Following their close victory over the lowly Houston Texans, many intrepid fans posited a fascinating theory about Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Mainly, is he bad?
Now it is entirely within the realm of possibility that the starting quarterback of a team that is 10-3, on a four-game winning streak, and averaging 37 points per game during said winning streak is, in fact, bad.
But similarly, let me present another, more out-there possibility: Dak Prescott is… good. Or like, at worst, fine.
Before an army of likely Eagles-adjacent egg avatars throttle me. Let’s explore all the possibilities.
Since most Dak Prescott-related analysis—whether it's by social media warriors or yappy TV talking heads—is based on the quality of his last game, then Dak is bad.
He struggled against the Texans, throwing two costly interceptions that nearly lost Dallas the game.
More generally, he’s been just okay statistically on the season. His passing yard totals are of course lower than expected due to a thumb injury that required him to sit out several games. But even if you just look at his average passing yards per game, he currently sits at 17th in the league at 230.9 yards per game. That puts him behind the likes of Carsen Wentz, Russell Wilson, and Matthew Stafford, who this season, most fans would agree, have been bad. Similarly, he ranks 19th in QB rating, below the likes of Andy Dalton and Marcus Mariota, who are also widely considered okay-to-not good.
So, given the company he’s in statistically this season and his woeful 1-3 playoff record, could one reason that Dak is bad? Perhaps.
Before taking over as the Cowboys' starting quarterback in 2016, Dallas had finished .500 or below in five of their previous six seasons. In the six seasons since he took over as the starting quarterback, the Cowboys have had four winning seasons (with one of the losing seasons happening when Dak was injured).
Also, if you consider the Cowboys' personnel changes, Dak’s dip in statistical output makes sense. The team has dealt with multiple injuries along the offensive line which has affected protection. They also lost All-Pro receiver Amari Cooper to the Browns during the off-season. But even with these losses, the offense hasn’t been bad by any stretch. While Dak has been throwing for fewer yards, Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard have formed the best running back duo in the league, with Dallas currently ranked seventh in rushing yards per game.
Beyond having one of the most balanced offenses in the NFL, the Cowboys currently have the fifth-best odds of winning the Super Bowl. And yes while Dak’s 1-3 playoff record isn’t inspiring, Dallas has only won three playoff games this century. One could very much argue playoff futility is a Cowboys tradition more than a Dak misgiving.
After carefully considering all the compelling evidence presented, the esteemed panel (just me) has determined that Dak Prescott is… fine.
He’s fine, people.
Everybody chill out.