Cowboys QB Review: Does Dallas Doubt Dak Prescott? How Truth Will Reveal Itself

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a career year, but it was his performance in the playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers that again raises questions over whether he can lead this team to a Super Bowl.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott divides opinion unlike any other player in the NFL. Coming off yet another embarrassing playoff exit at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers, head coach Mike McCarthy took over the play-calling duties from Kellen Moore in the offseason.

What followed was an MVP-caliber season from Dak as he won double-digit wins for the fourth time in his career.

Prescott’s opening month of football wasn’t his best, as he didn’t throw for over 260 yards and only had four passing touchdowns to just one interception as the “Texas Coast Offense” failed to fire.

But then the 49ers game in Week 5 happened. Dak again struggled against high-level opponents as he threw for 153 yards and three interceptions in the 42-10 blowout loss.

The Cowboys then had the bye week, changes were made and Prescott’s MVP campaign began. What would follow was seven wins in eight games as Dak was putting up serious numbers.

In an eight-game stretch, Dak threw for 2,444 yards, 23 touchdowns, and just two interceptions as the Cowboys catapulted themselves back into Super Bowl calculations.

But just as fans were believing in Prescott, against the Buffalo Bills, he again came unraveled. Just 134 passing yards, an interception, and a quarterback rating of just 57.7 (second-lowest of the year) in a 31-10 loss heaped further questions on Dak’s ability to perform in big games.

The following week against the Miami Dolphins in another big game, Prescott played well (253 yards, two touchdowns, 107.9 quarterback rating) and led a 19-play, 66-yard touchdown drive to give Dallas the lead with a little over 3:30 left in the fourth quarter.

But the defense couldn’t get a stop and the Dolphins won on a last-second field goal 22-20.

Prescott would then play decent football for the remaining two weeks, getting wins over the Detroit Lions and the Washington Commanders as Dallas surpassed the Philadephia Eagles for the NFC East crown, clinched the No. 2 seed and a home playoff game.

It was all set up for Prescott and the Cowboys, who were unbeaten at home all season to make a deep playoff run.

 

But those questions surrounding Prescott and his ability to play well in pressure spots again came to the fore as he and his teammates wilted in a poor first-half display as the Green Bay Packers raced out to a 27-7 halftime lead.

In that first half, Dallas’ possessions with Prescott went as follows: punt, interception, punt, pick-6, before a late touchdown drive to put their first points on the board.

It was yet another big spot that Prescott unfortunately wilted in, and the Cowboys after such a promising season, were dumped out of the playoffs.

Dak’s MVP-caliber season will not be remembered due to his failings in the postseason, and now, his contract situation is a hot topic. There has been talk of cutting Dak, trading him and even going ahead next year without an extension.

Everything it appears, is on the table.

But with such a big cap hit next season ($59.4 million), the Cowboys could be forced into a decision to extend Prescott, a move that won’t sit well with some of the fan base.

 

But looking back at Prescott’s season as a whole in Mike McCarthy’s first year as play-caller – after Week 5 he was outstanding for the most part and he will likely come in the top five for MVP votes.

Unfortunately, Dak’s poor playoff performance will overshadow his regular season efforts as again, it was another poor failure.

The Cowboys have a solid No. 2 under contract (and affordably) in Cooper Rush. And they employ a good prospect in Trey Lance (also under contract). But they aren’t Dak.

Going forward, do the fans trust that Prescott can still take them to Super Bowl glory? Fingers are crossed.

Or more to the point, do the Cowboys, trust that Dak is “that guy”? What they do contractually between now and March 13 will tell that tale.

 

Gideon Canice

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