Dak Prescott Stellar Rookie Season; Looks To Avoid Sophomore Slump
All someone needs is that one thing to set them off, and determination. Once a person hears that one thing, once he or she has a nerve struck, it’s time for those critics to stand back and watch.When attempting to motivate a person, it’s always important to watch what is said to them. If advice is too positive, there is a risk of “babying” said person. Conversely, if there is too much negative, the player could either get upset or downright angry. This, ironically, seems to be the case for one Rayne Dakota (Dak) Prescott. Dak Prescott had a Stellar rookie season and looks to avoid the sophomore slump.
Profootballfocus.com said this about Prescott before the draft: “He needs to improve his location, in particular, struggling to beat tight coverage at every level of the defense. Prescott can hit open receivers but fails to show the kind of precision to complete tough throws into coverage. The game-manager label might suit Prescott because he fails to stand out in any area. While he is a solid enough signal-caller, he doesn’t flash outstanding potential. Although the numbers appear promising, Prescott is far from the most effective quarterback under pressure. He recorded a -7.0 grade when disrupted in the pocket in 2015 (0.0 is considered average), despite throwing five touchdowns to just one pick.”
Fast forward to the actual draft. The Cowboys did take him. Later on, management reported that they had hoped to develop the young gunslinger into the team’s starter. Almost as if the management and media spoke it into existence, Tony Romo went down with an injury. Ironically, so did the backup behind Romo. Little did fans and management know, there was a new “sheriff” in town just waiting to show what he can do.
Dak Prescott would not only be the highest performing rookie quarterback during the preseason, but he was the most talked about as well. Fans watched the young man play through the preseason, and he seemingly improved with every snap. As fans witnessed this, they grew quietly optimistic.
Then came the big test. The regular season started, but Prescott was up for the challenge. Going 25/45 with 227 passing yards, he showed what he could do. However, due to the season starting at 0-1, some media wondered if he could hang with the big boys. Week 2 arrived, and this is when Dak Prescott would drastically improve. Prescott was 22-30 in the game and had 292 passing yards. However, still no passing touchdowns.
Week 3: Prescott would lead the Cowboys to their first win of the season at home. Throwing 19 completions out of 24 attempts, he’d also add another 248 passing yards to his season total. Prescott would also throw his first touchdown pass that game. As the confidence grew within the team the Cowboys would just keep adding wins.
Fun fact: Dak Prescott didn’t throw his first interception until Week 6 of the season against the Packers of Green Bay. Fun fact #2: The Dallas Cowboys would win their next 12 games, before losing just their second game of the season. The opponent? Guess who. The New York Giants. The Cowboys would then win their next two before losing the final game. The end result: a 13-3 regular season record, a first round bye, and an eventual playoff loss.
While the Cowboys playoff loss definitely stung, Cowboys fans saw just what the future holds. Dak Prescott was fueled with enough doubt and criticism by experts, that it seemed to ignite a wildfire deep within his soul. The end of the season would see him post stats that were even good enough to surpass Robert Griffin III in the record book. That stat being quarterback rating (104.9).
Dak Prescott was also the second player (first rookie) to have 3,500 passing yards and fewer than 5 interceptions in a season. A feat which only Tom Brady has done in the years 2010 and 2016.
A rookie season like that can bring many questions to mind. Will the other teams in the league be able to figure out Dak Prescott? Have the other teams figured Prescott out already?
These questions and more will be answered soon. While it’s a good possibility that Prescott won’t have the same type of season as last year, there’s the same likelihood that he could. With Prescott having already played a full season under center, he and the offense should know each other well. On another note, the only missing piece to the Cowboys offense (besides Romo for obvious reasons), was Doug Free who recently retired.
Dak Prescott had a great INT percentage as well, sitting at a whopping 0.9%. Interception percentage is important because it measures what percentage of his passes can be picked off. With that said, if last season is any indication, the Cowboys will be fine. Prescott knows what exactly got him in the position he’s in now. He’s usually the first in and last out of meetings, reports surfaced that he even stayed late to study the playbook last year.
Getting To The Point
Nobody can say whether Dak Prescott will or won’t have a sophomore slump. However, there is sufficient evidence to support the theory that he won’t. Dak Prescott is eager to dig into the playbook, he also knows the team well. Prescott has more reps under his belt, and with that comes more time to work on his weaknesses to his game. As training camp arrives, we will soon find out where he stands.