Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott tied with all-time greats

Dak Prescott believes he’s playing the best football of his career leading the Dallas Cowboys to a 2-1 start before Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

And when you consider the sites, the decision-making and the precision, it’s hard to argue.

Prescott completed 86 of 111 passes for 868 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions.

He leads the NFL in completion percentage (77.5), is tied for fifth in completions (86) and eighth in passer (110.1).

Prescott’s early numbers aren’t just good for this year. They stand the test of time.

Only Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady in his prime in 2007 with the New England Patriots and retired New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in 2018 had more than 800 yards while completing over 77% of their attempts in the first three games of a season.

And Panthers coach Matt Rhule cited another legend, 2021 Professional Football Hall of Fame member Peyton Manning, when he spoke about the Cowboys and Prescott preparation.

“When you talk about (the Cowboys offense) I think you have to start with Dak Prescott,” Rhule said. “I watched it last year. He is superb. He calls the game to the line of scrimmage. He takes the ball out of his hand. He’s currently the second fastest guy in the NFL, from snap to throw, which is iconic of a quarterback who knows exactly where the ball is going against defense, who is on the same page with his receivers, who gets in the right games against the right covers, who makes sure he’s protected.

“It’s like watching Peyton Manning, it’s like watching Drew Brees call the game on the line of scrimmage. I think what Dak is doing right now is incredibly impressive.

Prescott couldn’t help but blush when asked about Rhule’s comments. He grew up in Haughton, Louisiana, idolizing Brees and Manning, originally from New Orleans.

“Yeah, I mean that’s a hell of a compliment,” Prescott said. “… Yeah, two guys that I admire and when I make all those words, those signals, I think about how they think about the game on the line of scrimmage.” They were playing the game before the snap which allowed them to be ahead of the defensive post snap. So that’s a hell of a compliment, but I just need to keep improving, though.

Prescott is the one in full control now.

Brees set the NFL record for one-season completion percentage of 74.4 in 2018.

At his current pace, Prescott is poised to break that mark this season.

Time will tell us.

But after completing 72.4% of his passes and passing 403 yards in a season opener loss to the Buccaneers, Prescott was at his effective excellence completing 83.0% of his consecutive passes against the Los Chargers. Angeles and Philadelphia. Eagles.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper said Prescott is not only playing his best football since joining the team in 2018, but he’s also getting the ball out much faster.

“I wouldn’t say he’s more confident because he’s always been a confident player. But I think he has a better understanding of what we’re trying to do as an offense, ”Cooper said. “He knows his readings before the crash and he’s able to adapt more quickly to a post-crash situation. He gets us in and out extremely quickly. The fastest I’ve been around.

Prescott attributed his mastery of offense and quick release to hard work, experience, and chemistry with the receptors.

Prescott is recording an average throwing time of 2.48 seconds on his passing attempts, according to Pro Football Focus, who is the league’s fifth-fastest and career-fastest.

“I think the best part of the experience is that, yes you see things faster, you recognize them faster and you trust him,” he said. “You are not questioning yourself and I think it’s just the result of great preparation and just experience.

“That’s the job we’ve been doing for a few years with these guys. Not only that, just watching, knowing what the defense is going to give me, preparing and studying the film to know and stay ahead of these guys from what I see pre-snap to post-snap and trust all the way. long week in preparation and what we saw in training and let it go.

He gives up and the Cowboys offense is flourishing, ranking sixth in the NFL averaging 30 points per game.

Cooper said Prescott is the reason the Cowboys play so well as a team. It gives them confidence that they can beat anyone.

“The quarterback controls the football team a lot,” Cooper said. “The way he plays can decide a lot. It gives me confidence, that’s for sure. “

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a writer / columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches, and countless controversies since the teams disappeared. from the dynasty of the 1990s through the roller coaster years of the Tony Romo era to the Cowboys process of Jason Garrett.

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