In 2021, the NFC was loaded at quarterback. Of course, the greatest player of all-time Tom Brady was there and still playing at an elite level, despite his advanced age. Also in the division is 2020 and 2021 MVP, Aaron Rodgers. Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan, despite leading below-average teams, remained models of consistency.
There has been an influx of talent at the position as well recently. Among these players is Rams quarterback Matt Stafford. After leading his team to a Super Bowl in 2021, he has elevated himself to another tier among the league's quarterbacks. Youngster Kyler Murray also plays with an energetic style that makes him one of the most difficult quarterbacks in the league to defend.
Dallas has a top-tier quarterback of their own, however. Six seasons into his career, Dak Prescott is one of the NFL's most polarizing players. Despite many claiming he is a product of the talent around him, all Prescott has done is produce. With 22,083 passing yards and 143 touchdowns, he is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and the Cowboys' clear franchise quarterback.
Where does Dak Prescott rank?
After the 2021 season, some would argue that Prescott ranks behind all of the quarterbacks listed above putting him at around seventh in the NFC or perhaps lower. However, the Seahawks and Falcons chose to trade Wilson and Ryan to AFC teams, shifting the balance of power in the process.
Clearly a top-five quarterback in the conference at this point, how does the list stack up? Of course, Rodgers and Brady are the top two options. Both are clear Hall of Fame talents and still playing at the highest level possible. While both could be candidates for regression due to losses around them, they hold the top two spots until further notice.
Where the list gets interesting is at the third spot. Most will agree that the contenders here are Stafford and Prescott. Fresh off a season where he recorded 4,886 yards, 41 touchdown passes, and a Super Bowl win, Stafford has now risen to near-elite quarterback status. While he did not win a Super Bowl in 2021, Prescott was an impressive passer in his own right with 4,449 yards, 37 touchdowns, and just ten interceptions. That interception total is seven less than Stafford's. His quarterback rating of 104.2 was also higher than Stafford's.
Clearly, both players are elite at the position, and debating the two is a strenuous exercise. Luckily, both players return in 2022 looking to prove themselves once again. Both players also are in great situations as they play on uber-talented teams that not only have the chance to contend in 2022 but also expect to. Fans of both teams are likely to take their guys but this promises to be a debate that rages for quite some time.