Dak Prescott needed only a second — and a word -- to answer a question whether he’d ever met someone who works harder than he does.
“No,” Prescott said.
Prescott prides himself on his work ethic, breeding confidence going into his NFL debut Sunday against the New York Giants. Prescott will make sure he is as prepared as possible, as he’s done his entire football career.
“I didn’t grow up as the most athletic or best football player out there. It was definitely from the hard work, the work I put in over time, just preparation,” Prescott said. “Work hard and prepare. Put yourself in that moment before that moment happens, and it’ll be like you’ve done it before.”
It’s that type of mentality that has pleased the Cowboys’ coaching staff and front office to entrust a high-powered offense into Prescott’s hands. He has impressed ever since joining the team as a fourth-round pick, exceeding expectations.
When Kellen Moore went down Aug. 2, the Cowboys were comfortable enough to give Prescott an opportunity to win the backup job. Then, when starter Tony Romo went down in the third preseason game, Prescott had shown enough to win the starting job.
Coach Jason Garrett refused to revisit draft day on Wednesday, when asked why Prescott may have slipped to them in the fourth round. He also wouldn’t address why the Cowboys had a fourth-round grade on the Mississippi State product.
“Once you have them, it doesn’t really matter when they got drafted,” Garrett said. “You just put them in the program and try to work with them every day, and Dak has certainly done a good job up to this point.”
Prescott has been spending pretty much every waking moment getting ready for his start, taking little time off from football. He shows up at The Star everyday around 6:30 a.m. and is in work mode until he leaves. He’ll get some dinner, likely as he’s going over the playbook on his iPad, take a couple hours off and then call it a night at 11 p.m. or midnight.
So, when the season opens Sunday, Prescott will be ready to go.
“I’ve been watching film for a while,” Prescott said. “Coach is doing a great job already with the play calling and the game plan, so I feel good.”
Prescott is expected to make at least six starts before Romo (compression fracture in lower back) is healthy enough to return. The Cowboys hope Romo can play before the Nov. 6 game at Cleveland, which is why they opted not to put him on short-term injured reserve. They instead will keep Romo on the 53-man roster.
“The IR term is for eight weeks and we feel like, given what the injury is and the progress he’s made, we feel at this point we want to do that,” Garrett said. “We don’t want to eliminate him from eight weeks of our schedule. He’s making progress. We take his situation day by day and week by week and we’re optimistic he can return.”