What happened to Dak Prescott after the 2016 season? This is a question that I have which hasn’t been answered as of yet. Theories are plenty and range from the Atlanta game in 2017, Elliott’s suspension, coaching, mechanics, etc. But has anyone really thought that Prescott himself is the issue? Jerry Jones doesn’t think so and neither does Stephen. The Cowboys brass believe in Dak Prescott but as we go week by week, it is becoming clearer that Dak Prescott is struggling mightily as the Cowboys starting quarterback.
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Time in the Pocket
Here is argument number one for those who are Dak apologists. They go out make this a point every single time. Dak Prescott is not getting enough time in the pocket. If they had Travis Frederick things would be different. The truth is that Prescott has enough time in the pocket. He actually has more than enough time in the pocket. He actually has the 3rd most time in the pocket to throw a football. John Williams a writer for InsideTheStar.com made this point on Twitter:
Dak Prescott’s NFL Ranks in:
Time in the Pocket: 3rd (3.04 sec)
Time to Attempt: 3rd (2.81 sec)
Time to Sack: 9th (3.61 sec)
Time to Run/Scramble: 1st (6.31 sec)
QB Rating att < 2.5 sec: 102.9 (13th)
QB Rating att > 2.5 sec: 63.7 (27th)
Time isn’t the problem.#CowboysNation
— John Williams ✭ (@john9williams) October 11, 2018
When I saw this and as a person who felt Prescott didn’t have enough time in the pocket it was telling. We aren’t watching the whole game as fans. We are watching what we can. We cannot break down film (not all of us at least) fast enough. We might not have the skills to watch a game as some others who played the game watch. We might not even see some things that those who played the game can see. What we can do as fans is take a talking point and make it our whole argument. With seeing the time in the pocket, I decided to take a look at sacks. Prescott has been sacked 16 times this season according to ESPN. This is tied for the 5th most in the NFL. Is Prescott holding onto the ball too long? By the looks of it he is, and this is going to be a big time problem moving forward.
Receivers Are Not Getting Open
Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, Tavon Austin, and company aren’t getting separation for Prescott to throw the football. This is another argument made for those who believe it is not Prescott whose the problem. I for one really do not believe Prescott is the ONLY problem. There is more to this than just him. But Dak isn’t doing himself any favors. Against the Texans he made mistake after mistake with not only reads, but also form. Below is a video from John Owning who is an author at thescore.com:
No idea what #Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was thinking here. HOU is in a 2-high shell so Dak should get eyes toward the 2 vertical routes that are applying a horizontal on the deep safety, especially with Swaim’s deep dig route occupying the other deep safety.
Should have been a TD pic.twitter.com/UyJAzsI9F6
— John Owning (@JohnOwning) October 10, 2018
Owning points out one play in the Houston game where Prescott messed up. There are more and I will share my source for those as we continue with breaking down Dak Prescott. In this specific play though you can see Prescott with a big time option down the field with Swaim getting open. Dak had time to throw this one and went through his progressions from what I could tell. But what was he thinking? Did he see something we didn’t? Concerning indeed if his vision is regressing or if he isn’t able to read the defenses.
I’m going to apologize as I go on record to state that I’m not a football expert. This is going to be my opinion and I hope to be corrected or at least informed on if what I see is correct. Prescott’s mechanics are not very good. When in the pocket I do not see Prescott stepping up. When he throws the ball it looks as if he isn’t trying to lead a receiver. To me it looks as if Dak Prescott is literally trying to peg a receiver. When it comes to footwork it seems sloppy. Finally, Prescott’s pocket presence isn’t there. I know this is a lot of stuff to digest without much to back it up but take a look at game film, tell me otherwise. I’m willing to listen and learn if incorrect. But if I’m right, then not only has Dallas made a quarterback worse, they have made him exponentially worse compared to when he came into the league.
Here is a video that breaks down a lot of what the Cowboys offense did wrong during the game against Houston. The person who made this video, AKOYE Media provided extremely helpful insights on several plays. Not only does he breakdown the offensive line, he highlights Prescott’s play, and Elliott as well. Check out the video here and if you like his stuff make sure to subscribe as well. I know that I will be using his breakdowns as a source for my knowledge, and for the blog.