Coming into the 2016-17 season, the Dallas Cowboys were a question mark. Oft-injured Tony Romo was the starter at quarterback, Dez Bryant was coming off a roller-coaster season and missed time, and then there was the whole Greg Hardy situation. The Cowboys were a train wreck waiting to happen. However, the Cowboys added depth at the QB position by drafting Rayne Dakota “Dak” Prescott out of Mississippi State. In Week three of the preseason, Romo suffered another injury and was scheduled to miss 8-10 weeks. As Bill Belichick would say, “The next man up.”
In preseason play, Prescott played well completing 39-50 passes for 454 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Curb your enthusiasm, many would say. “It’s just the preseason… he was cooking 2nd and 3rd string defenses.” It’s Week 6 and the Cowboys are 5-1 behind Prescott’s arm. Even with Dez Bryant on the sidelines, the rookie is getting it done. Dak is developing his undersized, but athletic wide-out Cole Beasley, who leads the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. His confidence, youth, energy and swagger is showing in the offense. And it’s not like Dallas needs Dak playing well on every down to score points, fellow rookie Ekeziel Elliot leads the NFL in rushing yards and is tied for second in rushing touchdowns. Romo is due back in a few weeks, but with the way Dak is winning you can’t just bench him. He shows great patience in the pocket, and has the mobility and poise to escape the pocket and make throws. Also, it’s quite fun watching the Cowboys’ all-rookie backfield play, and I am sure Cowboys fans would agree. It’s starting to look like Romo’s time is up in his 13 years under center. He hasn’t been challenged much to compete for his position and Prescott looks more fit for signal calling in Dallas. Dak reminds me of a young Russell Wilson, both were mid draft picks set to be the backup. Wilson can be a pocket passer and use his legs when needed, Dak is the same way. Both were overlooked, but when given the opportunity, they have seized the moment. The momentum is in Dak’s favor, the offense has a new look and it’s working. Prescott should remain the starter, no matter how soon Romo is available. The Cowboys have a bye next week. In week 8, the Cowboys will host the Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) led by rookie Carson Wentz on Sunday Night Football. We’ll have front row seats to witness the future of the quarterback position.