Playing quarterback in the NFL is a thankless position.
In victory, the quarterback gets all of the credit.
In defeat, the quarterback gets all of the blame, with circumstances surrounding the loss usually ignored.
Dak Prescott is in a unique position as quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, the most valuable franchise in all of sports.
The maltreatment from the fanbase, both from Cowboys fans and the rest of the NFL, is compounded solely because he plays for arguably the most hated franchise in all of football.
They act as if he had a choice when Dallas drafted him in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Dak's naysayers are relentless, ignoring any success he has had throughout his career, and instead focusing solely on his playoff success (or lack thereof).
If there is one thing a quarterback can hang his hat on, it's his win/loss record.
That is what I will be breaking down today.
We are going to run through the 2023 schedule to see how Dak has fared in the past versus this season's opponents.
New York Giants
W/L record: 10-2
Previous meeting: Cowboys 28, Giants 20
2023 matchup: Weeks 1 & 10
If there are any fans in the NFL that should keep Dak's name out of their mouths, it's the New York Giants' fanbase.
Prescott played the very first regular season game of his career versus the Giants.
The game ended in a narrow 20-19 home loss after Terrance Williams foolishly remained inbounds as the clock was winding down, and Dallas had zero timeouts.
At the fringe of K Dan Bailey's range, getting out of bounds would have given the Cowboys a chance at victory.
Nobody could have predicted that loss would springboard a Dallas team led by rookies Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to 11 straight wins, but that's exactly what happened.
Later that season, the Cowboys were again defeated by the Giants. This time in the Meadowlands by another narrow score of 10-7.
Since those two losses in 2016, Dak has defeated the Giants 10 straight times in impressive fashion.
Prescott has averaged 275 yards passing with a 67.6% completion rate and 22 touchdowns in that 10 game stretch.
The team has averaged 30.7 points per game in that same stretch while Dak sports a 107.8 QB Rating.
In the Prescott era, the Giants have been anything but giant.
Dak looks to continue his winning streak with his first opportunity to do so in front of a raucous New York crowd on Sunday Night Football in Week 1.
New York Jets
W/L record: 0-1
Previous meeting: Cowboys 22, Jets 24
2023 matchup: Week 2
Aside from a potential Super Bowl matchup, the Cowboys only play the New York Jets once every four years.
Dak has only played the Jets once in his career, a narrow loss in the Meadowlands where seemingly nothing went right.
In the blustery winds of New Jersey, Prescott was outplayed by Jets' QB Sam Darnold.
The Cowboys' QB didn't play terribly, completing 70% of his passes for 278 yards and zero turnovers, but he did not account for any passing touchdowns.
The Jets broke the game open with a 92 yard touchdown pass from Darnold to WR Chosen Anderson, and they never looked back.
Despite the poor offensive play from the Cowboys, they still had a chance at the end of the game.
Prescott ran four yards for a touchdown with 43 seconds left on the clock to bring Dallas within two points.
The ensuing two point conversion failed, and the Cowboys left the Meadowlands with a loss that dropped the team's record to 3-4.
This time around, Dak gets a completely different Jets team, and a chance to even his record in front of a home crowd at AT&T Stadium.
W/L record: 1-1
Previous meeting: Cowboys 22, Cardinals 25
2023 matchup: Week 3
The first time Prescott had the pleasure of taking on the Arizona Cardinals was Week 3 of his sophomore season.
The offense was boosted by a Cowboys' defense that recorded 6 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, and 11 QB hits.
The defense put on a clinic.
Coupled with an efficient 72% completion rate and 2 TDs on just 18 passes from Prescott, the Cowboys left Arizona with a comfortable 28-17 win.
The rematch in Dallas during the 2021 season had a different outcome.
Stymied by a stingy Cardinals' front seven, the Cowboys managed just 45 yards rushing, with 20 of those yards coming on scrambles by Prescott.
Forced into a one-dimensional offense, and unable to stop QB Kyler Murray from extending drives with his legs, Dallas lost an important game towards playoff seeding.
Prescott did not play terribly, finishing with 226 yards passing and 3 TDs, but the offense never found a consistent rhythm.
Dak looks to pull himself above .500 vs Arizona in Week 3 on the road in State Farm Stadium.
New England Patriots
W/L record: 1-1
Previous meeting: Cowboys 35, Patriots 29
2023 matchup: Week 4
The New England Patriots have only played against Dallas twice since Prescott's rookie season of 2016.
The first meeting in 2019 was a defensive battle. Neither Patriots' QB Tom Brady nor Dak Prescott were able to get anything going offensively.
The two quarterbacks combined to lead their offenses to five field goals and one touchdown in a 13-9 Patriots win.
In a direct contrast to the 2019 game, the 2021 matchup saw more points scored in the first half than than what was scored in the entire game two years previous to it.
The teams exchanged blows reminiscent of a Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier fight.
The 4th quarter and overtime saw 33 points scored between them, with the knockout blow being struck by Dallas.
Dak Prescott took the snap and rolled out to the right, hitting CeeDee Lamb streaking across the field for a 35 yard touchdown to send the Foxborough crowd home in silence.
Prescott finished the game with 445 yards passing and 3 TDs.
This marked the ninth time he topped the 400 yard threshold in his career.
The Patriots come to AT&T Stadium in Week 4, where Dak will have his chance to move to 2-1 versus Head Coach Bill Belichick's squad.
San Francisco 49ers
W/L record: 2-2 (0-2 in playoffs)
Previous meeting: Cowboys 12, 49ers 19
2023 matchup: Week 5
If only regular season games counted, Dak would be a perfect 2-0 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Dallas has not faced the 49ers in the regular season with Dak under center since 2017, with one previous matchup in Prescott's rookie season of 2016.
The Cowboys emerged victorious in both of those games.
In his rookie season, Prescott's quarterback counterpart on the 49ers was Blaine Gabbert.
Dak outdueled the former top-10 pick to the tune of 245 yards passing, 2 TDs, and a 114.7 QB rating in the 24-17 victory.
The 2017 game was an absolute blowout at Levi's Stadium, with Dallas leaving the Bay Area with a 40-10 victory.
Prescott was not asked to do much in this game. The Cowboys rushed for 265 yards on the day, led by Ezekiel Elliott's 147 yards and 2 TDs.
Zeke also took a 72 yard screen pass to the house, accounting for nearly one-third of Dak's 234 yards passing on that play alone.
The two playoff games have been a different story, as the 49ers defense has held Dak in check.
In the two postseason matchups, Prescott has averaged just 58% completions, 230 yards passing, and a QB rating of 66.5.
San Francisco's defense has also limited him to just 2 TDs while forcing three interceptions and sacking Dak six times.
Prescott looks to keep his regular season record perfect in the Week 5 tilt, but true revenge cannot be had until he wins a playoff game versus the 49ers.
We will continue this Dak versus 2023 opponents at a later date with two more parts in this series.