Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott Tagged as a “System Player”

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott /
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott
ARLINGTON, TX – JANUARY 15: Dak Prescott /

The Dallas Cowboys have hovered between great and bad so wildly it’s almost comical how much they seem like a pendulum at times.

By all accounts they’re having another swing through the good column after going 13-3 last season. Much of this thanks in large part to the unexpectedly standout play of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. He finished as Rookie of the Year and went to the Pro Bowl after throwing 23 touchdowns and four interceptions. Fans are already convinced he’s a star in the making. Is that true though? Some still have their doubts.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com went through a series of top young players in the league right now. Names who really stood out in 2016. He picked out 10 names. Five who he felt were stars and five he felt were products of their teams’ system. The good news? Ezekiel Elliott is a star for Dallas. The bad news? Prescott is the opposite.

"“The 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year certainly looked like a star as a surprising first-year starter for “America’s Team,” but he landed in a perfect situation for a young quarterback with the league’s best offensive line and a pair of elite playmakers at the RB1 (Ezekiel Elliott) and WR1 (Dez Bryant) spots. Not to mention, he had one of the most reliable tight ends in NFL history at his disposal (Jason Witten), which provided the rookie with a security blanket when things got chaotic in the pocket.Think about it this way: The Cowboys have five former first-round picks (Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Elliott and Bryant) in their projected starting offensive lineup, which significantly exceeds the number of top picks surrounding the likes of Drew Brees (3), Philip Rivers (3), Tom Brady (2), Ben Roethlisberger (2) and Aaron Rodgers (1). Thus, it’s easy to make the argument that the Cowboys’ supporting cast alleviates the burden on Prescott’s shoulders to carry the offense.”"

Dak Prescott still has loads of proving to do

Fans know full well what “system quarterback” means in the NFL. It means the odds of winning the Super Bowl go down. It’s really difficult to win a championship in this league when the quarterback is a role player. See Jim McMahon, Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson as examples. To be fair Prescott had a good showing in his first playoff appearance. He threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns against Green Bay. Then again Matt Ryan almost had 400 with four touchdowns the next week.

So it’s hard to say if it was Prescott having a really good game or if he was just benefiting from playing a weak defense. The Packers did finish ranked 31st against the pass in 2016, for what it’s worth. If Dallas is going to finally get back to the Super Bowl, it has to be on Prescott’s shoulders.