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Dak Prescott: Does he measure up to Cowboys all-time passing leaders?

Despite all of the hullabaloo about 's contract negotiations with the in 2020, confidence remains that a deal will be struck and he'll be the team's for years to come.

If that proves true, Prescott could easily wind up the team's most prolific passer in terms of all-time statistics.

In just these first four years as Dallas' starting QB, Dak has already moved near the top of every major passing category.

While this obviously has a lot to do with the era he's playing in, Prescott's numbers are even starting to rival 's in some categories.

Consider the following (courtesy of Pro Football Reference):

Passing Yards

  1. Tony Romo — 34,183
  2. — 32,942
  3. — 22,700
  4. — 21,959
  5. — 17,199
  6. Dak Prescott — 15,778
  7. — 10,279

Considering Prescott just put up over 4,900 yards in 2019 alone, only an will prevent him from moving into the Top 5 this season.

He should only need two seasons to pass Roger Staubach for the #3 spot, and then we'll see how longevity allows Dak to threaten Romo and Troy Aikman.

Prescott has a lot going for him now with replacing , still growing as , the addition of at receiver, and hopefully 's ascension at .

It's not a stretch to expect Dak to flirt with 5,000 yards on an annual basis.

Passing Touchdowns

  1. Tony Romo — 248
  2. Troy Aikman — 165
  3. Danny White — 155
  4. Roger Staubach — 153
  5. Don Meredith — 135
  6. Dak Prescott — 97
  7. Craig Morton — 80

With a career-high 30 touchdowns through the air last season, after previously averaging 22-23, Dak should start climbing this list soon as well.

In two seasons he should pass Danny White and Staubach and could even challenge Aikman if the explodes with our new staff.

Obviously, Prescott will need to sustain that productivity for at least 4-5 seasons to catch Romo at the top of the list.

However, it's worth noting that Dak has already taken over as the leader for rushing touchdowns by Cowboys quarterbacks. He passed Roger Staubach with his 21st career rushing score last season and should pad that lead for years to come.

His ability to get scores with his feet cuts into Prescott's passing numbers, and that's worth remembering when we're making these statistical comparisons.

Dak Prescott: Ignore the Outside Noise
Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

Completion Percentage

For passers with 1,000 or more career attempts with the Cowboys.

  1. Dak Prescott — 65.8
  2. Tony Romo — 65.3
  3. Troy Aikman — 61.5
  4. Danny White — 59.7

For a guy who's constantly knocked for his accuracy, Dak surprisingly sits on top of the leaderboard for all-time completion percentage.

It's a pretty thin margin between him and Tony Romo, though, and Prescott can't afford too many down seasons to hang onto 1st place.

Prescott's percentage dropped a little in 2019 to 65.1% from previous marks of 67.7% in 2018 and 67.8% in his rookie season. That's a natural byproduct of being asked to throw more and in less conservative situations, thanks to the switch from to Kellen Moore as coordinator.

We expect that trend to accelerate in 2020 with McCarthy taking over.

Hopefully, even if Prescott remains a high-volume thrower, tweaks to the will also give him an uptick in efficiency. He's already very good there, but there's room for improvement.

That would also allow him to maintain his lead over Romo in this category.

Passer Rating

For passers with 1,000 or more career attempts with the Cowboys.

  1. Tony Romo — 97.1
  2. Dak Prescott — 97.0
  3. Roger Staubach — 83.4

If it hadn't been for the and all the struggles that came with it, Prescott would easily be in the top spot here as well.

His in other seasons has been 104.9 (2016), 96.9 (2018), and 99.7 (2019).

All Dak needs this coming year is to continue the positive trends we saw last year and he will move past Romo into the top spot.

It's a lot easier to move the needle when you have a smaller body of work, but even now there's only a 0.1 margin to deal with.

~ ~ ~

Did you realize that Dak Prescott was already this high up on these lists?

Are you surprised to see how he compares to legendary Cowboys quarterbacks in accuracy and efficiency?

Sure, Dak's game has its warts. So did Aikman's, Romo's, and all of the rest. Sometimes we have to step back from our preconceived notions and fan-driven narratives and get a clearer picture of things.

Prescott is clearly already one of the better quarterbacks to ever adorn . And at his current rate, he easily could wind up the franchise leader in every major statistical category.

Let's hope wins is the next one that he starts adding to.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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