Cowboys’ Dak Prescott Among Top NFL QBs After ‘Special’ 2023 Season, PFF Says

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott enters a pivotal 2024 NFL season.

The upcoming 2024 season has massive implications for Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys, but at least one analyst has high expectations for the quarterback entering the final year of his contract.

Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema put together his list ranking all 32 starting quarterbacks across the NFL, with Prescott emerging at No. 6 overall.

“It’s a shame that Prescott’s final game of the 2023 season,” Sikkema writes for PFF. “A playoff loss to Green Bay, was as big of a disaster as it was, because to that point his 2023-2024 campaign was special. His 89.8 passing grade in the regular season ranked second only to Tua Tagovailoa. His 73.5 passing grade under pressure was No. 1. His 37 big-time throws in the regular season were the most in the NFL, and his 2.0% turnover-worthy play rate was the lowest among quarterbacks with at least 400 dropbacks.

“Prescott was efficient, aggressive, and accurate, albeit with a poor showing to end the year.”

By most measurable metrics, Prescott was among the top quarterbacks across the league last season, even if his performances against the Packers, Miami Dolphins, and Buffalo Bills, in pivotal games for the Cowboys’ playoff positioning last season left much to be desired.

In order for Prescott to secure his future in Dallas, though, the Cowboys may need to advance far deeper in the playoffs than another first-round loss this upcoming season.

Dak Prescott Mentoring Trey Lance

Despite stalled contract negotiations, Prescott is in attendance at Cowboys voluntary OTAs, and playing a key role in helping his backup, Trey Lance, prepare for the upcoming season.

“He’s been great. He goes out of his way on a play that maybe he has a long history with, he can teach him some of the nuances with (Lance),” Cowboys quarterback Scott Tolzien said, according to the team’s official website. “Beyond that, teach him the ropes – things that he’s used in the past for him, both fundamentally and approach-wise. I’m really lucky that we have a really good quarterback room and guys help each other out and it’s really natural and makes my job easier.”

Depending on how Prescott’s contract talks ultimately play out, Lance could potentially be Prescott’s eventual replacement, after the Cowboys acquired him in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a fourth-round pick before the 2023 season.

Lance has appeared in just eight games since being chosen by the 49ers with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft.

In limited reps, Lance boasts a career 54.9 completion percentage with 797 passing yards, five touchdowns, and three intereptions.

“Obviously, a high draft pick,” Tolzien said. “And everybody has raved about his work ethic. I couldn’t agree more with that. He comes to work right mindset, right attitude. He’s been a real pleasure to work with.”

Cowboys’ Al Harris Enters 2024 With Lofty Goals

After the Cowboys blocked him from interviewing for the Washington Commanders’ defensive coordinator vacancy, in favor of Mike Zimmer, defensive backs coach Al Harris has his sights set on even bigger aspirations.

He wants to eventually become a defensive coordinator, or even a head coach one day, according to the Cowboys’ website.

“That’s my goal, and I’m pretty sure that’s [the goal of] every assistant coach here,” Harris told reporters. “To have those responsibilities is big to me. I take that very seriously. Whatever we need, or need me to do to show my leadership skills, I’ll do.”

This season, Harris will serve as Mike McCarthy’s assistant head coach, after Dan Quinn requested to interview Harris for the Washington Commanders’ defensive coordinator vacancy.

Harris is highly respected by his players, and viewed by many inside the league as a rising star and strong defensive mind.

“Proud of Coach Al,” Trevon Diggs posted on social media following the news of Harris’ promotion. “He deserves everything! Two All-Pro and Pro Bowl corners, and like 40 INTs!! We[‘re] not done.”

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