When the Dallas Cowboys selected quarterback Dak Prescott in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, they hoped to have landed Tony Romo’s eventual replacement. What they got, though, was a whole lot more than that and faster than they had originally expected. The former Mississippi State Bulldogs standout was exceptional during the preseason of his rookie year and received the opportunity to make his NFL debut earlier than expected.
Due to an injury to Romo, Prescott was named the team’s starter right out of the gate in 2016 and excelled. The rookie played so well that when the Cowboys’ veteran leader was healthy, he didn’t wind up getting his job back. The story since that point has been well-documented, and Prescott has put together an impressive career to this point, and he’s still building on it.
Let’s take a look back at the quarterback’s collegiate career by looking at some of his stats, accolades and performances.
Prescott Led Mississippi State to First No. 1 Ranking in School History
While Prescott was with the Bulldogs from 2012 to 2015, his first season as a full-time starter came in 2014. This also marked the same year that Mississippi State received their first-ever No. 1 ranking in school history. Prior to this season, the school had been ranked No. 7 (1981) and No. 8 (1999) but Prescott played a big role in leading them to the top spot in the entire country.
This came after Mississippi State (ranked No. 3 at the time) defeated the Auburn Tigers 38-23 to move to 6-0 on the season. In that game, Prescott threw for 246 yards, rushed for 121 and scored three total touchdowns. They held the No. 1 seed over the next three games and entered the fourth, a road game against the fourth-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide at 9-0 on the year.
The Bulldogs suffered a narrow 25-20 loss to Alabama, as a fourth-quarter comeback attempt came up short.
Prescott Makes Short List of Players Who Achieved Impressive Feat
The Cowboys quarterback has become known for his ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs, and that stood very true throughout his college career as well. Prescott was a force over the final two seasons of his career in both areas and wrapped up his time with Mississippi State by joining an elite group because of it.
Currently, there are just 14 players who have totaled 40 passing touchdowns and 40 rushing touchdowns in their collegiate careers. Prescott ranks No. 6 on this list for most in history (111), ahead of Lamar Jackson and just barely the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Tim Tebow, as the NCAA record book shows.
Even more impressive about this achievement is the fact that Prescott did this while only holding the starting quarterback job for the Bulldogs over the final two years. He did play in 11 games as a sophomore and added 23 total touchdowns to that mark.
Holds Multiple Single Season, Game and Career School Records
The number of school records the Cowboys quarterback broke over his time in college was nothing short of spectacular. Prescott holds Mississippi State school records for single-game, single-season and career completions, yards and passing touchdowns.
In terms of single-game performances, Prescott’s 38 completions, 508 yards and five touchdowns against the Arkansas Razorbacks in 2015 marked school bests across the board. Prescott actually holds the top three spots for most completions in a game with the school as well as five of the six top spots.
He also holds the top two spots for single-season completions, yards and touchdowns, with the current record also coming during 2015. Prescott completed 316 passes for 3,793 yards and 29 passing touchdowns that year.
Last but not least, a player who was arguably the best quarterback in school history capped his career off by holding the top spot in all three statistical categories. Over the four-year span at Mississippi State, his numbers blew away the closest competition. Prescott had 223 more completions (734) than the next-closest player, threw for more than 3,000 more yards (9,376 total) and 15 more touchdowns (70).
Finished Fourth in SEC History in Total Touchdowns
Prescott didn’t just hang with Tebow in college football’s excuse 40/40 club, as he also ranked near the top in SEC history for most total touchdowns over the span of a career. While Tebow took the cake with 145 career touchdowns, Prescott currently holds the No. 4 spot with 114 total.
Along with those two big names, former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray sits at No. 2 with 137 touchdowns while Danny Wuerffel is third with 122 scores. For what it’s worth, Prescott did get some competition from another Mississippi State quarterback in Nick Fitzgerald, who racked up 101 touchdowns from 2015 to 2018.
Among Most Combined Passing & Rushing Yards in Career
There has only been a select group of players who have thrown for more than 4,000 career passing yards and rushed for 2,000 yards as well. Prescott finds himself on that list and joins a pretty impressive group. Not surprisingly, one name right next to him in total yards is the aforementioned Tebow.
Prescott wrapped up his collegiate career with 11,897 combined yards (9,376 passing and 2,521 rushing). A few other names who have made it into the select group include Marcus Mariota, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, J.T. Barrett, and Lamar Jackson.
Over the span of his entire tenure with the Bulldogs, the current Cowboys quarterback racked up 114 total touchdowns, and three of them were actually receiving scores.