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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 @PepoR99 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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7 Comments
  • Arnold Sewell

    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.

  • dallas1966

    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

  • Matthew Harrell

    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

    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.

  • Matthew Harrell

    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

      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.

  • Russ_Te

    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.

Player News

Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Planning

February 20 is an important day for NFL clubs this year. Why? It's the first day in which teams can franchise tag any player. Since 2015, when the Dallas Cowboys tagged Dez Bryant before they were able to work out a long-term deal, Jerry Jones & Co. haven't used the franchise tag. In 2018, though, that will change.

DeMarcus Lawrence just played his best season yet in 2017, and he's looking to get paid big time. Through three years, he had been able to rack up nine sacks, 52 tackles and three forced fumbles. In just 2017, he sacked opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times, had 35 tackles and managed to force four fumbles.

Not only did Lawrence look like an elite pass rusher, but he also improved as a run defender a lot. The Cowboys have been looking for a "War Daddy" for a long, long time and Lawrence seems to be the answer for this football team.

After such a big year, one would expect the Cowboys to sign him to a multi-year enormous contract. But there's a catch. Lawrence failed to remain healthy early in his career and really didn't make as much of an impact until last season.

There's no question that D-Law will be wearing a star come the 2018 NFL season, but will he be doing it under a long-term deal or under a franchise tag?

David Moore on Twitter

Cowboys will not place franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence tomorrow as that window opens but will do so by March 6 w/ understanding the goal is to reach a long-term deal. Both sides have until July 16 to make that happen.

For now, according to David Moore from Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys will franchise tag Lawrence with the objective of getting a deal done in July. The tag however, is not expected to be placed as soon as possible.

Jess Haynie on Twitter

In 2015, the Cowboys didn't place the franchise tag on Dez Bryant until the final deadline day. This year's deadline is March 6th, so it may be two weeks before they make it official with DeMarcus Lawrence. #CowboysNation #DallasCowboys

What would franchise tagging DeMarcus Lawrence mean for this team?

First of all, they'd make sure he doesn't hit free agency in March. This gives the front office time to get to work and restructure players' contracts if they have to in order to open up as much cap space as they can before giving him a deal.

It's worth mentioning as well, cap savings from players who are designated as post-June 1 cuts will already be available. If you want to be more familiarized with the Cowboys' cap situation, I highly recommend you read John Williams' deep dive on the matter.

It'll continue to be a very interesting story for this offseason, as handing a franchise tag to a player tends to become a non-friendly situation for both parties. Let's hope that's not the case for the Cowboys and Lawrence this year and that everything works out fine.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue updating you and the rest of Cowboys Nation throughout the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 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!


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Player News

Watch: Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith Goes Bowling for First Time Since College Injury

Sean Martin

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Should Cowboys Start Negotiating a Contract Extension With Rod Smith?

Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Jaylon Smith did not just defy all odds and return to normalcy in 2017, starting as the Cowboys' middle linebacker for a full 16 games. He became one of the team's and NFL's brightest success stories, earning the right to celebrate everyday activities returning to his life - as football did this season.

https://twitter.com/thejaylonsmith/status/964606764619624453

This is exactly what Jaylon Smith did on Twitter Friday afternoon, posting a Snapchat video of himself bowling. The caption on Twitter adds that Smith was enjoying his time at the lanes for the first time in two years.

It was January 1st, 2016 when Jaylon Smith's injury in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame changed his outlook forever. In that moment, Smith went from a projected top ten pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to a LB that would need a team to take a chance on him - and be patient.

The Dallas Cowboys proved to be that team, using the 34th overall pick on the Notre Dame star and supporting his efforts to return to the field from day one. The entire Cowboys' organization was rewarded by Smith remarkably playing every game this season, inspired by his constant determination to do just that.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

So, a normal offseason for Jaylon Smith is anything but right now. Still battling the drop foot condition (one that is reportedly healing well and "fading") which limits his movement ability in the lower body, Smith is a normal Dallas Cowboys football player from this point forward.

He can say he's already defined all odds, can expect to take an even bigger stride forward in 2018, and Jaylon Smith can go bowling again. You can't help but be happy for #54.

Tell us what you think about "Watch: Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith Goes Bowling for First Time Since College Injury" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Dak Prescott Weighs in on Cowboys “Dak Friendly” Offense

Sean Martin

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Dak Prescott Weighs in on Cowboys "Dak-Friendly" Offense Approach

Welcome to the 2018 NFL offseason. Assuming you're a Cowboys fan, get used to hearing the following phrases at a tireless rate:

  • "The Cowboys need to be more like the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles!"
  • "The Cowboys need to make their offense more Dak friendly."

These two takes on the Dallas Cowboys can coexist, as the biggest key to the Eagles' turnaround from 7-9 to Super Bowl champions was their ability to surround second-year Quarterback Carson Wentz with the necessary talent to succeed.

Acquisitions like Alshon Jeffery and Jay Ajayi proved enough for backup QB Nick Foles to ultimately carry this team to their first Lombardi trophy.

Dak Prescott Weighs in on Cowboys "Dak-Friendly" Offense 1

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles @ Super Bowl LII

Hoping to make a similar turnaround from 9-7, the Cowboys' task at hand this offseason is to similarly infuse fresh talent into an offense that went stale with Dak Prescott at the helm in year two. Returning Left Tackle Tyron Smith and Running Back Ezekiel Elliott to the lineup on a regular basis is certainly a great starting point.

Entering a pivotal third year as the Cowboys' starter, Prescott himself has weighed in on what this notion of a "Dak friendly" offense may look like on the field in 2018.

"...if you watch a little bit of maybe what the Panthers are doing or what the Chiefs did, just the RPOs, the run-pass options, just allowing me to use my feet if necessary more" - Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

Dak later added that feeling "more comfortable" would be an overall improvement to strive for next season, which is spot on.

Surviving the Cowboys' horrific lack of continuity -- and often-times talent -- on offense in 2017, Prescott was visibly uncomfortable as a passer far more times than he was in 2016 as just a rookie. Hearing Prescott specifically mention the Kansas City Chiefs and Carolina Panthers as offenses to emulate is certainly noteworthy too.

In total offense per game, the Cowboys ranked 14th this season at 331.9 yards -- five spots ahead of the Panthers (323.7). The Chiefs reached the top five in this category before trading Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins this offseason, averaging 375.4 yards a game.

The common theme throughout these teams is the simplicity they allow their quarterbacks to play with, scheming receivers open, utilizing backs to create mismatches both on the ground and through the air, and running their mobile QBs when needed.

Dak Prescott, Jason Garrett

Dallas Cowboys HC Jason Garrett, OC Scott Linehan, QB Dak Prescott (Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Beginning this 2018 Cowboys offseason by claiming the Cowboys offense needs to actually be more simplistic is sure to send Cowboys Nation into a frenzy. Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan, who will work alongside plenty of new position coaches in 2018, has been heavily criticized for the predictable nature of his offense. Predictable and simplistic are two drastically different terms when considering the nuances of the fast-paced, spread offenses that have taken over the NFL.

It's QB friendly systems like these that produced Cam Newton, Alex Smith, and Dak Prescott.

A simple RPO design that Prescott has run since his days at Mississippi State may be predictable for opposing defenses to an extent, but stopping Prescott from either handing the ball to Zeke Elliott or carrying it himself behind this dominant offensive line in Dallas is much harder.

The Dallas Cowboys' Dak friendly offense may not feature many new starters in 2018. Instead, it will be up to this coaching staff to better identify the strengths of this unit and play to them -- something the Panthers and Chiefs did exceptionally well all season long.

When Dak Prescott himself speaks to his strengths as a fourth-round draft pick turned franchise quarterback, facing the pressure of putting his team back in the playoffs as a third-year starter, you can only hope that the Dallas Cowboys take notice.

Tell us what you think about "Dak Prescott Weighs in on Cowboys “Dak Friendly” Offense" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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