Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott playing his best ball of the season

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

Opinions on Dak Prescott this season have been trending more and more towards negative. This is something that comes with the title of “Dallas Cowboys Quarterback.” Scrutiny is heavier than it would be for the average quarterback and so each slip up or big game is covered exponentially more than is normal.

And to be fair, some criticism this season has been well-warranted. Being responsible for the most INTs since his return in Week 6 is something he should be held accountable for and I think any fan can understand that.

But on Saturday Dak showed why he’s still at the helm for the Dallas Cowboys

Despite criticism coming in from all angles, Dak has taken it in stride, continuing to take accountability while also continuing to improve. On Saturday, we saw flashes of old Dak Prescott and it was beautiful. In his last three seasons, Prescott has averaged 302.9 yards per game (YPG) and in 2022 he is throwing for mere 245.0 YPG. I feel that this high yardage total was out of necessity. Ezekiel Elliott was often hobbled and they had yet to unlock Tony Pollard’s potential. Instead they leaned heavily upon the air attack which was elite, consisting of Amari Cooper, Cee Dee Lamb, and Michael Gallup.

Despite the removal of Amari Cooper from this offense, it’s clear this offense managed to become more explosive and that can be attributed to the boost in the run game that Kellen Moore has managed to cook up, along with the reemergence from Zeke from his two-year slumber. The success of the Dallas Cowboys has often been connected to that of the run game and therefore Dak’s success predicated upon that run game. Well on Saturday the run game was bad and it didn’t affect Prescott one bit.

The run game had an EPA/play (Expected Points Added) of -.14 and a Success Rate of 31%. This indicated that the run game was inefficient and produced something positive, in terms of EPA, on 31% of all run plays. Instead, he decided to take the game into his own hands, really coming alive in the 2nd half and shaking off his 1st Quarter pick-six. Prescott finished with 347 Yds, 3 TDs, and a 124.3 Passer Rating and in terms of EPA he had a total of 12.5 with a 58% Success Rate on passing plays.

At the end of the day, Dak is the franchise guy for the Dallas Cowboys and we’re paying him $40M per year to lead the Cowboys to a championship. Regardless of how the rest of the team shapes out, this team, as with countless other football clubs, run through their quarterback. Performances such as this one are not required each game to win, but it is good to know that when the Dallas Cowboys need to lean heavily upon him, he is able to step up and make things happen as he did on Saturday.

Last Sunday against the Jaguars, it felt like he shied away from the pressure which resulted in multiple empty drives once the game entered crunch time. Prescott clearly made an adjustment and I saw the confidence in him against the Eagles, the 3rd&30 throw was a prime example.

Now when all these units can work in cohesion, that’s when the playoff run begins.