The first quarter of the season has come and gone and unfortunately the Dallas Cowboys are off to a 1-3 start and there’s not much hope that things will get better, especially on the defensive side of the football. That poor play on defense, combined with some self-inflicted wounds on offense has put the onus of winning football games squarely on the backs of the passing game through the first four weeks of the season. With the historic pace that Dak Prescott is at, it looks like he’s more than up for the challenge.
After a 500 yard performance in week four against the Cleveland Browns, Dak Prescott is on pace to throw for 6,760 passing yards in 2020. If that pace holds up, it would shatter thecurrent single season passing record, which belongs to Peyton Manning who threw for 5,477 yards in 2013 with the Denver Broncos. We all remember the epic back and forth shootout between Peyton Manning and Tony Romo that season, which ended in a 51-48 loss for the Cowboys. It appears that Prescott is in for a similar treatment in 2020
Now, it’s unlikely Dak Prescott will continue his torrid pace of 422.5 passing yards per game. But if the defense is unable to get stops on a regular basis, he’ll certainly be asked to throw quite a bit and the record for passing yards in a season is well within site.
In order for Prescott to break the single season passing record in 2020, he’d have to average 316 yards per game over the final 12 games. That’s more than 100 yards less than his current per game average. Over his last 16 games, Dak Prescott’s averaged 340 passing yards per game.
Some other pace stats for Dak Prescott. He’s on pace for 36 passing touchdowns and 12 rushing touchdowns, both of which would be career highs. Unfortunately, he’s also on pace for 12 interceptions and 12 fumbles lost. He has to do a better job protecting the football. The offensive line has to do a better job protecting him. And the coaching staff has to do a better job not leaving undrafted free agent rookies on an island against elite pass rushers as they did on Sunday.
Now as I said before, the offense shoulders some of the blame for the way things have transpired in the early part of 2020. They’ve turned the football over at an alarming rate and it’s everyone. From the quarterback, to the star running back, to players down the roster, the Cowboys have struggled to hold onto the football. Against the Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, and yesterday against the Cleveland Browns, those turnovers led to two touchdown deficits. Prescott and the offense have been able to rally to get back into the football games to give themselves a chance, but they have to do a better job protecting the football as a group so that they don’t put themselves in two touchdown holes every week. That’s not a sustainable model for winning football games. The offense can’t put their defense in bad positions like they’ve done each of the last three weeks.
While the wins aren’t coming, yet, we’re witnessing the emergence of the next great passing quarterback right before our eyes. Dak Prescott has been incredible through the first four weeks of the season. The lack of wins shouldn’t take away from how good he’s been. If the Cowboys can get average performances from their defense over the next 12 games, then they’ll keep themselves in a good position to collect some wins and hopefully make a run at the NFC East crown and the playoffs.