It was an ugly opening game for Dak Prescott against the Panthers and nobody should be surprised. There was a time Cowboys’ fans were bragging in the streets that the heir apparent to Tony Romo was better than Romo. Since then, however, Prescott should have ingrained serious doubt in their minds that he is the answer as the franchise quarterback in Dallas.
Prescott’s statistically mediocre, eye-ball disastrous first game of the season follows up a sophomore season where he often looked in over his head at best. He spent much of the season out of sync and unable to make the necessary throws a franchise quarterback is required to make — much like today.
Prescott finished off the season with the exact same passer rating as a quarterback most consider ill-equipped to lead a team to the promised land, Andy Dalton. For those that blamed this on the suspension of his running back Ezekiel Elliott, Prescott really struggled even when he returned from suspension. The last few times we saw Prescott, he was failing to throw touchdowns and turning the ball over more than once a game. Six times last season he did not throw for a touchdown, and in four of them, he had at least two interceptions.
It was much of the same against the Panthers. Prescott looked like a deer in headlights. He spent most of the game looking uncomfortable in the pocket, missing throws, and unable to make the plays needed in a game that was winnable until the end. His stat line the past four games resembles a quarterback that is lucky to even be starting with only one touchdown and one game over 200 yards passing.
Yes, his offensive line is not what it once was and his receiving core is not what it once was, but that is the situation most franchise quarterbacks are asked to overcome. We also heard about how Dez Bryant and Jason Witten were too in his ear last year, and it would benefit him to spread it around. Week 1 was not a good result for that narrative.
Everyone knows how Prescott looked his rookie year, but ever since the tape has been out on him, there has been nothing that should make any Cowboys’ fan confident with him leading the charge. It is early in the season, there is time for him to the stop this downward spiral, but it is not too early for the Cowboys to start seriously worrying that he is not capable of being the guy so many thought he was going to be.
That rookie season is not going to define him. If Dak Prescott does not drastically improve the way he has looked over the majority of the past 12 months, why should there be any confidence in the quarterback leading the most talked about football team in the country?