RECENT memory cannot throw up a more important reserve player than Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott.
“America’s team” has not won a coveted SuperBowl since 1995 and while they possess the brilliant Tony Romo as a starter, his injury woes last year showed the need for capable back up to be ready.
Sulphur, Louisiana native Prescott may just hold the key to helping the Cowboys push back into the playoffs after injuries cruelled their 2015 campaign.
Aussie fans know all too well that pre-season form does not immediately translate to success in the regular season (Jarrad Hayne, anyone?). Prescott, however, seems unlikely to be just a flash in the pan.
The 23-year-old is seen as the long term successor to the enigmatic Romo, and was expected to take some time to reach an NFL standard. His performances across pre-season matches, however, have delighted and surprised fans and teammates alike.
In the Cowboys’ 41-14 rout over the Miami Dolphins at Arlington, Texas, Prescott substituted Romo magnificently to throw two touchdowns and gain 199 yards from a scarily accurate 12 of 15 completed passes.
He also rushed for two six-pointers, one using great speed from the 30 yard line after scrambling out of the pocket, the other stretching across from the one yard line.
Prescott impressed with a 38-yeard touchdown pass to star receiver Dez Bryant down the sidelines, and a scramble behind the line of scrimmage resulted in a 58 yard pass to fourth-year receiver Brice Butler.
That’s not 58 yards completed, that’s 58 yards in the air to a receiver sandwiched between two safeties. This follows two touchdowns and 139 yards from 10 of 12 completed passes in the Cowboys’ 28-24 loss to the LA Rams.
This guy has serious talent. His completion percentage, his ability to move around in the passing pocket, and cool head under pressure will serve him well at the elite level.
Fellow rookie QB’s Jared Goff (LA Rams), Carson Wentz (Philadelphia Eagles) and Paxton Lynch (Denver Broncos) so far have garnered more attention leading into their first season. Prescott, though, may prove to be the most important player of this group in 2016.