The Dallas Cowboys officially became rookie sensation Dak Prescott’s team following veteran quarterback Tony Romo’s emotional concession speech early this week.
But for the few remaining non-believers, Prescott left no doubt in Sunday’s 27-17 victory against the Baltimore Ravens.
He completed 27 of 36 passes for 301 yards with three touchdowns and a passer rating of 127.2.
It was his second consecutive 300-yard passing day, which is a Cowboys rookie record, and he is the fourth rookie in NFL history to pass for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in the same game.
No one is looking back now as it’s full speed ahead for Prescott and the Cowboys, who streaked their way into history before 93,056 fans at AT&T Stadium.
Prescott has not only led the Cowboys to the best record in the NFL, but they also now have the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history of nine games, breaking a tie they had with the 1977 team that opened the season 8-0.
Prescott improved to 9-1, the best record to start a career by a Cowboys rookie quarterback, and joined Johnny Lujack (1948 Chicago Bears) as the second rookie to start a career and win nine of his first 10 starts.
“It’s just a wonderful feeling to be a part of a group that has won nine straight games in a row,” owner Jerry Jones said. “ I’ve obviously never experienced that with the Cowboys. It was important to us, but I am telling you the way our team is playing, the way the key guys — Dak, he’s playing to the team — just played outstanding out there today. We played a real good team. We didn’t necessarily have anything given to us. That was really impressive.”
The Ravens (5-5) made it tough on the Cowboys early, but then Prescott got on a roll and the Cowboys dominated the ball and the game in the second half.
After punting the first four times they had the ball, the Cowboys scored on the final five possessions, led by Prescott who completed 24 of 27 passes on the those final five drives, including 14 of 15 in the second half when he hit his final 11 passes to end the game.
“I just worry about one play,” Prescott said. “I didn’t know necessarily that I was 14 of 15. I didn’t know how many incompletions I threw earlier in the game, I knew it was a good bit.
“I wasn’t throwing it as quick as I wanted to, or had the greatest start, but I wasn’t worried about that. I was just focusing on the next play and the next call, believing in the guys around me to make the right play or make the blocks. When they do that, things get fun.”
Things are fun for the streaking Cowboys because of Prescott, who kept the starting job even though Romo was healthy and active Sunday for the first time since he suffered a fractured bone in his back Aug. 25, causing him to miss the first nine games of the season.
The Cowboys didn’t want to disrupt the chemistry of what they believe has the makings of a special season that could possibly end with a Super Bowl berth for the first time since their last Super Bowl title in 1995.
Prescott has proven special enough to wrest the starting job away from a 10-year starter in Romo, who took over for Drew Bledsoe midway through the 2006 season.
“The best thing that he’s done and the best thing our team has done is just maintain our focus,” coach Jason Garrett said. “There are distractions in life. The people who are the best at what they do are able to focus on the task at hand.”
His performance against a Baltimore Ravens defense that ranked No. 1 overall and held NFL-leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott in check for much of the day was even more eye-opening.
This wasn’t a case of the running game making things easier for Prescott. This was the fourth-round pick leading the Cowboys to victory in sizzling fashion.
Elliott had 25 carries for 97 yards after having just 26 yards on six carries in the first half. He now has 1,102 yards for the season, surpassing Tony Dorsett’s rookie rushing record of 1,006.
Elliott was big in the second half as the Cowboys, who totaled more than 400 yards of offense for a team record eighth straight game, wore down the Ravens’ defense with physical play up front.
“As the game wore on, the runs got bigger and bigger,” Garrett said. “And our guys up front continued to wear them down; the runner wore them down too.”