Dak Prescott was the rookie sensation of the NFL season in 2016 leading the Dallas Cowboys to 13 wins. Playing in one of the most competitive conferences, the NFC East, provided lots of experience and growing opportunities for Prescott. All three of the Cowboys’ losses came within the conference and two of them at the hands of the rival New York Giants. On Tiki and Tierney, Prescott was adamant that he wouldn’t let the same results come this season.
“It’s a great division from top to bottom,” he said. “I think there are good offenses and good defenses and I think some teams just match up better with other teams and that’s New York on both offense and defense. We just match up with each other well. I’m not going to pinpoint and say this or say that… that’s just NFC East football to me, y’all got the better end of it two times, but I can promise you it won’t happen again.”
Prescott famously came into training camp as the third-string quarterback with little opportunity. Due to injuries, he got his time to shine and never let it go. While he definitely made it look easy, the humble 23-year old made sure to give credit to his teammates because of the confidence they instilled on him early.
“I was put in position to play well because I had a lot of teammates and coaches around me,” Dak reiterated. “The moment that Kellen Moore got hurt in training camp, before Tony got hurt, Tony was scheduled to take a rest day that next day so I went from taking third-string reps to jumping in and running with the ones. When you step into the huddle with Tyron Smith, looking a walking hall-of-famer Jason Witten in the eyes, Dez Bryant, you’re just kind of forced to raise your level of play. From that moment going forward, I’ll never forget that practice. From that moment I knew that I could play and just needed my opportunity.”
He would go on go on to talk about the amount of hard work it took to elevate his game to a level where he was playing like a star amongst superstars. Overall, the team, to him, was as good as they were because of the fun they had together and the hours of time they spent getting better.
“It definitely wasn’t easy,” he said. “It took a lot of preparation… I didn’t think for once I was making it look easy. I was thinking those guys around me were making it look easy. Although we all put in that work and effort, there’s a bunch of playmakers on that offense. We all vibed together and had great chemistry and a lot of athletes. We just had fun doing it.”
One of the biggest storylines all season was the path that led Tony Romo on the field to the broadcasting booth with CBS. He had to eventually say goodbye to his incredible career because an unfortunate history of major injuries that could threaten his future health as well. He had a big influence on Prescott by teaching him the ropes, consistently encouraging him and showing him some of the tips and tricks that made his career so successful.
“I commend Tony and I truly mean that,” he said. “From the moment I came in as the third-string quarterback to him getting hurt to him making the announcement that I’m the big guy, he never wavered. That’s something that I don’t even know if I could’ve even done and I don’t know how many people at that position would’ve treated it how Tony did. He was great. I truly believe he had my best interests. He helped me on the field, off the field, in games. He was awesome. He’s been the same guy from the moment I met him and I thank him for that.”