#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.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Draft Needs: Impact of Free Agency Moves & Rumors
With most of the marquee NFL free agents already off the market, many are already turning their eyes to the 2019 Draft. Whether a glaring need went unaddressed or the needs have simply changed, the draft offers the next big opportunity for teams like the Dallas Cowboys to stock talent for next season.
While they've been conservative so far this offseason, Dallas has been active in the last few days in covering bases and giving itself more flexibility for the draft. They don't want to have to reach on a talent because of a need, nor do they want to tip their hand too much to the rest of the league.
As of now there are still some significant acquisitions that could happen. Dallas has visited with veteran Safety Eric Berry and Defensive Lineman Malik McDowell, plus are reportedly in trade talks with Miami for Defend End Robert Quinn. Any of these moves could have a big impact on their need levels for the draft.
We've already seen some changes thanks to offseason activity. With Tuesday's signing of Randall Cobb, plus moves to retain Tavon Austin and Allen Hurns, Dallas may not be looking at a receiver as early as we might've thought. The same can be said for Jason Witten's return and the tight end position.
If the draft were today, without accounting for any of the players that the Cowboys have had talks with but remain unsigned, here's how I would rank the team's 2019 draft needs:
- Defensive End
- Defensive Tackle
- Tight End
- Running Back
- Wide Receiver
- Offensive Tackle
- Quarterback (Mike White is their drafted backup project for at least another year.)
- Punter (Could add someone to compete with Chris Jones and save some cap dollars.)
- Fullback (They re-signed Jamize Olawale, who they barely use anyway. Zero need here.)
I put safety on top because it's the spot that could most use an immediate upgrade and has some pressing future need. Dallas didn't make the big move for Earl Thomas that many hoped for and Jeff Heath's contract expires after this season. Hopefully, a second-round talent could compete for a starting job now and at least replace Heath in 2020.
Even with the Kerry Hyder signing defensive end has some major red flags. DeMarcus Lawrence has sworn he would holdout without a long-term deal. Randy Gregory is suspended again, and now Tyrone Crawford is now facing potential league action from an incident with police last week. Unless the Cowboys think Taco Charlton is going to make a big push in his third year, they could be hurting for a pass rush in 2019.
I expect things with Lawrence will get resolved, and I doubt Crawford will get suspended for more than a game or two if at all. But Dallas could still use another solid DE if they don't get this deal for Robert Quinn done.
Remember, the 2019 Cowboys aren't working with a first-round pick. Barring a trade, they'll be waiting until the 58th pick to make their first selection. That limits the impact potential of their picks and makes what they do with the Day 2 picks all the more critical.
So what if the Cowboys pull off these three potential moves, adding Berry, McDowell, and Quinn? Each player would help to address the top three needs on my list.
Eric Berry hopefully solves the immediate upgrade need at safety, though it may not do much for the future. He turns 31 this year and was released by Kansas City because of multiple injury issues. Dallas could still consider taking a rookie prospect, perhaps even releasing Jeff Heath for cap savings if needed.
Malik McDowell was considered a first-round talent in 2017 but has never played after a major ATV accident prior to his first training camp with Seattle. If he's finally recovered enough to return to football and play at his original potential, he could give Dallas a talent infusion that none of their draft capital could provide.
Robert Quinn has been around a while but will be just 29 in May, and is still putting up sacks at a solid rate. He's averaged 7.5 sacks the last two years with two different teams. He would go a long way to stabilizing things at defensive end and allowing Dallas look at guys like Gregory and Hyder as icing on the cake.
If Dallas lands all three players then I would adjust the list as follows:
- Tight End
- Defensive Tackle
- Running Back
- Defensive End
- Wide Receiver
If you think about it, the safety and tight end positions would be kind of similar in this scenario. You'd have Eric Berry and Jason Witten as the veteran stopgaps, Xavier Woods and Blake Jarwin as intriguing young guys with starting potential, and Kavon Frazier and Dalton Schultz as other young depth.
However, at every step, safety would be deeper and have more upside. Berry should have more to often than Witten, Woods is more proven than Jarwin, and Frazier is more experienced than Schultz.
Plus, we didn't even mention that you'd have Jeff Heath for experience and versatility at safety. Meanwhile, TE Rico Gathers probably won't be on next year's team.
So yes, I'd vault tight end to the top of the need list. Dallas may like Blake Jarwin but they could find a far more polished and talented player with the 58th pick.
Even with McDowell and Christian Covington added to the mix, Dallas would still be wise to address the defensive tackle position. They have several contract issues coming up at once in 2020.
Covington and Maliek Collins will be unrestricted free agents next year. The Cowboys will also likely want to finally shed Tyrone Crawford's contract, with $8 million in cap relief possible. That would leave them pretty bare at defensive tackle.
Dallas could make a move now to solidify their rotation and prepare for the future. They'd have a little more stability at defensive end with assumed multi-year deals for Lawrence and Quinn, making tackle the more immediate concern.
The backup running back spot can't be ignored, with only Darius Jackson and Jordan Chunn currently signed behind Ezekiel Elliott. If Dallas doesn't bring back Rod Smith between now and the draft, they may want to spend a high pick for Zeke's relief man and an additional offensive weapon.
Elliott's own contract will be up for discussion as soon. Having a talented player with a four-year rookie deal behind him could give the Cowboys much-needed leverage in any future talks with their franchise back.
~ ~ ~
We'll see if Dallas lands any of the players we've hypothesized about. Any of them would help lessen the need at their positions, but those would still remain important areas for the Cowboys to look at in the upcoming draft.
Cowboys Draft: Film Notes on Iowa State Cyclones WR Hakeem Butler
The 2019 NFL Draft is light on a lot of the offensive skill position players at the top of the draft. There are a couple of wide receivers that are making noise in the first round, but I'm surprised to see that Iowa State Cyclones Wide Receiver Hakeem Butler isn't one of them.
Is he a perfect NFL prospect coming out of the Big 12? No. But this year, there isn't a perfect NFL wide receiver prospect, in my opinion.
Hakeem Butler measured in at 6-5, 225 with 35 1/4 inch wingspan, and 10 3/4 inch hands. He's a big receiver and generally, the type of wide receiver that the NFL looks for when they're attempting to build their receiver corp.
Here are his measurements, courtesy of Mockdraftable.com.
And here is his Spider Graph, if you're into that sort of thing.
As you can see, Butler moves the needle on the spider graph in the strength and athletic testing. He didn't run the short shuttle or the 3-cone drill at the NFL combine, which isn't surprising as those would be lesser traits to his game.
For his size, Butler runs an excellent 40-yard dash at 4.48 seconds. That puts him at the same time as Carolina Panthers Running Back Christian McCaffrey. Former Dallas Cowboys great, Dez Bryant ran a 4.52. The 40-yard dash helps measure straight line speed and it's helpful, it just isn't the be all-end all. Sure, you'd like a receiver to be faster, but Butler's size-speed combination makes up for being a touch slower than the guys running in the 4.3's.
In order to get a handle on Hakeem Butler, I watched his games against Iowa, Oklahoma, West Virginia, TCU, Baylor, and Washington State. Believe me, watching the Iowa State offense was no small task. Quarterback much?
Here's what I saw from Hakeem Butler.
- Is able to create separation on a variety of routes and against press coverage. Ran posts, slants, ins, outs, curls (both in and out breaking), double moves off of slants (sluggo and hitch and go), and nine or go routes.
- Moves well for size, could use some more quickness.
- Hakeem Butler is at his best when thrown back-shoulder fade routes. He's an excellent ball tracker and shows great anticipation for the ball being thrown under the route for him to come back to the ball.
- Quarterback play at Iowa State was an issue. I counted three, maybe four different quarterbacks that he had to work with throughout the 2018 season. Though Butler was able to bail them out at times, he and the rest of the Cyclones receiving corp dealt with poor ball placement.
- Butler is a physical blocker at the point of attack and away from the ball. He uses route feints to set up the defender so he can get square on them and uses good technique to secure his man and plays till the whistle.
- Was lined up all over the field in the games watched including the slot, the middle receiver in bunch formations, and in tight sets as a single receiver to one side.
- Is very physical against press coverage and fights to get free throughout the route.
- The two games he struggled the most were against TCU and Iowa where they used more zone coverage than Iowa State's other opponents. Those teams kept him bracketed, which left him little room to work in the zone and forced him into more contested catch situations.
- He had bad drops in both the Iowa and TCU games, but also came up with excellent catches.
- Butler is very physical after the catch and uses his size and agility to break tackles and create yards after the catch. Against the Sooners, he broke three or four tackles after the catch to take one the distance for the touchdown.
I like Hakeem Butler as a pro prospect. He has some nuanced route running to him and is more than just a jump-ball specialist, red zone threat. He has the skills to be a lead receiver for a team in the NFL and could even be used as a big-slot receiver much like the New Orleans Saints use Michael Thomas. Despite some drops, I think he has really good hands and with his size and physicality would be an excellent addition for the Dallas Cowboys.
I'd be surprised if he was available for the Cowboys at pick 58 of the second round, but if for some reason he was there, I wouldn't hesitate to select him. You can use him on the outside and move Amari Cooper to the slot or put Butler in the slot and use Cooper on the outside. His ability to run routes from all over the formation is an asset that a smart team will take advantage of.
Cowboys Draft Target: Central Florida DT Trysten Hill
NAME: Trysten Hill
POSITION: Defensive Tackle
SCHOOL: Central Florida
JERSEY: No. 9
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
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Uploaded by Micah Wade on 2019-02-22.
The first thing that jumps off the tape when studying Trysten Hill is his first step quickness at the snap of the ball and his burst to get upfield. He is scheme diverse, but projects better as a 4-3 defensive tackle. Can play the one-technique or the three-technique in a 4-3 defense, but is at his best as a one-gapper.
Hill plays with a nonstop motor and high energy down after down. Doesn't take any plays off. Shows the ability to fight off blocks. Always working his hands and feet to free himself. Is equally disruptive harassing the quarterback as a gap penetrator and in the running game playing sideline to sideline.
Shows good agility and flexibility to bend and finish tackles behind line of scrimmage and in the open field. Can anchor down against double teams, but needs to improve his overall play strength. Uses a twitchy arm over and spin counter move to penetrate the gap as both a pass rusher and run defender.
There are questions about Trysten Hill's maturity, work ethic, and coach ability. He found himself in the doghouse last year at Central Florida and only started one game. Was he demoted because of the new coaching staff or are the character concerns about him factual? This is something teams will have to dive deeper into.
Needs to do a better job of playing under control. Will run himself out of gaps at times, which causes him to lose his gap responsibility. Can get washed out of the play by down blocks. Needs to develop a better feel and response to keep that from happening.
Can anchor down against double teams, but needs to add functional strength in order to become more consistent. Drops his head at times on his initial punch. Needs to develop a more diverse pass rushing repertoire. Relies too much on arm over and spin move.
Trysten Hill is a versatile defensive tackle capable playing the one-technique or the three-technique in the Dallas Cowboys 4-3 defensive scheme. Due to his first step quickness and high motor, he is likely better suited to play the three-technique. He has starting potential, but would likely be a rotational piece on the DL as a rookie behind Maliek Collins. His ability to play on the other side of the line of scrimmage and sidelined the sideline would be a welcomed addition along the Cowboys defensive front. He projects as a late Day 2 or early Day 3 draft pick, and that's exactly where the Dallas Cowboys would likely have to target him to acquire his services.
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