#4 Dak Prescott
Rayne Dakota “Dak” Prescott was born in Sulfur, Louisiana on July 29, 1993. He played collegiately at Mississippi State University. He is a rookie quarterback in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
When Dak Prescott was in first grade, he and his two older brothers moved with their mom to Haughton, Louisiana after their parents split. There, approximately 18 miles east of Shreveport, Prescott attended Haughton High School.
Dak, the son of Nathaniel and Peggy Prescott, was named after one of the three bulls on the cartoon show “Wild West C.O.W-Boys of Moo Mesa”.
Dak’s two older brothers (Tad and Jace) were standout defensive lineman at Haughton High School, but all eyes were on the youngest sibling (Dak) who many people were already calling a special athlete before he even reached high school.
Although he was already viewed as a special athlete, Dak didn’t become a starter until his junior year in high school.
He really made a name for himself his senior season. Dak Prescott completed 159 of 258 passes for 2,860 yards and 39 touchdowns. He also ran for 951 yards on 90 attempts and scored 17 rushing touchdowns.
Dak Prescott chose to play for the Mississippi State Bulldogs after graduating high school. He was the starting quarterback from 2013-2015, and holds all of the school’s passing records.
In 2011 he was redshirted as a true freshman. The following season, in 2012, he was the backup to Tyler Russell. Dak Prescott played in 12 games and completed 18 of 29 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He also ran for 110 yards on 32 carries and scored four touchdowns.
In 2013, Dak Prescott began the season as Russell’s backup once again, but took over as the starter after Russell suffered a concussion. Prescott ended up playing in 11 games and completed 156 of 267 passes for 1,940 yards with 10 passing touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran for 829 yards on 139 carries and scored 13 rushing touchdowns.
Dak Prescott was named the MVP of the 2013 Liberty Bowl after leading the Bulldogs to a 44-7 win over the Rice Owls. His 2013 performance ranks seventh in passing yards (1,940), tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns (13), and fourth in total yards (2,769) and total touchdowns (23). After the 2013 season, he was named to the 2013 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
In 2014, Prescott’s first full season as a starter, he led the Bulldogs to a 10-2 regular season record, and the first number 1 ranking in the program’s history.
Dak Prescott broke 10 school records in 2014 including:
- Single season passing yards (3,449)
- Total yards of offense (4,435)
- Passing touchdowns (27)
- Total touchdowns (41)
He also had 14 rushing touchdowns, which tied him for fourth in the school’s history.
Prescott was also named Manning Award Player of the Week five times, 2014 SEC Offensive Player the Week three times, the Athlon Sports, Davey O’Brien, Maxwell Award Player the Week two times, and was the 24/7 Sports National Offensive Player the Week.
He was named a 2014 Honorable Mention All-American by SI.com, 2014 First-Team All-SEC team by the AP, Coaches, and ESPN.com, and was on the 2014 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.
He won the Conerly Trophy, was a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, and the Manning Award. He also finished eighth in the 2014 Heisman Trophy voting and received two first-place votes.
2016 NFL Draft
Dak Prescott was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys with the 135th overall pick.
Prescott was the second of the Dallas Cowboys’ fourth round draft picks and was chosen 34 picks after Charles Tapper (101 overall).
As a rookie quarterback, Dak Prescott wasn’t likely to see the field much because the Dallas Cowboys were hoping to bring him along slowly so that he could develop his skill set and allow him to get accustomed to how things were done in the NFL. The injury to back up quarterback Kellen Moore changed all of that in a hurry.
After Moore’s injury, there was an open competition between Prescott and Jameill Showers to prove to the coaching staff they were capable of becoming Tony Romo’s backup QB for the 2016 season.
Dak Prescott opened the first preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams as the starting quarterback and had a stellar performance, completing 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in one half of action.
Prescott would follow up his impressive performance against the Rams again the next preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, where he had 227 yards of total offense and four touchdowns. Two of those four touchdowns he ran in himself.
He was forced into early action against the Seattle Seahawks when Tony Romo exited the game after only three plays, suffering a back injury. He battled against a tough Seahawks defense and had the Cowboys tied 10-10 heading into halftime. Unfortunately, the Cowboys didn’t hang on in the second half and lost 17-27 to the Seahawks.
Dak Prescott will open the 2016 season as the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. He is the first rookie QB to start for the Cowboys since Quincy Carter in 2001.
The total value of Dak Prescott’s rookie contract is $2,453,392. He is fully guaranteed $382,392 and will make $613,348 per season.
- In 2016 Prescott’s base salary is $450,000 and his cap hit is $545,848
- In 2017 Prescott’s base salary is $540,000 and his cap hit is $635,848
- In 2018 Prescott’s base salary is $630,000 and his cap hit is $725,848
- In 2019 Prescott’s base salary is $720,000 and his cap hit is $815,848
If Dak Prescott develops the way the Dallas Cowboys hope, then he’ll be due a much larger, long-term contract suitable for a starting caliber quarterback.
Sean’s Scout: Linebacker Joe Thomas Brings Speed, Range to Cowboys D
It took some time, but the Dallas Cowboys have their first outside free agent of the offseason, signing Linebacker Joe Thomas to provide depth at a position where Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber have already signed elsewhere.
The fifth-year pro has played exclusively with the Green Bay Packers, but the Cowboys do have some familiarity with Thomas as he spent part of 2015 on their practice squad.
Joe Thomas has served as a core special teams contributor and sub-package LB for the Packers out of South Carolina State, and will now look to bring these services to a Cowboys team in need of play making ability on both defense and special teams.
Using film from this past season, here is Joe Thomas' full scouting report.
LB Joe Thomas: Strengths
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Joe Thomas lined up at all three LB positions for the Packers, taking the majority of his snaps on defense at MIKE or WILL. The WILL position is where Thomas should fit best in Dallas.
Not overly physical with a shorter but square frame, Thomas is a rangy player with light feet and fluid movement ability. Shifting laterally along the line of scrimmage to "pick through trash" is not a problem for Thomas, nor is flipping his hips and running to the football.
It may take Thomas more effort than it should to get in position on most plays, with false steps and late reads being an issue, but once he establishes his sight on the point of attack this is a downhill missile of a player.
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Joe Thomas uses his length well to disengage from blocks and finish off plays, doing a nice job of not allowing blockers into his chest consistently.
With Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith expected to be the Cowboys' primary starters at WILL and MIKE respectively, Thomas could supplement these two physical, well-rounded players extremely well given his athleticism.
LB Joe Thomas: Weaknesses
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There is a reason a player with the raw traits of Joe Thomas goes un-drafted, and in this case it is because of awareness and anticipation issues in Thomas' game.
Far too often on tape, Thomas is forcing himself to recover from false steps against the blockers in front of him. I would have loved to see a player with this movement ability get more clean opportunities to finish at the football, but it was simply not there for Thomas.
When Thomas wasn't late to the ball against the run, he was getting caught flat-footed in space trying to compensate for this reactionary ability. This led to Thomas' fair share of missed tackles, where the LB failed to break down correctly.
Overall, Thomas did a decent job of avoiding blocks and disengaging, and does play with better-than-expected stopping power. The strength and technique to shed blocks was rarely seen though, relying on his quickness to outrun opponents to the spot.
LB Joe Thomas: Summary
This is a player that should help the Dallas Cowboys in two phases of their game this season.
Signed for both 2018 and 2019, the Cowboys have clearly seen enough from their former practice squad linebacker in Green Bay to bring back an athletic ST ace with upside on defense.
Joe Thomas shouldn't be taking Lee or Smith off the field regularly this season, but at his best he will factor into Rod Marinelli's defense on passing downs.
Thomas gives a unit predicated on flowing to the ball even more speed on the field, and is an ideal depth signing with the versatility to cover punts and kickoffs.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
Could a Special Coach Help Dez Bryant’s Route-Running?
Dez Bryant's career with the Dallas Cowboys may be in limbo, but that's not stopping him from trying to improve his game and on-field performance.
Bryant will reportedly train with personal wide receivers coach David Robinson, who specializes in route-running, according to reporter Jane Slater of NFL Network. This should come as good news to a lot of Cowboys fans, because Dez Bryant has often been criticized throughout his professional career for his route-running.
If anything, this news should indicate that Dez Bryant is more determined than ever to rebound from his disappointing 2017 season and prove his critics wrong that he is no longer one of the top receivers in the league. I for one am not going to bet against him.
Bryant's work ethic and passion for the game have never been questioned. His desire to be the best is evident anytime you turn on his film, whether it is in a game situation or on the practice field. He takes the "practice like you play" mantra to heart.
Everybody should be encouraged that at this point in his career, Dez Bryant is still looking at ways to improve his game and seek help. Hopefully, working with a well-known receivers coach like David Robinson can take Bryant's game to the next level.
You may not know who David Robinson is (I certainly didn't), but he is well respected around the league and has helped other receivers under his tutelage. Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Jordan Reed, and even Cowboys former WR Brice Butler have all benefited from Robinson's coaching.
Dez Bryant has always been regarded as one of those types of receivers who is always open regardless how tight the coverage is around him. His ability to go up and snag the ball out of the air is arguably his best trait, but he could become more dangerous if he can create separation on his own with better route-running.
Unfortunately, Bryant is entering the stage in his career where age becomes a factor and some regression is to be expected. This is why improved route-running could improve any deficiencies Bryant maybe dealing with.
But, what exactly will David Robinson be working on with Dez Bryant?
Robinson told Jane Slater that in his workouts with Dez Bryant, he will concentrate on the expansion of Bryant's route tree, shaking defenders at the line of scrimmage, and improving footwork technique to compensate for any natural loss of speed due to age.
I don't know about you, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing how Bryant responds to Robinson's coaching, hopefully still as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
We all know that Bryant's status with the Cowboys is unknown, at least to those of us on the outside looking in, but I don't see him going anywhere in 2018. There just aren't any vet WRs or rookies who I can see replacing his production. Of course, I could be wrong.
One thing is for sure though, Dez Bryant isn't going to sit on his hands while he waits to find out what his future holds.
Do you think improved route-running will help Dez Bryant's game?
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