Sunday night felt better than any night has felt as a Dallas Cowboys fan this season. Coming off of a gigantic road win over a division rival, the second win in a row for the Cowboys, Dallas was in firm control of their own playoff destiny.
Since their debacle in Denver, the Cowboys had improved each week. Now they looked to finally be hitting their 2016 groove and appeared ready to make a run in the NFC East.
Monday night, however, their world was shook.
With the suspension of Ezekiel Elliott putting the team’s star running back and (arguably) best offensive player out until mid-December, most fans believed it was time to cancel the season. Yes, just end it.
At 4-3 and with plenty of season ahead, the Cowboys looked to be done in the eyes of many. But while most of Cowboys Nation panicked, my mind went somewhere else.
To the quarterback of America’s Team, Dak Prescott.
Despite what some on the outside may say, Prescott has had himself a hell of a season. Not only are his numbers and his analytical value better than they were during his fantastic rookie season, he also looks more comfortable during this sophomore campaign.
Prescott is the leader of the Cowboys’ prolific offense, though he rarely receives the credit. “They” point to his offensive line, ignoring that with two new starters in the line-up this season that same offensive line has struggled.
“They” point to his receiving weapons, while still attempting to argue that Jason Witten is washed up and Dez Bryant has lost a step.
And, of course, “they” point to Ezekiel Elliott, the league’s reigning rushing champion who enters his suspension third in the NFL in yards this season.
While Dak Prescott ran away with Rookie of the Year honors a season ago, and is one of (if not the) most promising young quarterback in the entire NFL, some still reach for ways to discredit what he has done.
In some ways, Dak Prescott has been perceived as being in the exact opposite light as his predecessor, Tony Romo. While Prescott has been surrounded by one of the league’s top offenses, Romo’s supporting cast was not nearly as impressive for much of his career. Where Prescott has “relied” on his elite running game, Romo was often asked to make things work by himself.
At least, that’s what his detractors would tell you.
But now, with Ezekiel Elliott out and the Cowboys schedule as daunting as can be, he has a chance to silence all doubters. If Dak Prescott can be the quarterback he has been his entire life, and play the way which we believe he can, those same critics will be left with no ammunition.
Dak Prescott doesn’t need to prove anything. He is a great young talent, and will be the Cowboys quarterback for a long time. But by stepping up over these next six games, he will not only save the Cowboys’ season, but also put his stamp on this franchise once again.
Spoiler alert: he is going to show everyone just how special he is.