We’ve looked at every position across the board for the Cowboys’ loaded offense in this Playoff Primer series so far, and now it is time to talk about the most important position – the quarterbacks.
The story of the Cowboys’ quarterbacks in 2016 has been unprecedented, as Dallas will remarkably enter the postseason with the league’s best quarterback situation.
Dak Prescott has the keys to this 13-3 car, two wins away from a trip down the street to Houston for Super Bowl LI. Tony Romo will back him up, and Mark Sanchez will serve as the veteran QB3.
New year, new quarterback situation. It is time for Playoff Primer – the quarterback edition!
In a week 6 meeting against the Green Bay Packers on the road, Prescott completed 18 passes on 27 attempts for 247 yards. He did throw his first career interception against the team he will now face in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but Prescott got the win behind two scoring passes to Cole Beasley and another to Brice Butler.
So here we are as Cowboys Nation with this earth-shattering rookie as our quarterback in the playoffs.
Dak Prescott is the first rookie QB to lead his team into the playoffs as the starter since a trio of first-year signal callers in 2012. While Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck were first round picks with high expectations, Russell Wilson’s rookie season had a similar feel to Prescott’s – as he stayed within himself to bring an immensely talented team to the big dance.
The biggest difference between the 2012 Seahawks and the 2016 Cowboys is this though. The best overall unit on Seattle was their defense, which kept Wilson from having to “save the day” too often. Dallas’ biggest strength is Dak Prescott’s offense, and he has executed it for Scott Linehan almost perfectly.
The playoffs should be no different, as I fully expect Prescott to remain the cool, calm, collected, and poised quarterback that has distributed the ball to his targets on high-percentage throws all season long.
The story of whatever team comes out of the NFC is going to be written through their quarterback, and the big throws that will decide close games. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, or Dak Prescott is going to represent this conference in the Super Bowl. When you stack up Prescott with these other experienced QBs, his task may seem daunting, but we said the same when he was charged with the task of simply keeping the Cowboys relevant until Tony Romo was healthy.
Dak Prescott benched Tony Romo by going on to win 13 games, and his rookie campaign isn’t over yet. No truly intimidating passing defenses remain in his way, and his cast of play makers’ desire to step up for him will be at an all time high.
Ah yes, Tony Romo. The best thing Romo could have done for the Cowboys this season was give the speech he did to “concede” the starting QB job in full to Prescott before a week 11 home game against the Ravens.
Sure, it hurt to watch, and I even had a professor make me watch it in the middle of a classroom while wearing Romo’s jersey, but nothing can keep Cowboys fans down when America’s Team is 13-3, which they are thanks in large part to Prescott.
It certainly was amazing to see Romo execute a flawless touchdown drive in the season finale against the Eagles, which reassured a fact that many already believed – Tony Romo is without a doubt the best backup quarterback in the NFL.
If he is needed this postseason, emotions are going to be running wild. Either Dak Prescott was injured or wildly ineffective, or maybe Romo is taking a snap in victory formation in front of a rowdy silver and blue crowd.
Whatever the situation may be, we know that Jason Garrett potentially has a lottery ticket in the QB that largely deserves a ton of credit for making him the coach he is today. Tony Romo can take this Dallas Cowboys team to the Super Bowl.
Your backup quarterback probably can’t? We cannot relate.
Mark Sanchez cannot take the Dallas Cowboys to the Super Bowl. Simply put, we do not want to see Mark Sanchez take any real snaps this postseason. Sanchez’s most recent action against the Eagles – albeit behind a backup offensive line – was a painful reminder of what happened to the Cowboys’ offense in 2015 with backups that were simply not up to speed with the scheme.
Dak Prescott is the perfect blend between a scheme fit for Dallas, and a quarterback that has also changed this team’s scheme to his strengths for the better. Tony Romo is Dallas’ offensive scheme. Mark Sanchez is just a guy hoping to get a Super Bowl ring, far removed from the signal caller that led the New York Jets to consecutive AFC Championship games in his first two seasons.
If #3 is playing in the next few weeks, the Dallas Cowboys won’t be winning three 2016 playoff games.
It is game week here at Inside The Star! The Cowboys host the Packers with a trip to the NFC Championship Game on the line this Sunday.
To get Cowboys Nation ready, I’ll be shifting this Playoff Primer series over to the defense throughout the week.