Rayne Dakota “Dak” Prescott
Career Highlights: 2X Pro Bowl, AP Offensive Rookie Player of the Year
2018-2019 Season Stats: 3,885 Passing Yards, 22 Touchdowns and 8 interceptions, 67.7 completion percentage.
On draft weekend in 2016, the Dallas Cowboys selected Dak Prescott with a 4th round pick and some speculated he could one day be the starter. That day came earlier than anyone thought when starting quarterback Tony Romo went down with a back injury in preseason play just a few months later. Prescott took over and never looked back as he went on a record-setting rookie season. Dak took over as the starter and cemented himself as a star player in the NFL. That is why Dak Prescott comes in at #3 on our list of DFW’s Top 20 Current Athletes.
Dak started out as a standout college player at Mississippi State University. His play there elevated the Bulldogs to the national stage and made them title contenders in a tough SEC. In his first season as the starter, he led Mississippi State to their first number one ranking and a trip to the Orange Bowl. He continued to impress the next season, breaking several school and SEC records and a trip to the Belk Bowl.
Entering the 2016 draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Dak in the 4th round. After taking over as the starter for an injured Tony Romo, Prescott struggled in his first NFL game in a loss against the New York Giants. Despite that, Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott helped the Cowboys go on an 11-game winning streak. It helped put the Cowboys as the number one seed in the NFC with a 13-3 record. Unfortunately, the Cowboys would lose their playoff against the Green Bay Packers. Despite this, Dak posted incredible numbers that year, including 23 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. He was in the running for league MVP and won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
His next two seasons were a roller coaster ride with hate and praise thrown at him. Dak would struggle in his second year as injuries and suspensions forced him to shoulder much of the load. While they were close to making the playoffs, they missed it in the end with a record of 9-7. It started to get worse in 2018, when the new look offense struggled to score points and the team stumbled to a 3-5 record. Then the team traded for a receiver Amari Cooper and it brought Dak back to life. Using late game heroics, Dak helped the team reel off five straight wins to help the team reclaim the division throne.
Prescott would go on to win his first playoff game against Seattle in the Wild Card round of last season’s playoffs, before losing to the Rams in the divisional round. While it was a disappointment for the team, Dak was maturing into a playmaking quarterback and the 2019 season looked bright.
While the young Dallas quarterback has gotten better as a passer over the past few seasons, there is one thing that was ingrained in him. Leadership. It is the one thing people constantly bring up when they talk about him. Some speculate that it why he won the locker room over back in 2016.
Going into 2019, so far things look good with Dak posting 9 touchdowns and just two picks. Thanks to a new offensive coordinator and a quarterback coach, it looks like he is nearing his potential. A exciting player with leadership abilities is the perfect combo you need for the Dallas Cowboys to continue to compete for a title. Lucky for Dallas, they found their man in the fourth round.
DSF Top 20 Current DFW Athletes
20. John Klingberg | 19. Skylar Diggins-Smith | 18. Alexander Radulov | 17. Tyron Smith | 16. Miro Heiskanen | 15. Travis Frederick | 14. Zack Martin | 13. Demarcus Lawrence | 12. Leighton Vander Esch | 11. Ben Bishop | 10. Jaylon Smith | 9. Jamie Benn | 8. Amari Cooper | 7. Elvis Andrus | 6. Kristaps Porzingis | 5. Joey Gallo | 4. Tyler Seguin | 3. Dak Prescott
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