I have to admit something. When I sat down to write my weekly NFC East recap, I stared at a blank screen. I didn’t know what to write. The Eagles are 3-0. The defense is playing beyond lights out, they’re like a black hole, absorbing light and Mychal Kendricks’ career. They just dismantled the Steelers like they were Bane. Carson Wentz is the NFC Offensive Player of the Week. He’s probably going to be Rookie of the Year. Doug Pederson has as strong a case as anyone to be Coach of the Year. It’s really hard to come up with material to poop on a team that has been flawless.
Sure, I could tell you about the Redskins-Giants laugher with the usual aplomb. I had something about how the Giants were watching the twilight of their franchise QB, who was back to throwing his trademark crippling interceptions. I had something about how Redskins punter Tress Way threw an absolute dime of a strike that was way better than any pass Kyle Cousins ever threw.
But that game doesn’t matter. None of them do. Because one team in the NFC East has found the answer. The answer to how they will rule the division for the next decade, how they will return to the glory years from so long ago that one of the players on those teams is now their coach. The search for the next great QB is over.
I am talking about Dak Prescott.
You can have your fancy stats. You can have your wins. You can have your accolades. I’m sold on Dak Prescott being The Next Big Thing. You should be too.
He’s young. At 23, he is as old as Drew Brees, Andrew Luck and Eli Manning were when they first started, and he’s doing better than they did. He’s younger than Tony Romo, Carson Palmer, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady when they first started. He’s ahead of the curve. He’s on a different curve altogether.
He’s getting better every week. His completion percentage, yards per attempt, passer rating... they’re all getting better each game. At his current trajectory and at his age, there’s no limit to his greatness.
He’s a winner. Prescott took a Mississippi State team that was a perennial doormat to heights it hadn’t seen since Jackie Sherill was castrating bulls in the locker room and paying players. He was a special player in college, and he’s a special player in the NFL. And he’s done things no Cowboys backup QB has done: actually win games. He’s got a winning pedigree and it shows.
He’s a leader. From the moment they drafted him, he made the Cowboys forget about all the other QBs they tried to draft but couldn’t because they kept getting jumped by other teams.
How Dak Prescott won Cowboys over— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 1, 2016
-Rare leadership skills
-Insatiable appetite to learn
-Checked all boxes in games
-Players respond to him
Spoke with #Cowboys COO Stephen Jones last night. As @SI_PeterKing wrote, Jones wouldn’t rule out a Brady/Bledsoe situation with Dak/Romo.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 29, 2016
And that was before they even played real games.
He’s shattering expectations. Did you know he was a 4th round pick? The way Prescott is playing, you’d think he was a 1st round pick. He’s already lapped 1st round picks Jared Goff and Paxton Lynch. It’s like the Cowboys got another 1st round pick. Incredible.
He’s making a great quarterback irrelevant. The Cowboys are no longer in need of once again rushing Tony Romo back from injury.
It’s a kid from Mississippi State who is currently saving everyone’s hide by playing far above the norm for a rookie quarterback.
“Players have their time,” defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford said. “If they are good, they’re good and he’s not going to be slowed down because of his status as a rookie.”
And as such, provided things do continue to properly evolve for Dak, Tony Romo should be on notice that he might again be the backup.
They don’t even need him back.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning on NFL GameDay First that the door is open for Prescott to keep the starting gig even after Romo is healthy. Prescott pulling a Tom Brady to Romo's Drew Bledsoe is very much in play.
"From my understanding, talking to Cowboys people over the last several weeks, the door is open, though slightly, for Dak Prescott to come in and impress enough and potentially take Tony Romo's job, which is something that would have sounded crazy just a couple months ago," Rapoport said. "In fact, when I talked to Stephen Jones a couple weeks ago, he actually brought up, himself, the Brady-Bledsoe comparison from 2001. This year is much different from last year. They are not sitting around waiting for Tony Romo to return. The confidence in Dak Prescott is palpable. They are going forward with him and whenever Romo returns, they will address that when it comes."
The best thing the Cowboys could do this offseason is unload Romo’s $20.8M cap hit next year by trading or releasing him and take the massive cap savings of $5M and invest it in ways to support Prescott, like buying an actual pass rush. Don’t be like the Giants and clinging to a long gone past. Don’t be the Redskins and pay premium prices for a non-premium QB.
Build around Dak Prescott. The Cowboys can’t possibly regret it.