A quarterback's win-loss record shouldn't be the leading factor in the judgement of his play.
If you've ever been to a beach, you know that the allure of the ocean is not what you can see from the sand, but what lies beneath the surface.
However, like most things in the world today, people don't take the time to examine anything past the view of their immediate line of sight.
For the purpose of this article, that's okay.
To read part one of this three part series, click here.
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is 61-36 as a starter in the NFL.
His 61 wins are tied for fifth highest since he was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
The only players ahead of him on this list are Super Bowl winning quarterbacks Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes, and Russell Wilson.
If we take Prescott's winning percentage of 66% and apply it to the games he has missed with injury, those wins jump up from 61 to 72.
That would boost him to second on the list, behind only Tom Brady.
Today we continue to examine the Cowboys' 2023 opponents, and how Dak has fared against them in his career.
Los Angeles Chargers
W/L record: 1-1
Last meeting: Cowboys 20, Chargers 17
2023 matchup: Week 6
Dak Prescott has faced the Los Angeles Chargers twice in his career.
The first time he met them was back in 2017, just his second season in the NFL.
The Cowboys were defeated by Philip Rivers and the Chargers in an absolute shellacking, 28-6.
To add salt to the wound, the loss occurred on Thanksgiving Day. I still remember being too angry to enjoy my food.
The Cowboys were the true turkeys that day, allowing Rivers and the Chargers' offense to do whatever they pleased.
Rivers threw for 434 yards and 3 TDs, leading to a near perfect 149.1 QB Rating.
Prescott had a 74% completion percentage, but with only 179 yards passing, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions.
RB Ezekiel Elliott was missed that day. In the midst of his mandatory suspension, the backfield was left in the hands of Rod Smith and Alfred Morris.
They only managed 77 yards rushing between them.
In 2021, Prescott had his first face off versus the Chargers' young phenom Justin Herbert.
It was an exciting game that saw both teams combine for 827 total yards of offense.
Despite this offensive explosion, the Cowboys and Chargers only combined for 37 total points in a Cowboys 20-17 victory.
Dak Prescott was very efficient in this game. He did not throw a touchdown, but completed 85% of his passes, and engineered four important scoring drives.
No drive was more important than the final game-winning drive. Prescott completed all five of his pass attempts to get in range for K Greg Zuerlein's 56 yard winner.
In 2023, Dak looks to improve to 2-1 versus the Chargers, and 2-0 versus Justin Herbert in Week 6 at SoFi Stadium.
Los Angeles Rams
W/L record: 1-3 (0-1 in playoffs)
Last meeting: Cowboys 17, Rams 20
2023 matchup: Week 8
The Los Angeles Rams are the first NFC team on this list that Dak has a losing record against.
His only win came in the 2019 season the year after the Rams lost the Super Bowl, and failed to make the playoffs.
It was a sound victory by the score of 44-21, with Dallas leading by as much as 29 points.
The Cowboys and Rams met just last season at SoFi Stadium, but Dak was out with injury as backup Cooper Rush led Dallas to victory over the defending Super Bowl champions.
Prescott's previous matchup versus the Rams ended in defeat on Week 1 of the 2020 season.
The 20-17 loss was a microcosm of the season. A foreshadowing of the team coming up just short.
Dallas started the season with a record of 2-3, a watermelon onside kick away from 1-4, and then lost Prescott for the season to injury in just Week 5.
The most meaningful game Dak has started versus the Rams came in the 2018 playoffs.
After the first playoff win of his career in the Wildcard round vs Seattle, Prescott led the Cowboys into Los Angeles for a Divisional round matchup.
Dallas lost, but don't blame Dak. His offense put up 22 points in limited opportunities.
The defense was horrid, giving up 30 points along with 273 yards rushing at 5.7 yards per carry to RBs Todd Gurley and a fresh off the couch free agent CJ Anderson.
Dak had a chance at the end to complete a comeback, but the defense failed to stop the Rams on a 4th & 1 play.
Prescott has lost to the Rams the previous two times he has faced them, and looks to exact his revenge at home in 2023.
W/L record: 8-2
Last meeting: Cowboys 40, Eagles 34
2023 matchup: Weeks 9 & 14
Before Philadelphia Eagles fans crucify me in the comments, YES. I know Google says his record is 8-3 versus Philly as a starter.
You will do anything to hang on to any precious morsel of victory you can against the most hated quarterback in the NFL, but look again.
That third loss on record was a meaningless game in which Dak only attempted eight passes before being sent to the bench with a baseball cap.
So, yeah. I'm not going to count that one.
Let's get the two losses out of the way, shall we?
Both losses have come on the road in Philadelphia. The first in 2017 in perhaps Prescott's worst game of his career.
He finished with 145 yards passing on 31 attempts, zero touchdowns, and three interceptions in the 37-9 loss.
The offense wasn't the only culprit in the defeat. The defense allowed four touchdown drives, and the Eagles had three rushers over 50 yards for the day.
Dak's only other loss to Philadelphia came in Week 16 of the 2019 season.
Much like his other loss to the Eagles, the offense could again only muster nine points on three field goal drives.
Although the defense played better than the previous loss, they still gave up 17 points in the defeat.
Carson Wentz completed 78% of his passes for 319 yards and 1 TD.
Prescott threw for 265 yards on only 57% completions. He did not turn the ball over, but he also didn't lead any touchdown drives.
How about Dak's eight wins versus the franchise that calls The City of Brotherly Love their home?
Not that there is ever any love whatsoever from Eagles fans, but Prescott has held his own.
In the eight wins, Dak's stats are as follows:
Passing yards: 289 average per game
Completion percentage: 72.2%
Passing TDs: 19 (22 total)
QB Rating: 115.0
Those seem like fairly dominant numbers to me.
Prescott gets the chance to expand on those numbers twice this season, with his first opportunity coming at Philadelphia in Week 9.
W/L record: 1-1
Last meeting: Cowboys 36, Panthers 28
2023 matchup: Week 11
Prescott has only met the Carolina Panthers twice in his career, splitting the series with one win at home and one loss on the road.
His only win came in the 2021 season versus Sam Darnold and an undefeated Panthers team early in the year.
Dallas was up by 22 late in the 4th quarter before two garbage time touchdowns by Carolina brought the score to a 36-28 final.
Dak had a great game, throwing for 4 TDs on only 22 pass attempts.
The offense was boosted by 245 yards rushing on the day, led by Ezekiel Elliott's 147.
The two teams will meet again in Week 11 with a chance for Prescott to get above .500 for his career versus the Panthers.
This series concludes at a later date with the third and final part coming soon.