Dallas Cowboys rookie QB Dak Prescott was not supposed to play this season. After being drafted in the fourth round, maybe he could spend a year or two behind veteran Tony Romo and develop into a solid pro with a pretty long career. That would have seemed to be the conventional wisdom for most mid-round quarterbacks selected and the ceiling for Dak, someone whose career at Mississippi State and playing style was probably most reminiscent of (dare I say) Tim Tebow.
That did not turn out to be the case, though. Dak Prescott busted through any ceiling projected onto him with what by most any account was the best season any rookie QB has ever had. After another Tony Romo injury, Prescott was thrusted into the starting lineup and never looked back. A Pro Bowl berth, 23 TDs and just 4 INTs later, and Prescott will lead the Cowboys into the NFC Playoffs as the conference’s #1 seed.
Let’s take the Cold Take machine all the way back to the draft this spring, when in fairness, ABSOLUTELY NOBODY SAW THIS COMING! Well, to clarify, many people liked Dak as a long term prospect, but no-one saw this year’s performance in their crystal ball.
First, what about the people who thought Dak shouldn’t even play QB in the NFL:
If you are bilingual or have the capability to click the Google Translate button, 66% of fans said Prescott would not be the future quarterback of the Cowboys.
Elsewhere, the number was at 56% in the negative.
Everyone wanted a quarterback besides Prescott it seemed.
Like Cardale Jones…
Or Paxton Lynch (hello Jerry Jones)…
Or Connor Cook. You saw him just play in the postseason, right? (Hi Jerry! Again.)
Even some in the Dallas media questioned Prescott as an NFL-caliber quarterback.
Someone who did see a future where Dak Prescott could be a starting quarterback in the NFL? NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, who made these remarks at the draft:
“He’s a solid prospect to develop as a starting quarterback,” NFL Media’s Mike Mayock said. “… You want to talk about a young man that’s tough, has arm strength. Does he have to learn how to play the position and continue to develop? Absolutely. But I think learning behind Tony Romo, getting an opportunity with no pressure to come in and get reps behind him, he’s got the athletic ability, he’s got the arm talent. Ultimately, I think he’s got the ability to be a starting quarterback in the NFL down the road.”
While Mayock was one of the few who was bullish on Prescott’s ability to succeed at some point in his NFL career, it all happened a lot sooner than anyone could have ever anticipated.