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Charles Haley Compares Dak Prescott to Legendary Quarterback

Jess Haynie

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Dak Prescott
AP Photo/Mark Tenally

While producing arguably the greatest rookie season in the history of NFL quarterbacks, Dak Prescott was compared more than once to the great Tom Brady. A few days ago, Hall-of-Fame pass rusher Charles Haley threw out another big name as a Prescott comparable; the legendary Joe Montana.

One of the most feared pass rushers of all time, Haley spent a career sizing up quarterbacks. He also had the fortune of being teammates of Montana, Troy Aikman, and Steve Young. He's seen the best of the best at work, giving his endorsement plenty of weight.

Charles Haley, Hall of Fame

Charles Haley at his 2015 Hall of Fame induction

In a recent interview with Dallas-Forth Worth's NBC 5, Haley said that Dak's personality and approach to the game reminded him Montana. Haley and Montana played together from 1986 to 1991, after which Haley was traded to the Dallas Cowboys and became a key component in their Super Bowl teams of the 90s.

Haley's admiration of Prescott shined through his comments, both in the comparisons to Montana and his general observation of Dak:

"Dak reminds me of Joe. He's funny. He's charismatic... They had something to prove to prove. They had a chip on their shoulder."

"The more I'm around him, he has so much confidence."

"He came from nothing like me... How can you hurt someone who came from nothing?"

Like Dak, Joe Montana did not the enter the NFL with first-round glamour. He was taken with the last pick in the third round of the 1979 draft and backed up Steve DeBerg for his rookie season. Montana took the starting job midway through 1980 and went on to win four Super Bowls and become one of the biggest stars in the history of sports. If you were alive in the 80s, you saw Montana's face everywhere.

Joe Montana

QB Joe Montana

Knowing that Charles Haley was also a teammate of Troy Aikman and Steve Young, it says something that he went right to the top by comparing Dak to Montana. As good as Aikman and Young were, there's no question that Montana stands above them in terms of overall NFL legacy.

Based on their Super Bowl championships, late-game heroics, and sustained success, many have argued that Joe Montana and Tom Brady are the two greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.  That Prescott has been compared to both of them really is remarkable, especially when that endorsement comes from former players. The talking heads of the media are prone to hyperbole, but ex-players are generally more reserved with their praise.

Dak Prescott earned respect beyond just the plays on the field. There is no tougher job in sports than being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. It is the ultimate form of athletic pressure, and so far Dak has emerged from it like a diamond. Other players clearly take note, which is why he was voted 14th in the this year's NFL Top 100.

Dak Prescott

QB Dak Prescott

Obviously, Dak has a lot of work to do to keep those Montana and Brady comparisons coming. Super Bowl Championships defined their legacies, and is also the standard that Cowboys Nation expects. Championships are what make Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman stand above Tony Romo and Danny White.

Clearly, Charles Haley believes in Dak Prescott's potential to meet those expectations:

"When you listen to players talk, they talk big about Dak. Because he's a man of character, and a man of strength, and a man of conviction."

Without question, most of us who watched Prescott last year share that confidence. Like Haley, we see greatness in Dak's future. At the end of his career, we hope that his name will be right there with Brady, Montana, and any other who is argued as the greatest quarterback to ever play.


Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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3 Comments
  • John Williams

    people will have no idea how happy and excited this makes me feel. As a former 49ers fan, Montana was my guy growing up in the 80’s and then I followed him to the Chiefs in the 90’s. When I played backyard football, I was all about Joe Montana. While my friends would want to throw it deep, I was throwing drag and slant routes and moving us down the field every time we had the ball. Pick em apart in the short game and when they started cheating up beat them deep.

    There is no way to know at this moment if Dak will end up with anywhere close to the same legacy, but those comparisons cannot be ignored.

    4 and 5 Super Bowls for Joe and Tom respectively are going to be hard to come close to for any quarterback, but with the roster that Dallas has been building, I think they will be competing for titles for the length of Dak’s career.

    • Jess Haynie

      it is very encouraging. I don’t think guys would throw out Montana’s name loosely. That’s basically like the Michael Jordan comparison in NBA.

      • John Williams

        No doubt. That’s what makes it so exciting. I think the quality that stands out the most with both of those guys is their composure. Montana’s is legendary. Dak has already shown that he isn’t rattled by the situation. I can’t wait to see what he has for us in year two.

Dallas Cowboys

REPORT: Cowboys DL David Irving’s Accuser Retracts Claims Of Domestic Violence

Kevin Brady

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David Irving

After what was a rather crazy day which resulted in reports the Frisco Police Department were investigating Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving for domestic violence, the accuser has now retracted her claims.

https://twitter.com/DCBlueStar/status/988527577915674624

This retraction comes after the mentioned reports of domestic violence claims against David Irving earlier in the day. Irving was neither arrested nor charged for the incidents, though two separate allegations were made.

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

Irving has claimed through his own social media account that his accuser is an ex-girlfriend looking for retaliation over a breakup. Irving has already said he has changed the locks on his house in attempt to change behavior moving forward.

Whether or not Irving abused his reported ex-girlfriend is not for me to say, but it will be interesting to see how Roger Goodell handles the matter after she retracted her claims later in the day. As we know very well, the NFL can claim violation of the personal conduct policy even if the justice system pursues no charges.

And the results of both the Frisco PD's investigation and that of the league office will be intriguing over the coming weeks and months.


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Player News

REPORT: Cowboys DE/DT David Irving Suspected of Domestic Violence

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

[4/24/18 UPDATE: Irving's accuser has since recanted with police. However, the NFL could still investigate under their domestic violence policy.]

ORIGINAL STORY

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving is under investigation by Frisco, TX police for charges of domestic violence, according to a report by Jobin Panicker of WFAA-ABC in Dallas.

The following was tweeted from Panicker's account not long ago:

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms it is investigating serious allegations against Cowboys player David Irving. No arrests. Assault-Bodily Injury, Unlawful Restraint, & Assault-Impeding Breath and Circulation @wfaa

Jobin Panicker on Twitter

BREAKING @FriscoPD confirms allegations made against Cowboys player David Irving were reported on April 22nd. At two separate times: 5pm & 10pm. Allegations made by girlfriend @wfaa

The veracity of the accusations are certainly not ours to judge, but other recent events on Irving's social suggest he is in the middle of a breakup with his girlfriend. Posts early this morning on his Twitter account appeared to be from an unauthorized user, and David later posted on both Twitter and Instagram that someone had hacked him.

Furthermore, Irving shared that he was already taking steps due to the volatile situation.

David Ja Rodd Irving on Twitter

@DCBlueStar Changed the locks yesterday

While personal lives should stay that way, Cowboys fans are understandably concerned after what happened last year with Ezekiel Elliott. As we saw then, Roger Goodell's "justice" system allows for just an accusation to lead to a suspension. There is no burden of proof on the accuser.

And as in that case, even if the police dismiss the allegation, the NFL can still pursue the matter under the personal conduct and domestic violence policies.

It would be nice to just say "let the process play out," but the NFL commissioner doesn't hold himself to that standard. Therefore, we have to report this as it could mean consequences for David Irving and the Dallas Cowboys no matter how legitimate the claims are.


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Jaylon Smith Practicing Without AFO Brace

John Williams

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Jaylon Smith Voted Cowboys' Ed Block Courage Award Winner 1

A lot of the talk circling the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL Draft is the need for the Cowboys to draft a linebacker as insurance to Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith's injury issues.

One of the questions, Sean Lee, will always be a question. When he's on the field, he's as good a linebacker as there is in the NFL. In 2016, he finally got in a near full season and rewarded the Dallas Cowboys with an All-Pro season that led the team to the playoffs. Talent has never been the issue with Lee. Keeping him on the field has been.

Jaylon Smith's question isn't his health as much as it is his recovery. The surgery to repair his ACL and MCL that he suffered at the end of his final season at Notre Dame was considered a success. There was a caveat, however, that there was no telling how much functionality would return because of the massive nerve injury that occurred.

Last year, Jaylon Smith actually played football games. No small step. In some games he made some plays and in other games, it was clear that he was still struggling with changing directions and running with receivers and running backs in coverage.

Time is Jaylon's biggest ally and another offseason removed from his injury should only help him get stronger and more confident in his recovering knee.

Lost in all of the Dez Bryant hoopla was a beautiful little nugget that Jaylon Smith teased Cowboys Nation with last week.

Jaylon provided a great look at his training regimen on the first day of team workouts and if you look closely, you'll see with a Clear Eye View that Jaylon Smith isn't wearing a brace, tape, or any other kind of support. On his knee or foot.

Jaylon Smith on Twitter

Focused vision, Determined belief, Earned dreams. #ClearEyeView

Remember that even after Jaylon was playing and practicing without a knee brace, he was still requiring an AFO brace to help with his foot drop.

Oh, how much one offseason can change things.

Mike Fisher, now of 247Sports.com, quoted Smith as saying, "I have more power and more flexibility now. And the dropfoot (issue) is fading. Absolutely!'' over on Scout.com, and there was this:

"As our colleague Bryan Broaddus has previously noted, it does seem that some of the testing is behind him, that the nerve is regenerating, that the repaired knee is stronger than ever and that more improvement is ahead of him. Smith's 6-2, 245-pound body is about as sculpted as is imaginable. His mind is sculpted, too, the result of his faith and his intellect and his personality and more. He suggests now that more improvement is inevitable, and that includes the medical improvement that is now, to him, simply "a matter of timing.'''

Mike Fisher - 105.3 The Fan and 247Sports.com

There is still a lot of hope around The Star and Cowboys Nation that Jaylon Smith can return to the All-American form that was projecting him as a top-five talent in the 2016 NFL Draft. If he's healthy and moving with better lateral movement and agility than he was in 2017, that's a huge step forward for Jaylon Smith and the Dallas Cowboys.

The progression of his knee and his confidence in said knee is going to be a huge determining factor in Dallas' plans to draft a linebacker. If they feel confident that he will be a more functional linebacker in 2018 than he was in 2017, then perhaps they could wait until day two or three to address the linebacker position.

We can't fully know their intentions as we get closer to draft day. How they address the linebacker position in the 2018 NFL Draft could give us an excellent indication of how they feel about Jaylon Smith's progression.

What we do know is that Jaylon Smith will never give up working toward being an elite middle linebacker. Let's hope he can realize his dreams. Everyone will be better for it.


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