Posted on August 28, 2016, by Travis Pulver
When the Dallas Cowboys drafted Dak Prescott in the fourth round, there was hope that he could develop into a dependable back-up over time. From the way he has looked during the preseason, he apparently didn’t need much time to accomplish that. However, thanks to Tony Romo breaking a bone in his back, he has already been promoted from QB2 to QB1.
Coaches always tell the guys that don’t start they are only a play away from getting on the field, but that doesn’t mean those guys are ready. But the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Why not? They have the smartest quarterback from the 2016 Draft on their team.
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“Knowledge-wise, I think I’m the smartest quarterback that came in this class,” Prescott said (via USAToday). “I would love to go on the board and go head to head with anybody else. That’s how I feel. That’s how confident I am.”
When you consider that the No. 1 pick in the draft doesn’t know where the sun rises and sets that doesn’t say a whole lot, but Prescott was actually referring to football:
“The offense we ran at Mississippi State was nothing short of an NFL offense,” Prescott said (PFT). “The only thing that was different is that we didn’t go under center. I swear to you, in [pre-draft] visits, every play they showed me, I could name it. We just called it something different. At another team I visited, they ran the exact same stuff we ran.”
The preseason results speak for themselves. After three games, Prescott leads the NFL in completion percentage, yards, and touchdowns. Of the players with significant playing time, he also leads in QB rating (Teddy Bridgewater, Phillip Rivers, and Blake Bortles all have higher ones, but have played little). Among rookies, he is playing much better than the field and is the only one slated to start when Week One rolls around.
He is starting because Tony Romo broke a bone in his back. But the Cowboys did not try to acquire a veteran quarterback to back Romo up because of how well Prescott has played.
No other rookie quarterback is even expected to play this season. Philadelphia Eagles fans may have hoped Carson Wentz would, but after missing the preseason with a fractured rib, it is unlikely they would throw their No. 2 pick to the wolves. Paxton Lynch has a shot, but the Denver Broncos are expected to go with Trevor Siemian instead.
For any of the other rookies to see the field, at least two guys would need to be injured for their team to give them the ball. In most cases, probably more since the team would likely sign a veteran free agent after their starting quarterback gets hurt.
So—is Dak Prescott the smartest quarterback from the 2016 draft class? Who knows, but fans will find out how “smart” he is when the season starts. Until someone else from the class plays and does better than him, the throne is his.
That isn’t going to happen anytime soon.