Dak Prescott, quar­ter­back, Cow­boys

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

When: The Cow­boys were the first team to punch their tickets to the post­sea­son, thanks in no small part to Dak Prescott, their rookie quar­ter­back who filled in for and then sup­planted vet­eran Tony Romo this sea­son. With a win Sun­day against the Buc­ca­neers and a Gi­ants loss to Detroit, Prescott and Dal­las can clinch the NFC East ti­tle and re­ceive a first-round bye.

What’s up: Prescott strug­gled last Sun­day against the Gi­ants, throw­ing two picks and tak­ing three sacks. But his play this sea­son has been noth­ing short of ex­tra­or­di­nary. Be­fore the loss he be­came the first rookie to throw at least one TD pass and no in­ter­cep­tions in five con­sec­u­tive games and, with the help of rookie tail­back Ezekiel El­liott, helped Dal­las to a fran­chise-record 11-game win­ning streak.

Back­ground: Every team in the NFL whiffed on Prescott in the draft, in­clud­ing the Cow­boys. If you’ll re­call, Dal­las tried to trade up to nab Paxton Lynch and, later, Con­nor Cook. But the Cow­boys failed on both and snagged Prescott in the fourth round. That’s right: Prescott was Plan C.

Jhab­vala’s take: Prescott and El­liott have been the big­gest sto­ries of the sea­son, re­viv­ing a sto­ried fran­chise that had been to the play­offs only once in the pre­vi­ous six sea­sons and sin­gle-hand­edly sav­ing the NFL from a rat­ings dis­as­ter. Sim­ply put, Prescott is fun to watch. He pro­duces. He’s ef­fi­cient. And in a league that, like it or not, still re­volves around its quar­ter­backs, he’s quickly be­com­ing one of the best.

Dak Prescott, a rookie from Mis­sis­sippi State, is 11-2 as a start­ing quar­ter­back in the NFL, in­clud­ing 6-1 on the road. Not bad for a fourth-round pick. Al Bello, Getty Im­ages

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