Draft Film Review: Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

For the majority of this Draft Film Review series, I have followed the order which the Cowboys drafted. Meaning, I reviewed the players drafted in the first four rounds before I reviewed those taken in the sixth.

In the case of fourth round selection and former Mississippi State Bulldogs Quarterback Dak Prescott, however, I decided to wait until the end. I did this for a few different reasons.

First of all, I find him to be possibly the most intriguing of all the Cowboys rookies. Of course, Jaylon Smith has a certain amount of intrigue due to his possibly career ending knee injury and other players like Charles Tapper have intrigue because of the substantial need which we hope they can fulfill.

But Dak is just different.

The importance of being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as a quarterback with the teams intentions being for you to play quarterback cannot be understated. Especially after what Dallas went through a year ago.

I also waited to analyze Dak because I wanted to take some extra time evaluating him. My goal when studying a player is to review at least four games of his college career. has posted 13 of Dak’s games at Mississippi State, however, and I watched every single one.

Just as I told you when four full games weren’t available to me in Anthony Brown’s case, I want you to keep in mind that 13 games were available to me in Dak’s case. Mostly because I believe it helped me make my most accurate evaluation.

Prescott was a four year starter at Mississippi State, and saw a clear improvement as a passer with each season.

Due to the offense he operated in during college, his physical features, and his athletic ability, Prescott has drawn comparisons to Tim Tebow. Many also think that like Tebow, Prescott will fizzle out of the league after a short stay.

However, I truly believe that Prescott’s arm talent is being vastly underrated when the Tebow comparisons are made. Dak has a strong, live arm and possesses great field vision.

Just from listening to interviews he has done and watching those 13 college games that were available to me I could tell that Dak is great “above the shoulders.” He understands the game of football, and understands how to work through his progressions and reads while recognizing defenses quickly.

He fits perfectly into Jason Garrett’s “Right Kind of Guys” model, despite the DUI arrest.

Dak Prescott vs. Auburn (2014)

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Prescott has a tendency to not step into his throws, something we will see the downside of later on in this piece. On this play, however, Prescott is able to overcome being unable to step into his throw with his arm strength. He stands in the face of pressure and makes the play, showing a ton of poise in the pocket.

What I love about this play the most is that while his offensive line was fooled by Auburn’s blitz, Prescott was able to recognize the free rusher quickly and get the ball out on time.

Dak Prescott vs LSU 2015

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As I said earlier, Prescott has a very live arm. His arm strength allows him to make these back shoulder passes on time, and keep them away from the defender. This ball gets to the receiver in a hurry, and results in a big completion.

Dak Prescott vs LSU 2015

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Coaches love what Dak has “above the shoulders.” Here we see him read the front side blitz pre-snap, and then snap his eyes backside to the quick slant pattern. He then shows off his velocity, threading the pass between two defenders.

Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) vs. Louisiana Tech (2015)

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Prescott has the arm talent, “football IQ,” and poise in the pocket to make it at the next level. This element of his game may be what excites coaches the most, however. Prescott is able to scramble out of the pocket, improvise a bit, and then deliver a strike down the field for a big play. Almost Romo-esque.

Dak Prescott vs Texas A&M (2015)

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Of course what every team probably loved about Dak Prescott was his athletic ability. The Bulldogs loved to run these QB-Draw plays out of shotgun formation, and more often than not it seemed to be successful. Prescott runs the draw play here, and escapes around the edge for a first down.

He also uses his size and strength at the end of the run, barreling over the defensive back and falling forward for any extra yardage he can find. He is so tough and determined when he gets a chance to run, and he isn’t afraid to try to deliver a blow.

Dak Prescott vs. Alabama (2014)

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Enjoy Prescott running through Alabama defenders here. Dak understands where the first down marker is and refuses to be denied. If you want to bring him down, arm tackles won’t do.

Dak Prescott vs Texas A&M (2015)

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Prescott struggles with inaccuracy at times, and it seems to come from his inconsistent footwork and throwing motion. He does face a little bit of pressure on this play, but considering it is coming from his front side and he has time to throw, this pass should have been for a touchdown.

Instead, he rushes his feet and lets go of the ball without any step into his throw. You cant miss throws like this at the next level.

Dak Prescott vs. Georgia Tech (Capital One Orange Bowl, 2014)

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Once again we see Prescott struggle with his deep ball accuracy on this play. He has time to throw, has a clean pocket, and has a wide open receiver. He cannot miss this one.

Dak Prescott vs. Auburn (2014)

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We see Prescott get “happy feet” on this play as well. His poor footwork results in an inaccurate throw, and a missed opportunity.

However, Prescott was able to go through his entire set of progressions on this play and recognize which receiver he should deliver the ball to. It wasn’t his first or second option on the play, but he was able to work his way down and give himself a chance to make the throw.

I’m willing to guess that the Cowboys staff believes they can fix the footwork issues, which will allow Dak to showcase his football IQ and arm talent.

If this is the case, and Prescott can refine his mechanics and footwork while working under the tutelage of Tony Romo and the Cowboys’ coaches, he has a real chance to make it in this league.

I know it doesn’t look pretty at times, but Dak got it done his four years at Mississippi State while playing in arguably the best conference in the nation. His drive and intensity will help him work at his game to hopefully get to a point where he can be trusted in big game situations.

At this point, however, I don’t know if Prescott can beat out Kellen Moore for that backup quarterback role. Moore isn’t exactly a consistent quarterback himself, but he has an extra year in the system and has game experience in the NFL.

With time and with practice, I can see Prescott moving up the depth chart.

I expect Dak to make the team and have a chance to dress on Sundays, and hopefully find a way to be QB2 come September. Given time behind veteran Tony Romo, I think Dak Prescott has a real chance to succeed for the Cowboys.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.


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