One week of training camp, apparently, is a large enough body of work for a “very, very impressed” McCarthy to cement his stance on Prescott, and lay the groundwork for a “great future” involving the “infectious” quarterback.
“I’m very, very high on Dak Prescott,” McCarthy said during Wednesday’s appearance on NFL Network, via RJ Ochoa of Blogging The Boys. “I think the best word to describe him would be, he’s a natural. He’s a natural football player. He plays the position with excellent command. His leadership comes off of a very natural platform.
“You can see how he’s infectious any time he walks into the room. And really just going through the hiccups that we’re going through as an offense right now, it’s seamless to him. He doesn’t really blink at anything. I’ve been very, very impressed with Dak and looking forward to building a great future with him.”
Surrounded by three No. 1 wide receivers, in McCarthy’s estimation, Prescott is aiming to build off the career year (4,902 passing yards, 30 touchdowns) he enjoyed in 2019. It’s been an acclimatory process through a handful of practices — some good moments, some bad.
“Dak Prescott was able to put the offense in position to kick a winning field goal by completing a fourth-down pass to Amari Cooper on the drive,” ESPN’s Todd Archer noted of Tuesday’s session. “Needing a touchdown on the second drive, his final pass was intercepted by Xavier Woods in the end zone but he would have been sacked by DeMarcus Lawrence before the throw. He was 12 of 15 in both situations.”
But we’re talking about practice. Not a game. Practice. When mistakes are accepted; better now than the regular season, the logic goes. Yet you couldn’t distinguish the two with Prescott, who literally brought the game to his backyard.
McCarthy hopes to build a future. So Dak built a football field.
“Just to be ready for training camp,” Prescott said Thursday of his private practice venue. “I’m a guy that kinda likes to work in the dark, I guess you could say. And then just come out and show what I’ve been doing. It just gives me a sense of privacy, a sense of peace.”
Prescott has much to prove in 2020 despite his lofty supporting cast and flashy amenities. Lead the Cowboys back to the playoffs. Win a game (or two) there. Justify the $31.4 million franchise tag. Among other objectives. His tangible margin for error is significantly smaller than any time throughout his five-year starting tenure.
However, nothing McCarthy uttered is untrue. Intangibly, Prescott is as elite as elite gets, and it’s up to the former Super Bowl-winning coach to catalyze these qualities.
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Cowboys Vet Explains Dak Critics ‘Don’t Know Football’
If you won’t take McCarthy’s word for it, maybe you’ll be swayed by Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford, who used part of his media availability Monday to defend his QB from what he considers unwarranted vitriol.
Crawford conveyed after the team’s first padded practice of camp that Prescott’s detractors — many just amongst the fan base — are of the imbecilic variety.
“The man’s a beast. If you can’t see it, who cares,” he said, via beat reporter Brianna Dix. “He does exactly what he’s told to do, and he does it at a very high level. I’m a huge fan of Dak. Not a lot of QBs that I can say that about, but Dak is one of my favorites. He is a professional on and off the field, and he does his thing. Anybody talking about him, I don’t really think they know football. The guy gets the job done. I can’t really say much more.”
Dak Plans to Rock Visor in 2020 [LOOK]
There’s something noticeably different about Prescott this year: his face attire. The two-time Pro Bowler has opted to wear a helmet visor while practicing and claims it’s here to stay for the fall.
“Changing things up, I guess. … I like it. I think I’ll keep it,” he said Thursday, via The Athletic.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) August 20, 2020
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL