The quarterback position is the most valuable position on a football field. The quarterback is responsible for calling out the plays in the huddle, adjusting the play at the line of scrimmage and most importantly, putting points on the board.
If you don’t have an elite quarterback in the NFL, your chances of winning decrease. Now, not all Super Bowl winning quarterbacks play at an elite level. Nonetheless, the quarterback has to at least manage a game, especially if their defense is in the upper echelon.
The Dallas Cowboys have a quarterback, who is somewhere in between elite and above average, depending on who you ask. He has the ability to lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl, although he’s yet to do so in his first 13 seasons after being an undrafted free agent back in 2003 out of Eastern Illinois.
For as good (or not so good) Romo has been, his NFL career is on the back end as he is 36-years old. Dallas has seemingly been avoiding finding a successor to Romo through the draft. They had a chance to draft Johnny Manziel a couple of seasons ago, but decided to pass, which now is looking like a brilliant idea. In 2016, Dallas may have found the (unexpected) answer they have or haven’t been looking for.
Dak Prescott was drafted by Dallas in the fourth round of this year’s NFL draft out of Mississippi State. This came after Dallas let it be known that they had targeted Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. Now, that is a thing of the past and Prescott is auditioning to be the No.2 quarterback on the depth chart behind Romo.
Prescott tore up the college scene in the toughest college football conference, the SEC. He could beat a team with both his arm and his legs. He threw for 9,376 yards, 70 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He finished his junior and senior seasons with back-to-back 3,000-plus yard seasons. He also racked up 2,521 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns on the ground.
Through the first two preseason games, Prescott has looked like a grizzled NFL veteran. Yes, it is only preseason games, but for now, that’s all we have on Prescott’s NFL resume. In those two games, one of which he started, he has completed 22 of 27 passes for 338 yards. He has thrown four touchdown passes, two to superstar wide receiver Dez Bryant and rushed for another two. He has yet to throw an interception in these exhibition games.
For those who find his play surprising, don’t forget that he faced NFL-like defenses in the vaunted SEC. The level of play obviously increases once the bright lights of the NFL shine, but playing in the SEC gets players the readiest for the NFL.
While it has only been two exhibition games, the Cowboys have to be loving their fourth round pick the more they see him succeed. If Tony Romo can avoid injuries, the Cowboys can definitely be put in the playoff conversation. If Romo does happen to go down, it looks like Prescott can fill the void, something that didn’t happen a season ago with the backups playing for Dallas.
The jury is still a long way out from determining if Prescott can be a winning NFL quarterback, but so far, so good for the former Bulldog of Mississippi State. The backup quarterback position and the heir apparent to Romo looks to be a problem solved for the Cowboys.