The Cowboys will not risk veteran quarterback Tony Romo to injury in the meaningles season final against the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday.
Even though Romo has not played in over a year, owner Jerry Jones says rookie quarterback Dak Prescott needs the reps, not Romo.
Never mind that Prescott has led the Cowboys to a 13-2 record following Monday’s 42-21 blowout victory against the Detroit Lions. Prescott completed 15-of-20 passes (75.0%) for 212 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a 148.3 quarterback rating.
Never mind that Cowboys have already secured home-field advantage and the NFC East title.
And never mind that the Oakland Raiders saw their playoff hopes take a tumble when quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken leg in a victory against the Indianapolis Colts last Sunday.
The Cowboys are the Super Bowl favorite out the NFC and Prescot is a big reason why.
Yet, he will play against the Eagles and not Romo.
“We’re just not concerned about him having play time,” owner Jerry Jones said. “But sure wouldn’t want him to get any time other than playing behind our first. If a situation came up to play behind the first, but you know Dak is gaining on it. That game out there tonight made Dak a better quarterback. He played very well. He really made some good decisions. You don’t want to mess up those reps. I keep going back to that. It sounds like you’re talking about a preseason game but these reps are so valuable for him to get.”
Prescott agrees that the reps are invaluable to him because he is a rookie. He said wants to play against the Eagles.
“I want to play every game,” Prescott said. “I want to keep this momentum going. Any rep I can get is only going to make myself better. I want to take advantage of those.”
Prescott says he is not worried about getting hurt. He says you can’t have that mindset in the NFL. And it’s a chance he will have to take.
“It’s football,” Prescott said. “You think about things, they happen. You’re just reacting and playing ball. You have to take those chances.”
Prescott still has something to play for.
In leading the Cowboys to their franchise-record-tying 13th win of the season, Prescott got his 13th as well, tying Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger for the most wins in NFL history by a rookie.
Prescott has a chance to break the record as well as well as help the Cowboys reach a franchise high for wins in the season final against the Philadelphia Eagles.
“I have to go get 14,” Prescott said.
Prescott is seemingly playing his best football of the season. He has only thrown nine incompletions in the last two games combined, after going 32 of 36 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in last Sunday’s 26-20 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I think the biggest thing is just his understanding of what we’re trying to do, what the defenses are trying to do to him and his decision-making,” Garrett said. “And I think the accuracy follows from that. He doesn’t look indecisive. He doesn’t look unsure. He has a clear understanding of what he wants to do and he executes it. He’s executing, doing what we’re asking him to and playing at a high level.
Prescott completed passes to six receivers in the game. He credited the play-calling for allowing him to be comfortable and doing some of things the Cowboys did earlier in the year.
What he is doing is rewriting the Cowboys record book as well as that of the NFL.
Prescott became the first rookie quarterback in the NFL drafted in the fourth round-or-later to start the team’s first 15 games of the season. Prescott’s already has the most wins (13) by a rookie quarterback through his first 15 starts in NFL history.
His 13th win also tied Prescott with Troy Aikman (13 – 1992) and Tony Romo (13 – 2007) for the most wins by a Cowboys quarterback in a single season in franchise history.
His 3,630 passing yards rank fifth in NFL history by a rookie quarterback.
His 23 touchdowns on the season ties him with Andrew Luck for third all-time by a rookie quarterback.
His three scores against the Lions also marked his fourth game of the season with three-or-more passing scores to tie the most games by a rookie quarterback in NFL history with Peyton Manning and Marcus Mariotta.
Prescott’s career-high quarterback 148.3 rating marked his 11th game with a 100.0 rating to extend his NFL rookie quarterback record and break a tie with Tony Romo (2007 and 2014) for the most by any Cowboys quarterback in a single season in team history.
·It was also Prescott’s ninth game of the season completing 70.0 percent-or-better of his passes to extend his NFL rookie quarterback record and break a tie with Troy Aikman (8 – 1993) and Tony Romo (8 – 2012) for the most by a Cowboys quarterback in team history while tying the fourth-most games by any NFL quarterback in history.
Yet he needs more reps in the season final against the Eagles.