When the Dallas Cowboys take the field for the first time in week one of the regular season, Dak Prescott will have one thing on his mind.
The Cowboys were inches away from a trip to the NFC Championship game, a toe dragging sideline catch hauled in by Green Bay Packers tight end Jared Cook put the Packers in field goal range which ended in a heartbreaking loss by the Cowboys. That game must have played in the mind of their starting quarterback Prescott.
Per thescore.com, Prescott is still hung up by that one play and the last game of his rookie season. Dak doesn’t need to be the best ever to play the game, all he wants to do is get his team past the spot they were in 2016.
Heading into that rookie season, not many would have put the Cowboys in that divisional round with the 13-3 regular season. With veteran quarterback Tony Romo sidelined with a back injury to start the year, the thought was that this team just hang tough until their franchise quarterback. That idea changed immediately as Prescott proved that he isn’t just a temporary quarterback, he himself is a franchise quarterback.
The loss to the Packers will be a big part of how Prescott handles himself this upcoming year. He will have that taste of that loss as he moves forward and guides this team in year two under center.
“First and foremost is just losing the playoff game,” Prescott told the “Candidly Cowboys” podcast when asked what motivates him as he enters his second season. “That’s my first motivation heading into this second year.
“But there’s a lot that I can get better at. There’s a lot this team can get better at. In Year One we just scratched the surface. We’re just getting started. I know we’ve been hitting these workouts and we’re just excited for what we can be as a team.”
Highest passer rating in first 16 career games since NFL/AFL merger (via @espn):
Kurt Warner: 110.2
Dak Prescott: 104.9
Dan Marino: 104.8
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 15, 2017
Dak Prescott's 2016 Stats:
67.8 Comp. %
23 TDs – 4 INTs
104.9 Passer Rating pic.twitter.com/HaUXqgiHii
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) May 16, 2017
The future in Dallas is led by the pair of 2016 rookies. Ezekiel Elliott will join his quarterback from that 2016 draft class. Both players will be looked at as leaders, but it will be Prescott that needs to improve on his game from a year ago. Even with the great season that he had, he still had parts of his game that needed work and that is exactly what he will do as he moves forward in his NFL career.
The Cowboys will go as far as Prescott can guide them, and that can be Super Bowl 52!