Connect with us

Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott Avoids Reputation Damage In Playoff Loss

Jess Haynie



Dak Prescott, Tony Romo

Although his team lost last Sunday and its championship hopes were crushed, Dak Prescott emerged victorious in the court of public opinion.

Dak Prescott, PackersPrescott has not been blamed for the loss. Most have been encouraged by how well Dak performed despite the pressure of the game and the rising legend of Aaron Rodgers that he was competing against. Prescott managed to avoid any detriment to his reputation despite the team's failure.

In so doing, Dak avoided a label that haunted Tony Romo for his entire career.

Romo earned the "choke artist" tag because of his first playoff game. Despite a decade of fourth-quarter statistics that proved otherwise, Tony could never shake off that label with many in the national media and even some Cowboys fans.

Nobody will ever forget how Romo's first season as the Cowboys starter ended. In 2006, the unlikely hero led the Cowboys back to the postseason for only the second time since Troy Aikman retired. From undrafted to Pro Bowler, Tony Romo had become one of the most compelling figures in recent NFL history.

Tony RomoThe lasting image for many, though, was of Romo fumbling the hold for what would've been a lead-changing field goal during the Wild Card round. The Seattle Seahawks moved on in the playoffs while Romo endured a horrible personal defeat. His comments from after the loss are painful even to read:

"I know how hard everyone in that locker room worked to get themselves in position to win that game today and for it to end like that, and for me to be the cause is very tough to swallow right now. I take responsibility for messing up at the end there. That's my fault. I cost the Dallas Cowboys a playoff win, and it's going to sit with me a long time. I don't know if I have ever felt this low."

Despite the ups and downs of his entire career, Romo ultimately emerged as one of the great clutch quarterbacks of all time. He is among the league's best in all-time fourth-quarter passer rating and total number of comeback wins.

Tony Romo

AP Photo / Tim Sharp

As we have witnessed, though, these statistical achievements aren't enough for many fans and even professional analysts. Those lasting images of fumbled snaps or a few late-game interceptions carry a lot of weight. Perhaps only a Super Bowl victory would have finally provided the counterbalance that Tony Romo needed.

With 302 yards and three touchdowns in last week's playoff loss, Dak Prescott hit two marks that Romo never did in the postseason. Romo never threw for 300 yards or scored more than two touchdowns in a single playoff game.

For casual observers, these are milestone marks that they use to define a "great" performance. Romo's personal body of work in the playoffs is very good; 62% completion percentage, eight touchdowns to only two interceptions, and a 93 passer rating. However, never having that single "big game" leaves the door open for his critics.

Dak PrescottWith the bonus of being a rookie and having had a personally great performance, Dak Prescott kept his name out of the mud in the loss. However, he still walks away with an 0-1 record in the playoffs. Dak may not be facing any backlash right now but that can quickly change.

For now, Dak Prescott is the foundation on which Cowboys fans have placed their hope. But with some still bitter about Tony Romo's departure and a level of success already achieved, Dak's grace period is already over. He won't have the rookie label to shield him anymore and has now set the NFC Championship Game as the next step in his personal progress.

Prescott is now simply another starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. It comes with a lot of perks, but as Tony Romo has lived for the last decade, it also comes with incredibly and even unreasonably high expectations.

Dak may have the jury's favor now, but the trial has only just begun.

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!

  • BeirutWedding

    This is a relatively balanced piece. The reason Romo doesn’t get credit for being “clutch” is because for all his vaunted 4th quarter success, if you don’t tell people how good he’s been, they won’t know. That’s because most of the fourth quarter comebacks he’s had, no one remembers. That fourth quarter comeback he had against a mediocre Minnesota team that the Cowboys shouldn’t have been behind in the first place? Who cares?

    • Jess Haynie

      Very fair point. Legends are made and broken by what happens when the lights are brightest. Unfortunately for Tony, these moments have not been kind to him. Some of that has been his own doing, and some of it due to the players around him.

      • http://Inside%20the%20Star%20-%20voices%20of%20a%20nation Pam Adams

        Romo has been treated extremely badly the whole time he played with the Cowboys! No matter what he has done for this team, he is still dogged because of not winning a SB! Prescott didn’t win a SB either, but is he treated the same way; no of course not! I do not believe he didn’t throw 3 td’s at all. I think that is total BS; now, as far as the 300 yards. He also did not have the caliber of team that Dak has rode on this year. In 2014, when he went to two playoff games, did he not throw 3 td’s or more during that game! One of them should have been a TD’s, but it was negated because of a “Non Catch” call! Murray fumbled, bad calls, receivers dropping balls, etc. are also to be blames for not winning that game. Dak didn’t even win the 1st playoff game, but no one gave him any grief for it, did he? Romo has carried this team on his back, literally and figuratively, but again, no one gives him any credit for that either. No excuses ya can come with excuses the treatment Romo has gotten throughout the years, or how he was treated this year, which horribly! He was thrown to the side, like yesterday trash! Shame on the coaching staff, Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and fans, who are not true fans! I have never been so disgusted with the Cowboys’ fans, staff, Jerry Jones, Steven Jones, etc. for the way he was treated! I have been a fan since 1974, and like I said, I have never been so disgusted of the way Romo has been treated after all he done to keep this team even in the running of winning games!!

  • XaqFields

    Romo had a history of coming up small in the biggest (playoff) games. I mentioned this in another article on another site, but in six appearances, he never threw for 300 yards and he never threw for 3 touchdowns. I’m not trying to belittle all that Romo did, but it is a problem if your QB’s production dips in playoff games. Your team got to the playoffs on a certain caliber of quarterback performance, and they’re not often going to be able to win in the playoffs without similar output from the most important position on the field.

    Dak Prescott, on the other hand, had a playoff performance that was arguably more productive than the majority of his regular season games. I think that bodes well for the future. We should, as Cowboys fans, have aspirations of Prescott being in that “elite” level of quarterbacks because every indication from his first 17 games is that he has that ability.

    • Pam Adams

      I will never get over how Romo has been treated. It makes it extremely hard to continue root for the Cowboys, and I have never felt that way in 40+ yrs. and that is pitiful!

  • dallas1966

    With the Cowboys FO mission to strengthen the defense, Dak will continue to lead the Cowboys, to higher heights, in the neighborhood with Staubach and Aikman. How About Them Cowboys!!

Player News

Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys

Brian Martin



Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys

It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys

This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.

Allen Hurns joins a receiver group that features Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Ryan Switzer, Noah Brown, and the recently added Deonte Thompson.

While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.

What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?

Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?

Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?

Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?

All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.

Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.

Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.

What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?

Continue Reading

Dallas Cowboys

What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position

Mauricio Rodriguez



Questions Surround Cowboys WR Position After Deonte Thompson Signing

UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live. 

Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.

However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.

This week, they even signed one.

Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.

He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.

His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.

But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.

According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room.

It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.

Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.

Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.

Cowboys en Español: Nuevas Contrataciones, ¿Podría Ser Allen Hurns la Siguiente?

It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.

They'd possibly have to decide among these:

  • Dez Bryant
  • Terrrance Williams
  • Cole Beasley
  • Ryan Switzer
  • Allen Hurns
  • Deonte Thompson
  • Noah Brown
  • A drafted rookie?  

This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract. 

Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.

Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.

As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.

Tell me what you think about "What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

Continue Reading

Player News

Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson

Jess Haynie



Deonte Thompson

The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.

Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.

Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.

Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.

For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.

Continue Reading

Reader Survey

Want to help make Inside The Star better?

We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.

> Take the survey now

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).

Enjoy 40% commissions on officially licensed products as a FanPrint affiliate. You can even make your own, fully licensed Cowboys and player designs! Get started here