Cowboys QB Coach Provides Unrestrained Statement on Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott

Getty Dak Prescott

Every time Doug Nussmeier opens his mouth, it seems, the Dallas Cowboys‘ quarterbacks coach utters a ringing endorsement for Dak Prescott.

This was Wednesday’s.

“Nothing but the utmost respect for the way he approaches the game,” Nussmeier told reporters, via The Athletic. “His day to day work ethic, first guy in, last guy out. You just can’t say enough about the character of the man, not just the great football player that he is.”

Hired by former head coach Jason Garrett, after working as the University of Florida offensive coordinator, Nussmeier was retained by new HC Mike McCarthy and moved from tight ends to QBs, his bread and butter.

“Working with the tight ends, like I said, those two years was enjoyable,” Nussmeier said in January. “But obviously I’m excited to get back to the quarterbacks, that’s kind of been my natural position over time.”

A position he’s intimately familiar with. Nussmeier, 49, is himself a former signal-caller who played for the New Orleans Saints (1994-97), Indianapolis Colts (1998) and the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (2000) before transitioning to coaching. The Lions made him QB coach for their 2001 season.

The next year, he held the same job with the Ottawa Renegades, then with Michigan State from 2003-05. He became something of a nomad afterward, tutoring passers for the St. Louis Rams (2006-07), Fresno State (2008), Washington (2009-2011), Alabama (2012-13), Michigan (2014), and, finally, UF.

Nussmeier replaced ex-Cowboys QB coach Jon Kitna, who joined the organization in 2019. Working in tandem with — and reportedly in opposition to — coordinator Kellen Moore, Kitna was key in helping coax a breakout year out of Prescott, who threw for a career-high 4,902 passing yards, one shy of tying the team’s all-time single-season record held by Tony Romo.

Kitna was, and remains, a big fan of Dak. So is his successor.

“The guy is going into his fifth year,” Nussmeier said in January. “So I still think he’s just starting to scratch the surface of where he can go. I’m really excited about working with him.”

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Nussmeier Pumps Breaks on ‘Talented’ Rookie

That he’s repeatedly gushing with praise for Prescott isn’t because he freely dispenses compliments. Although what many would consider a players coach, Nussmeier refuses to blow smoke, as seventh-round rookie QB Ben DiNucci can now attest.

“[He’s a] talented guy. He’s got a long way to go. …The speed of the game for him is fast,” he told reporters Wednesday, via the Dallas Morning News, conceding it’s difficult to develop a first-year field general sans preseason work.

The James Madison product hasn’t looked terrible in his inaugural training camp. Relatively speaking, he’s performed better than 2019 practice-squadder Clayton Thorson, largely due to his rushing ability and arm strength. DiNucci was among the standouts of Sunday’s practice, per the team’s in-house report.

Presupposing the Cowboys carry only two QBs on the 53-man regular-season roster — Prescott and Andy Dalton — DiNucci is ticketed for a future on the taxi squad. He’s a nice project for Nussemeier and McCarthy, but hardly an immediate incarnation of Romo.


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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL