“Oh! What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!” This well-known quote taken out of a Sir Walter Scott poem continues to pop into my head when I watch Dallas Cowboys Quarterback Dak Prescott play. As a rookie he was sensational, but things have unfortunately gone down hill since that magical season.
I don’t believe Dak Prescott has intentionally tried to deceive us, but that quote continues to pop into my head for some reason. We have built up the expectations for this young QB only to feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath our feet. Something needs to change and quickly!
I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping the Dallas Cowboys are able to find a way to return Dak Prescott to his rookie form. They have kind of gotten away from how they utilized him as a rookie, but I believe it’s time sit down and figure out exactly what’s working and what’s not.
One thing I would like to see more of is the Cowboys using Dak Prescott on those zone reads and run/pass options (RPOs) that worked so well for them back in 2016. With Prescott’s mobility and Ezekiel Elliott running the ball, it puts a tremendous strain on opposing defenses to try to stop both of them. But, we are not seeing much of that anymore. Why?
It may just be me, but it looks like the Cowboys coaching staff is trying to turn Prescott into something he’s not, a pocket QB. He is at his best and most accurate when he is on the move throwing the ball outside of the pocket. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson is the same way and he is successful.
We also saw the Cowboys coaching staff move the pocket more for Prescott his rookie year. Like I mentioned previously, he is at his best when he is on the move. I would like to see more bootlegs, play action, and designed rollouts from here on out and less standing in the pocket.
Moving the pocket actually accomplishes more than just getting Prescott on the move. It also simplifies his reads in the passing game. Rolling out one way or the other pretty much cuts the field in half, meaning he can get through his progressions quicker. I think one of the reasons he holds the ball so long here recently is because it takes him a while to get through those progressions.
Sounds simple enough, right? Use Prescott’s mobility, more zone reads/RPO’s, move the pocket, and simplify his reads in the passing game. BOOM! Dak is back! Well… Maybe.
I really think it all comes down to building up Dak Prescott’s confidence once again. After what he endured last season, I think it’s safe to say his confidence is a little rattled. I believe these little fixes would go a long way in getting him back to his rookie form. Hopefully, the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff agrees.