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Dak Prescott’s third season will define his narrative

From day 1, everyone in the Cowboys’ camp has known that Dak Prescott was going to be a workhorse.

However, since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2016, there have always been questions surrounding his potential as a starter and just how high his ceiling is. Teams questioned his ability to make fast decisions in the pocket and lack of accuracy with the long ball, which had him out of the top tier QB discussion for the 2016 draft.

Despite whispers, Dak burst onto the scene, climbing up the depth chart to QB2 after an impressive showing in his first preseason and Kellen Moore’s untimely leg injury in practice.

The rest is history. Romo’s back was broken for the last time in week 3 of the preseason, and the Dallas Cowboys became Dak’s team. 13-3, behind a rookie offense that nobody was ready for. Zeke, Rookie of the Year. Dak, Offensive Rookie of the Year. This offense is going to run the league- you know, if Aaron Rogers can quit derailing them in the NFC.

From then on into the next season, there was a certain expectation for Dallas to begin establishing themselves in the conference as a regular in the playoffs. Sure, there would be a slip from 13-3, but the playoffs are now a must.

The 2017-2018 season was more than a little disappointing for Dallas. While the defense performed above expectations, the offensive line had become exposed through injury, Zeke was in Mexico while Jerry was burning the league to the ground, and throughout it all, the Cowboys who were actually on the field found themselves once again battling 8-8 and out of the playoffs.

Side note: All I could do was laugh and turn the TV off when Dallas was up on Green Bay once again in 2017 with one possession remaining on the clock. It was already over. When will they learn?

Not to mention then having to watch Philadelphia win the Super Bowl.

Time to find out what Dak is really made of.

While all of these things did have an effect on the Cowboy’s season, many also still attributed their lack of success to Dak’s inexperience. A drop off from Dak’s first season to the second was expected. But now Dak is gearing up to begin season 3 of his career, and it’s now time to see how he will respond. In his first year in the NFL, Dak gained invaluable postseason experience, and quickly learned how to handle the spotlight. Despite no Super Bowl, him and Zeke both got a taste, and should have left them hungry for more. The following 9-7 season, despite all of the drama and distractions surrounding Zeke and Jerry Jones, should be taken as another learning experience as well. Dak has experienced the height of football, and also now understands what his team is fighting so arduously to get away from- mediocrity.

Given all of this, it isn’t a stretch to assume that these past two seasons have aged Dak Prescott exponentially since that first preseason, and it should be the hope of all Cowboys fans that this is the case. The organization has put all of their faith in Dak and have retooled the offense in order to optimize his abilities. It’s why Romo, one of the best of his time to play, is retired, and it’s why Dez Bryant- despite having at one point been a top- tier receiver- is gone as well. Dak Prescott is at a career-defining crossroads this season, and someone as smart as him is well aware. With the NFC East gaining in power over the past two years and Dak being due for a contract extension next year, the pressure is on in season 3 for Dak to become the quarterback that the organization believes him capable of being, and to help elevate the Cowboys to perennial playoff contender status. This next season will dictate the entire narrative of Dak Prescott’s future in the NFL, and the trajectory of the Dallas Cowboys for the foreseeable future.

Staff Writer covering the Dallas Cowboys. 2018 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University with a focus on Political Science and Sports Business. Dallas is the center of my sports universe, and I eat, sleep, and breathe America's Team.

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