Dak Prescott will play his first NFL game against the New England Patriots on Sunday.
But Bill Belichick already is very familiar with the Dallas Cowboys quarterback.
Belichick confirmed Wednesday the Patriots scouted Prescott ahead of the 2016 NFL Draft, where they eventually selected Jacoby Brissett with the No. 91 overall pick.
"We do some work on everybody, but we used to hit those Mississippi State guys pretty good," Belichick told reporters in a press conference. "Got a lot of connections down there."
Among those connections is Joe Judge, the Patriots' special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach who played football at Mississippi State and worked there as a graduate assistant out of college.
Belichick, Judge and the Patriots could have drafted Prescott, who fell to Dallas at pick No. 135 in 2016. Since then, Belichick has watched the 26-year-old develop into one of the NFL's most well-rounded quarterbacks.
"Right now, he's super impressive," Belichick said. "This guy can throw the ball. He's very accurate, he's got great poise in the pocket, stands in there. He extend plays and run if he has to, but he doesn't do much of that unless he really needs to.
"He has great poise and discipline in the pocket, gets his eyes downfield. He's a great intermediate to deep ball thrower.
" ... Just a great, great quarterback. Sideline throws, inside throws, in-cuts, posts, over routes, flag routes; you name it."
Prescott leads the NFL in passing yards through Week 11 with 3,221, well ahead of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (2,752). Dallas' 6-4 record suggests there's still room for Prescott to improve -- his nine interceptions are tied for seventh-most in the league -- but Belichick still ranks the fourth-year pro among the best QBs in the league.
"He’s having a great year this year," Belichick added. “Hard to see anybody playing much better than him."
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