Dak Prescott was intercepted twice in Thursday’s practice. Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan thought Prescott was simply “due.”
Linehan didn’t recall Prescott throwing any interceptions during organized team activities or minicamp this off-season, so it was only a matter of time.
Prescott’s first interception happened when a defender made contact with him and he overthrew a pass intended for Dez Bryant. Cornerback Anthony Brown came down with it and returned it for a touchdown.
That interception, in Linehan’s mind, is something he can live with. Plus, Prescott responded on the next play by hitting Bryant down the field.
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In 7-on-7 drills, though, Prescott tried to fit a pass through a tight window to Brice Butler that was picked off by linebacker Mark Nzeocha. Linehan wasn’t pleased with that decision by Prescott.
“The great thing about it is he’s like, ‘Yeah, I got greedy there. I’m not sure. It was a little temporary insanity for some reason,’ ” Linehan said. “The biggest thing you need to do when you have a negative play is you’ve got to sit there and say, ‘OK.’ It might make you mad, but you can’t get frustrated.
“He’s really good at going to the next play. That’s what we work on. You’ve got to practice that ’cause that’s how you’ve got to play games.
“He gets mad, but he gets over it. He’s really coachable. I don’t really need to get mad at him. He knows when I’m mad at him because I give him a look, you know? We’ve got to learn from those things. One of the great things he did last year is protect the ball.”
Prescott, 23, is coming off arguably the best season by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. He completed 67.8 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Prescott set an NFL record with 176 consecutive passes without an interception to begin his career. He threw his first interception in Week 6 at Green Bay and another one the following week vs. Philadelphia.
Prescott then had another streak of 166 consecutive passes without an interception before being intercepted twice at the New York Giants in Week 13. He was intercepted again in the playoff loss to Green Bay.
Taking care of the ball remains a top priority for Prescott, although he said before camp that he’d take more chances. That’s what this time is for, so he’ll have days where he throws a couple interceptions.
“For the most part, I’m just executing the play and what comes with what I see,” Prescott said. “I’m going to react off that. That just comes with preparation out here. Now I think being at camp and these extra reps this will give me time to rate, I guess, my risk vs. reward, kind of test it sometimes.
“I may go into practice one day and just gamble the whole practice, but that’s what this time is for so when I get in the game I know my chances.”