Despite all of the hullabaloo about Dak Prescott's contract negotiations with the Dallas Cowboys in 2020, confidence remains that a deal will be struck and he'll be the team's quarterback 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 Tony Romo's in some categores.
Consider the following (courtesy of Pro Football Reference):
- Tony Romo – 34,183
- Troy Aikman – 32,942
- Roger Staubach – 22,700
- Danny White – 21,959
- Don Meredith – 17,199
- Dak Prescott – 15,778
- Craig Morton – 10,279
Considering Prescott just put up over 4,900 yards in 2019 alone, only an injury will prevent him from moving into the Top 5 this season. He should only need two seasons to pass Staubach for the #3 spot, and then we'll see how longevity allows Dak to threaten Romo and Aikman.
Prescott has a lot going for him now with Mike McCarthy replacing Jason Garrett, Kellen Moore still growing as offensive coordinator, the addition of Ceedee Lamb at receiver, and hopefully Blake Jarwin's ascension at tight end. It's not a stretch to expect Dak to flirt with 5,000 yards on an annual basis.
- Tony Romo – 248
- Troy Aikman – 165
- Danny White – 155
- Roger Staubach – 153
- Don Meredith – 135
- Dak Prescott – 97
- 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 White and Staubach and could even challenge Aikman if the passing game explodes with our new coaching 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 TDs by Cowboys quarterbacks. He passed Roger Staubach with his 21st career rushing score last season, and should pad that lead for years to come.
That ability to get scores with his feet cuts into Dak's passing numbers, and it's worth remembering when we're making these statistical comparisons.
For passers with 1,000 or mToore career attempts as Cowboys.
- Dak Prescott – 65.8
- Tony Romo – 65.3
- Troy Aikman – 61.5
- 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 on to 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 Scott Linehan to Kellen Moore as coordinator.
We expect that trend to accelerate in 2020 with McCarthy taking over. But hopefully, even if Dak remains a high-volume thrower, tweaks to the offense 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.
For passers with 1,000 or more career attempts as Cowboys.
- Tony Romo – 97.1
- Dak Prescott – 97.0
- Roger Staubach – 83.4
If it hadn't been for the 2017 season and all the struggles that came with it, Prescott would easily be in the top spot here as well. His passer ratings in other seasons have been 104.9 (2016), 96.9 (2018), and 99.7 (2019).
All Dak needs is for this coming year 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.
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Did you realize that Dak Prescott was already this high up on these lists? Are you surprised to see where his accuracy and efficiency numbers put him compared to the Cowboys legendary passers?
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 The Star. And at his current rate, he easily could wind up the franchise leader in every major statistical category.
Let's hope Super Bowl wins is the next one that he starts adding to.