greatness of one, Tony Romo.
More from Dallas Cowboys
- West coast, Texas coast, burnt toast: Cowboys don’t need more runs
- Brandin Cooks will change the way defenses play the Dallas Cowboys
- Why the Dallas Cowboys defensive X-Factor is EDGE Sam Williams
- Dallas Cowboys: 3 head coach options if McCarthy fails in 2023
- Dallas Cowboys: Is CB Jourdan Lewis a tradeable asset?
These people are also right.
As the Yanny or Laurel article taught us, both sides are right because reality lies somewhere in the middle. We are simply perceiving different things and moving him into a category we’re familiar with rather than the one in which he best belongs.
Dak Prescott is a different type of quarterback. For better or for worse, he’s not, and likely never will be, Tony Romo. Romo was accurate. Dak is not so much. Tony could deal with ad-libbing himself and from his players. Dak, not so much. Dak can run the ball without breaking in half. Tony…well… Dak is known for avoiding the costly turnover. Tony wasn’t always able to avoid those. The list goes on.
The point is, it is unfair to compare the two players to each other because they are incomparable.
That’s a big reason why many of us think the Cowboys are going to a run-pass option offense next season that leans on a strong running game, precise routes, and superior decision making.
The Laurel or Yanny debate can teach Cowboys Nation a thing or two. Dak Prescott isn’t God’s Gift to Dallas nor is he just a bus driver. It’s not a binary choice and it shouldn’t be. Dak Prescott is somewhere in the middle and what you think of him says more about you than it does about him.
Someday the answer will be clearer, but as of now, we’re believing what we want to believe and we’re using some supportive facts to support our staunch views. The answer to this division in Cowboys Nation isn’t to argue why we are right, but rather why the other side thinks what they think. Chances are we’re both right.
Is Dak Prescott good or bad? Do you hear Yanny or Laurel? These passionately fought arguments are more alike than you think and could serve as a lesson to many of us in Cowboys Nation.