OWINGS MILLS – The NFL underestimated Dak Prescott in this year’s draft.
The Ravens say they won’t underestimate Prescott on Sunday when the two teams meet in Arlington, Texas.
When Prescott fell to the Cowboys in the fourth round, the successor at quarterback to Tony Romo fortuitously fell into their lap. Prescott entered the league with a chip on his shoulder, determined to prove that he should have been selected much higher.
After Romo suffered a back injury during the preseason, Prescott seized the reins of the Cowboys’ offense and has refused to look back.
“I can’t tell you the theories of why everybody bypassed me,” said Prescott during a conference call.
“I think it could be a couple of different things. But yes, I am a guy that always had a chip on my shoulder. I feel like I have always been doubted all the way throughout my life – at the quarterback position, specifically, yes, especially coming into the league. I am thankful to have the opportunity to play, but it definitely made that chip grow.”
Leading the Cowboys to an NFL-best 8-1 record, Prescott is having a terrific season, not just for a rookie quarterback.
Prescott has completed 66.8% of his throws, with 14 touchdown passes, two interceptions, and a 106.2 quarterback rating. After watching film of Prescott this week, Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees hopes to contain Prescott, but he does not expect to rattle him.
“I don’t know after nine games if he’s considered a rookie anymore,” Pees said. “You can say he’s a first-year player. But I don’t think he’s a rookie anymore. This guy’s seen a bunch of stuff. They’ve played three (AFC North) divisional teams that you know throw everything they have to throw at him, and nobody’s rattled him.”
Several weeks before the draft, Prescott was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, a red flag for some teams. However, Prescott was found not guilty of the charges in July, and the Cowboys have sworn by Prescott as a leader, both on and off the field.
“Those are the reports that we got from people at Mississippi St. who were around him every day,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett in a conference call. “The coaches that coached him there were just so impressed by the approach that he took, how much he loves football, how much he is a natural leader.”
Prescott hopes to lead the Cowboys to their ninth victory on Sunday. The Ravens know they can’t approach Prescott like a typical rookie quarterback.
“No, and then he’s a big kid on top of that, and he is strong,” said Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.
“He can run. They are doing a great job at putting him in positions to make plays. He definitely has to be accounted for.”