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Dak Prescott’s Accuracy Stands Out in Final 2017 Stats

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott

2017 was a season that left the Dallas Cowboys with a ton of questions to think about. Dez Bryant's contract, Sean Lee and Tyron Smith's availability, and the future of DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving are some of those questions.

But there's another more pressing question for the Cowboys. How can they get the most out of Quarterback Dak Prescott and avoid another struggling year for him?

Also, what if he has another rough year? At what point does quarterback become a position that needs to be evaluated if he continues to struggle?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that will be the case. In fact, I have a lot of faith in Dak. I think he's shown a lot to be excited about and I definitely believe there's a "quarterback curve" in the NFL. Hopefully, #4 finds a way to get back on track in 2018.

A reason to be optimistic about Prescott's future is an impressive stat from NFL Next Gen Stats. Turns out, Dak Prescott ranked first in the NFL in "tight window throws" completion percentage with 45.8%.

According to Matt Harmon from NFL.com, a "tight window throw" is defined as a pass in which the intended receiver has less than a yard of separation from the defender.

Dak Prescott is far from a perfect quarterback and he's constantly bashed about his throwing accuracy. Just recently, he took part in a passing competition with David Carr before the NFL Honors and well... it's fair to say Carr completely beat him.

Cowboys Twitter was anything but forgiving for the young quarterback, but at the end of the day, I'm not sure a casual passing competition at an event like that one is the way you judge an NFL starting quarterback who has a 22-10 record in his career.

Dak has a long way to go before being considered an excellent quarterback in the league, but a bad season like 2017 doesn't mean it's the end of his career and that the Dallas Cowboys should start Cooper Rush over him.

It's not the first quarterback who struggles one year and he won't be the last one to bounce back from one. As of right now, Dak Prescott rightfully is the Dallas Cowboys QB1. Hopefully he has a better year next season.

Tell me what you think about "Dak Prescott’s Accuracy Stands Out in Final 2017 Stats" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @PepoR99.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Arnold Sewell

    February 9, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    The problem is the people calling the plays with receivers that has no separation speed at all. I hope they learned something from the play calling from Eagles in the Superbowl, play calls to win the game not play it safe.

  2. dallas1966

    February 9, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    I think Dak will bounce back , because of his work ethic, which according to Cowboys organization , quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, is off the chains.

    With that type of mental toughness , it’s Sky’s the Limit, for Dak

  3. Matthew Harrell

    February 9, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Where do I start…an old saying goes “figures never lie but liars always figure.” This old saying is talks about how stats and figures can be made to say whatever you want them to.The referenced accuracy stat is some bad smelling bull corn. As a fan who watches every single snap of every game (and if you’re not too lazy, go back and watch every throw Dakie pooh made) I can tell you and back up with tape, he didn’t find many windows. Most times he couldn’t find a barn–not even the broad side of one. This stat, like his completion percentage, is inflated by his maddening propensity to check down. Worse yet, he’ll even check down to a running back in the flat or a couple yards out even when they’re nearly covered! Also the defenders on check down tend to be the outside linebacker who is less effective at pass defense than a DB downfield. Also a linebacker is more than happy to let you take that none yard pass or 2-3 yard pass right before he cleans your clock. Go study some film, you’ll see it. So, with so many check downs and even with blanketed RBs, this could inflate the silly one-yard-covered-accuracy stat. Cuz it damn sure isn’t his 20 plus yard throws…and any throw beyond 30 yards is once a game or none. Multie times in 2017 Dak would have zero attempted passes of at leadt 30 yards through the air. Ridiculous. People love to point out his yards per attempt and how they are close to the top QBs. That stst is also inflated by Zeke or Beasley taking his little dink and dunks to the house. If you check average yards threw the air per pass attemot it is pitiful. This matters because defenses know he wont every throw deeper thsn 20 yards. He shrinks the field so much thst they can stack the box and load up close, giving them the ability to stop the run and still guard against his dink passes. Pathetic. A QB has to be able to throw the deep ball and has to at least try it once in awhile! So factor that in with the average yard per throw and as a dink-and-dunker his accuracy stats don’t mean jack. His 10 consecutive quarters without a TD matter, though. His league leading pick sixes sure matter. His 13 picks to a paltry 23 TDs matter more than an obscure accuracy stat. Tell me again why this guy has “earned” a bad year and should be given a break? How many playoff wins in 2 seasons? Tell me again why we shouldn’t at keast kick the tires on Cooper Rush? Oh, because he won Rookie of the year? Same year Garrett won coach of the year and Jerry Jones was Executive of the year. So Garrett shouldnt be on the hot seat and Jerry is a great GM….right?

    • Tanya

      April 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    • Larry Murray

      April 29, 2018 at 8:38 am

      You obviously don’t know a lot about football

    • Larry Murray

      April 29, 2018 at 8:39 am

      9 of 13 interceptions were in Dez hands. Just go away.

  4. Tanya

    February 10, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Dak is very accurate with passes thrown 20+ yards past the line of scrimmage and has been since 2016. Don’t believe me? Google it.

  5. Matthew Harrell

    February 11, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Where do I start…an old saying goes “figures never lie but liars always figure.” This old saying is talking about how stats and figures can be made to say whatever you want them to. The referenced accuracy stat is some bad smelling bull corn. As a fan who watches every single snap of every game (and if you’re not too lazy, go back and watch every throw Dakie pooh made) I can tell you and back up with tape, he didn’t find many windows. Most times he couldn’t find a barn–not even the broad side of one. This stat, like his completion percentage, is inflated by his maddening propensity to check down. Worse yet, he’ll even check down to a running back in the flat or a couple yards out even when they’re nearly covered! Also the defenders on check down tend to be the outside linebacker who is less effective at pass defense than a DB downfield. Also a linebacker is more than happy to let you take that none yard pass or 2-3 yard pass right before he cleans your clock. Go study some film, you’ll see it. With so many check downs and even with blanketed RBs, this could inflate the silly one-yard-covered-accuracy stat. Cuz it sure isn’t his 20 plus yard throws…and any throw beyond 30 yards is once a game or none. He almost NEVER puts it in the air deeper than 30 yards. Ridiculous. People love to point out his yards per attempt and how they are close to the top QBs. That stat is also inflated by Zeke or Beasley taking his little dink and dunks to the house. If you check average yards threw the air per pass attempt it is pitiful. This matters because defenses know he won’t ever throw deeper thsn 20 yards. He shrinks the field so much that they can stack the box and load up close, giving them the ability to stop the run and still guard against his dink passes. Pathetic. A QB has to be able to throw the deep ball and has to at least try it once in awhile! So factor that in with the average yard per throw and as a dink-and-dunker his accuracy stats don’t mean jack. His 10 consecutive quarters without a TD matter, though. His league leading pick 6’s sure matter. His 13 picks to a paltry 23 TDs matter more than an obscure accuracy stat. Tell me again why this guy has “earned” a bad year and should be given a break? How many playoff wins in 2 seasons? Tell me again why we shouldn’t at keast kick the tires on Cooper Rush? Oh, because he won Rookie of the year? Same year Garrett won coach of the year and Jerry Jones was Executive of the year. So Garrett shouldnt be on the hot seat and Jerry is a great GM….right?

    • Larry Murray

      February 11, 2018 at 11:30 am

      Dude first of all check the stats Dak is ranked 4th in attempts into tight windows. I watched every game. nearly half of Daks interceptions were tipped off the hands of receivers. Dez himself dropped a ridiculous amount of passes. I’m not saying Dak has nothing to work on, but the whole offense has a lot to work on. Dez, many times, was beat and went the wrong way on breakdowns.

    • Tanya

      April 24, 2018 at 3:50 pm

  6. Russ_Te

    February 12, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    If Dak has 4 seconds to throw and somebody winning on their route, and he can’t hit that play, that’s when Dak will be the problem. All too often he had neither of those last year.

    2018 could be a crossroads year for whether Dak will become elite or average as an NFL QB. The Cowboys – unless they want more years like 2001-2006 – must upgrade both aspects above, and then Linehan has to demonstrate that he knows how to properly press the buttons on this offense.

    You’ve got to have a solution when Tyron Smith goes out, and you’ve got to get a 4.2 style receiver who forces the FS to stay deep. That will fix most of it.

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



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When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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