For those keeping score at home amid Dallas’ many contractual slogs, Marshall Faulk and Bucky Brooks share exceedingly contrasting opinions on Dak Prescott.
While the former made headlines by claiming the walk-year Cowboys quarterback will be a “bum” after signing his expected contract extension, the latter believes Prescott will rise to the occasion and justify his title, perhaps as the richest QB in NFL history.
Brooks, an analyst for NFL.com, crafted a list of four players and a head coach (Mike Tomlin) who he feels will prove their respective doubters wrong in 2019.
Topping the list? Dak’s a silly question.
“Prescott has played a starring role in the NFL offseason version of “Let’s Make a Deal,” with the quarterback’s reported asking price reaching $40 million per year, as confirmed by NFL Network’s Jane Slater,” Brooks wrote. “Although the hefty sum would make him the highest-paid player at the position — and let’s be honest, this is almost certainly a negotiating tactic — Prescott’s 32 QB wins since 2016 (when he entered the league as a fourth-round pick) rank behind only Tom Brady, with the Cowboys capturing the NFC East title in two of his three NFL seasons. Now, I know the mere mention of a team stat (QB wins) to validate Prescott’s price tag will draw the ire of his critics, but there’s something to be said for winning, particularly in a league where quarterbacks are judged by rings. With a strong supporting cast at wide receiver (led by Amari Cooper) and a healthy offensive line in front of him, Prescott should enjoy a career year, regardless of how Ezekiel Elliott’s holdout plays out.”
Tacking onto what Brooks laid out, Prescott bounced back from a less-than-spectacular 2017 campaign with 22 passing touchdowns, only eight interceptions and a 96.9 passer rating last season — a significant improvement on his 2017 mark (86.6) but still less than his phenomenal 2016 rookie year (104.9).
Now, he’s surrounded by arguably Dallas’ deepest roster of his young tenure, with tight end Jason Witten unretiring, wide receiver Michael Gallup emerging opposite Amari Cooper, and rookie running back Tony Pollard forming a devastating one-two punch with two-time rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott, who remains ensnarled in a holdout.
Prescott closed his summer having gone 11-for-14 for 119 yards and one TD in three mostly-limited exhibition appearances. He completed 100 percent of his balls in Dallas’ first two games, a loss to the 49ers (4-for-4) and win over the Rams (5-for-5).
“I feel great,” Prescott said of his preseason work, via Maven Sports’ Mike Fisher. “I’m in the position I want to be in. I feel the best that I’ve ever felt, from every aspect of the quarterback position going into Week 1.”
It’s not unreasonable to project Prescott eclipsing 35 total scores this season, the majority coming through the air, spread around to his litany of weapons.
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Brooks’ Other Choices
Interestingly, the Cowboys were the lone NFC team represented on the veteran scribe’s vindication list. He also tabbed Chargers RB Melvin Gordon — “the most disrespected running back in football,” which probably wouldn’t sit right with Zeke (Who?) — Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and Bills QB Josh Allen in addition to Tomlin.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL