Rookie quarterback sensation Dak Prescott didn’t listen to the radio and stayed off Twitter Tuesday.
So he wasn’t aware that owner Jerry Jones gave him the biggest endorsement yet regarding the impending quarterback decision whenever veteran incumbent Tony Romo is cleared to play.
On his radio show on 105.3 The Fan, Jones acknowledged being inclined to stick with the hot hand in Prescott, who has guided the NFC-East leading Cowboys (6-1) to the best record in the NFC, including six consecutive wins, heading into Sunday’s game with the Cleveland Browns (0-8).
“Yeah, that’s the first I’ve actually heard of that,” Prescott said. “I just worry about the chemistry this team has and what it’s doing right now. Today was to go out there and put our best effort out there on a Wednesday practice. That’s my mindset: take it one day at a time. I’m thankful to have this opportunity each and every day.”
If the vote of confidence from Jones gave Prescott a good feeling, he wasn’t letting on.
“It really doesn’t change the way I think or how I go about my day,” Prescott said. “I mean, it’s the same regardless of whether he says anything, if the coach does or if one of you guys.”
Prescott’s attitude mimicked that of coach Jason Garrett and his one-day-at-a-time mantra.
“The way we manage this situation, every situation, is to focus on Wednesday,” Garrett said. “That’s what Dak is trying to do. That’s what everybody on our offense and throughout our team is trying to do. Tony is trying to do that as well. He’s working through his rehab and hopefully he continues to progress. That’s really where our focus is.”
After participating in practice for two days last week _ throwing 7 on 7 drills and doing scout-team work albeit on a limited basis, for the first time since suffering a fractured bone in his back August _ Romo did not practice with the team on Monday. He spent time rehabbing with athletic trainer Britt Brown, going through drop motions vs. resistance chords.
Prescott’s focus on Wednesday was technical and specific as well, considering the accuracy issues he had for much of Sunday’s 29-23 overtime victory against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Prescott was high and off target for the better part of four quarters, completing 14 of 34 passes for 231 yards with one touchdown and one interception during regulation of what he called the sloppiest game he’s played all season.
He righted himself in time for the comeback win, throwing a game-tying touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and was five of five for 56 yards with a game-winning touchdown pass in the overtime.
But the footwork issues that caused his errant throws can’t be ignored and he spent a lot of time working on them.
“Yeah, 100 percent I’d say footwork,” Prescott said. “Maybe a little bit of the rush getting to me a couple of times early and then me allowing it to affect my footwork. I wasn't driving off my back foot like I need to. I definitely was sloppy down in there in the red zone and couple of times throwing the ball.
“I’ve got a great help in Mark Sanchez, who’s always in my ear. In my ear nonstop at practice today, ‘footwork, footwork, get your feet in the ground.’ It’s something I’m aware of so definitely a big part of this week.”
Prescott said he’s handling this bad game no different than he did in college. He is focusing more and honing in more on his technique. He’s said it’s something he plans to do the rest of his career.
Garrett was already impressed how Prescott stayed poised to rally the Cowboys to the overtime victory, overcoming his sloppy play and struggles.
“He doesn’t seem to be effected by success or adversity very much. It’s a really good trait in life, it’s a really good trait for football players, particularly for quarterbacks, and I thought he demonstrated that the other night,” Garrett said. “Whatever the situation is, if things are going really well, he’s focused on what he needs to do in this particular situation. Similarly, in handling the adversities, I think he’s done the same thing. That’s what I’ve seen from him, that’s how he is every day when he comes in here.”
Garrett often says the mark of great quarterback is not how they play when things are going well, but how they respond to adversity. Prescott passed the test against the Eagles and now the focus is his ability address his issues in practice this week to prevent them from happening against the Browns.
And that's what he's concerned about most _ not questions about the supposed quarterback controversy with Romo.
Prescott said his poor play against the Eagles had nothing to do with Romo’ seemingly nearing a return. He is not looking over his shoulder.
“That’s something I think they will make that decision regardless of how my play is if they want to make that… It's not anything I worry about or he worries about, as I said. He just wants to win games just the same way as I do, no matter who is back there,” Prescott said.
Prescott reiterated that this is Romo’s team as he has all season. But he added a caveat that has more to do with the fact that he is the current quarterback of record and will be so for the foreseeable future, per Jones, as well as the unifying chemistry they have developed in the locker room.
“It's Tony's team,” Prescott said. “Tony does a good job with helping me out and just controlling me, controlling my mindset and just helping out through the games. It's everybody. It's hard for me to say ‘its Tony team, it's my team, it's anybody's team’. It's a true team. Everybody's playing their part.”