Dak Prescott’s one-time backup has stepped up to bat for the Dallas Cowboys‘ embattled quarterback.
Appearing on ESPN’s Get Up episode Friday, former Cowboys signal-caller Mark Sanchez assertively stated he is not concerned about Prescott’s three-interception outing in last week’s loss to the Packers — a loss for which the 26-year-old should be exonerated, Sanchez explained.
“I’m really not worried. I’m telling you why,” he said. “There’s two interceptions in that last game … two of them were really not his fault. One’s a little behind Amari Cooper and one of them’s definitely pass interference. The other one was a bad ball; it was a bad decision.”
And Prescott’s third and final pick against the Packers, a fourth-quarter deep ball intended for Michael Gallup?
Don’t look at Dak.
“I know for a fact Sanjay Lal is teaching Gallup to get up on this route, to turn around, and go foot-to-foot, face-to-face with the quarterback, not round first base when you make that cut at the top of the route,” Sanchez said. “You chest-bump the quarterback, that’s what you’re taught to do. He rounds it and it looks like Dak’s throwing right to the defender.”
Sanchez’s analysis is notable because he played alongside Prescott in 2016, operating as the veteran insurance policy with Tony Romo on the shelf. Sanchez also is familiar with Cowboys wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal from their time together in New York.
He, too, is correct in asserting that the ball intended for Cooper wasn’t entirely Prescott’s fault. That’s because Cooper himself copped to it. Both, actually.
“If you look back on this game, he threw three interceptions,” he said after the game, via the Dallas Morning News. “One of them was definitely my fault. There was another one — we had a play called Deep 288 — I know I didn’t get out fast enough on my route so the defense could really declare what they were in. And then on the other one… to (wide receiver Michael) Gallup was blatant pass interference. None of them were his fault.”
Through five games, Prescott has completed 119 of 171 passes (69.6 percent) for 1,606 yards, 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. He set a career high with 463 yards through the air against the Pack, but his turnovers were backbreakers, the difference in a 34-24 defeat.
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Sanchez Lauds Prescott’s Accountability
Dak wouldn’t let Cooper claim responsibility for the miscommunications, saying “the second one was definitely my fault” and, true to form, promising “I’ll get better because of it.”
It’s this type of professionalism that earns Prescott the respect of his teammates — past and present, in Sanchez’s case. The retired journeyman, whose stint in Dallas was of the one-and-done variety, was impressed by Prescott “falling on the sword” for his supporting cast.
“I know those guys appreciate that because those are some other errors by other players,” Sanchez said. “He fell on the sword for them, I guarantee they’re going to play their butt off for him.”
Update on Extension Talks
Prescott is in no rush to break the Cowboys‘ bank. Especially now, following back-to-back losses, the franchise field general appears content letting his contract year play out, leaving slow-burning extension negotiations in the hands of his representation.
“I’m just going to let my agents handle it,” he said on SiriusXM NFL Radio earlier this week. “I’ve got a great team that I trust. I know that they’re going to do a great job with it. I had my time in those communications, but as the season’s began, it’s important for me to focus on my team, focus on the team that we’re going to play each and every week. That’s enough focus needed there. So the moment I give any focus to the contract, I’m taking away from what’s important. I just believe in the Cowboys and believe in my team that they’ll get something done.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL