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Dak Prescott Needs to Make Receivers Better in 2022

While has put up big numbers and won plenty of games during his run as the Cowboys' franchise , one knock on him has been being too reliant on the talent level of his receivers. If Prescott wants to earn the “elite” label from more of the football world, elevating his regardless of other personnel is a key next step.

This criticism of Dak is heavily based on the 2017-2018 seasons. As and declined with age and then left the team completely, Dallas' offense struggled to produce. There were other factors, such as 's and 's health issues, but the lack of firepower in the was evident.

This led to the midseason for in 2018. While it was the right move for uncorking the offense, it also left Prescott with this stigma of not being able to do more with the receivers he had.

Part of the issue for Dak was the work of his predecessor. helped make undrafted a Pro Bowler and got several good years out of the marginally talented . In 2011, Romo was given a lot of credit for the one-hit-wonder of , who never produced much before or after his single season in Dallas.

Prescott probably doesn't get enough credit for his accomplishments in this regard. , also undrafted, went from cult favorite to household name once Dak arrived in 2016. , just a 4th-round pick, has been one of the league's most-productive tight ends the last two seasons. has stepped up and performed when the starting receivers have missed time.

Still, the memory of 2017-2018 hangs over Dak and has been a big topic this . With Cooper now in Cleveland and fear that won't be ready for Week One, many are reasonably concerned about how the offense will function early this year. Even , perhaps this year's version of Laurent Robinson, will now miss time with a foot .

The risk is mitigated by , now entering his third year and poised for a breakout. Schultz is also still around, playing for his next contract, and Gallup should be back sooner than later. The group is already stronger than when it was just Beasley, Williams, and a bunch of castoffs from around the league in early 2018.

While he still has some premier weapons, Prescott could quickly find himself leaning on the likes of rookie Jalent Tolbert, inexperienced , or longtime special teamer as a major part of the passing game. Naturally, fans are concerned about what this means given the last time Dallas was low on talent at receiver.

Dak Prescott can't afford to look overly dependent on his receiving talent in 2022 if he wants to silence critics and establish his true worth as an NFL quarterback. With lesser depth at WR than he's enjoyed the last two years, Dak's opportunity to prove himself may not be far away.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
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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He can make his receivers better by making himself better. Learn to throw with more anticipation and accuracy, so receivers aren’t reaching behind them or having to slow down, allowing defenders to close the distance. Work on making reads faster and pulling the trigger faster. Add more routes that he’s comfortable throwing to, instead of mainly routes where the receiver is stopped or coming back towards him. That makes the receivers better because defenses can’t sit on them so much and there are fewer contested catches.

S Leonard

The last part of this post says it all. Dak is hamstrung in a system that doesn’t allow the receiver to flourish. This has been the worst system, far as YAC. Kellen Moore is running Garrett’s and Linnehans system, which Dak, to his credit, has made work, until he faces stringent defenses that press all game long or dropped extra men into coverage.


It’s a chicken or the egg question. Is Dak limited by Moore’s play calling, or is Moore’s play calling limited because of Dak’s tendencies/weaknesses?

We’ve seen Moore come out calling great games to begin the season with lots of innovative stuff. Then, revert back to vanilla play calling with lots of curls and other routes where the receiver stops or is coming back to the QB.

So, is it Moore’s system or play calling? Or, is it him catering to what his QB wants, likes or does best? Or, could it be trying to incorporate Mike McCarthy’s preference for a West Coast style offense?

From what I’ve seen over the years, it looks more like Moore is adjusting to address limitations in Dak’s game, i.e. inconsistent accuracy, poor anticipation/throwing behind receivers on crossing patterns, missed reads/open receivers, unwillingness to “throw receivers open” or intentionally contested “let your receiver go up and get it” type throws. Most of the contested stuff he throws is because he was late with the throw or in the Red Zone, where pretty much everything is going to be contested. Which helps explain our perpetual problems in the Red Zone.

Moore can call all the plays and patterns he wants. But, Dak’s going to check out of or throw where he feels the most comfortable, usually to whoever is stopped, coming back to him or has clearly beaten their guy immediately and is running away from them.

That’s why I have hope for Turpin in this offense with Dak as a QB. Try to jam him at the line, and he can make you look silly and be gone. Dak just has to learn to lead him enough. Play too far off, and he’ll take the quick pass and then make you look silly. Run him on a quick out from the Slot while the receiver on that side blocks, then he’ll either cut it up the field and make somebody look silly or go out of bounds for a quick, short gain. He gives the QB safe throws that even Dak can hit most of the time. I’m glad they signed him to a three-year deal, because he may very well be one of our best weapons by the end of the season.


Agree with your assessment of DP. Wondering if he has the capability to ever get “better’. I mean it’s been six years now and I have not seen any great improvements. Every year. he gets a lot of excuses from most sport MSM and some here, but the results are plain to see. Not a big game guy, at least not so far.

I do like the potential of Turpin; he appears to be a legit returner that they have lacked and may be more than a gadget guy on offense. Lot of quickness and cutting ability, and long speed. Someone that may make a difference. Well, we hope anyway. Too bad about Washington though.


I’ve said it before; Romo could make an average receiver look good, and Prescott can make a good receiver look average. Dez, Coop, now Lamb will suffer with this QB.

Roy C.

Never in my life have I seen so many great armchair coaches you you guys know so damn much why isn’t you guys coaching in the NFL you know to much to be sitting around criticizing pro players something thet neither of you are capable of doing and yet you can pick apart what a man can’t do but neither of you have the ability to coach nor play professional ball rather than being bias call it like it is Moore isn’t the boy wonder he was hyped up to be sure he set the NFL on fire the first part of the season once defenses caught up to what he was doing there went the offensive play calling when Dak went down why didn’t Moore raise the play of the Red Rifle you’re saying the play calling of Moore was great he called the same plays with Dak replacements the execution was the same outcome pointing the damn ball we better hope that McCarthy keeps his promise to get more involved in the playing if not the second half of the season will fizzle out once again as Mike Tyson said” everybody has a plan until you get hit in the mouth ” Moore offense was hit in the mouth yes Dak need to improve like all QBS regardless of the players it’s the coaches that need to put his players in a position to succeed end of conversation

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