Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott doesn’t act like a rookie, isn’t treated like a rookie

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed 11 consecutive passes in one stretch Sunday and has a 108.6 passer rating with 17 touchdown passes and two interceptions this season.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed 11 consecutive passes in one stretch Sunday and has a 108.6 passer rating with 17 touchdown passes and two interceptions this season. Special to the Star-Telegram

Maybe the Dallas Cowboys knew all along Dak Prescott wasn’t going to play like the rookie he is. Prescott said he has never endured hazing common in the NFL.

No Saturday morning breakfasts for his fellow quarterbacks. No carrying veterans’ shoulder pads and helmets.

The Cowboys have treated Prescott like the veteran he’s played like.

“I guess at first I was surprised,” Cowboys guard Ron Leary said. “But I don’t even look at Dak as being a rookie now. I look at him as being a quarterback.

“He definitely doesn’t play like a rookie.”

In his first game with Tony Romo as his backup, Prescott did what he’s done all season. He completed 27 of 36 passes for 301 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 127.2 passer rating in the Cowboys’ 27-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

Nothing seems to faze the fourth-round draft choice.

I guess at first I was surprised. But I don’t even look at Dak as being a rookie now. I look at him as being a quarterback. He definitely doesn’t play like a rookie.

Cowboys guard Ron Leary

“I think Dak has had a life that, when you talk about being in a spot out on a football field, he can look back and remember days in that mobile home growing up, and that puts it in perspective,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I really think there’s a lot there. He’s got that way to really work through where he is and what he’s doing.

“There’s no doubt he is having fun. There’s no doubt he knows to have real fun, he has to work. Then, he recognizes opportunity. I’ve never heard him one time when I’ve talked to him, not start off by saying what a great opportunity it is just to get to be here and play.”

Prescott got off to a shaky start, completing only four of his first 10 passes for 31 yards. But he finished with a flurry — 14-of-15 for 146 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. In one stretch, he completed 11 passes in a row.

127.2 Passer rating for Dak Prescott on Sunday on 27-of-36 passing for 301 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions

“I just worry about one play. I didn’t know necessarily that I was 14 of 15,” Prescott said. “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.”

For the season, Prescott has completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 2,640 yards with 17 touchdowns, two interceptions and a 108.6 passer rating. Romo owns the single-season team record for passer rating at 113.2, which he set in 2014.

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.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott

Bigger still, Prescott joined Johnny Lujack as the only rookie quarterbacks in NFL history to start 9-1. Lujack was a rookie with the Chicago Bears in 1948.

“He’s been able to handle a lot right from the start,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “…He’s a smart guy; he understands football, and he works very hard at it. He takes that preparation to the game and uses it to put us in good position.”

Star Telegram sports columnist Mac Engel thinks there is one team in the NFC that can stop the Dallas Cowboys from the Super Bowl (hint - it is not the Chicago Bears) (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram).

Charean Williams: 817-390-7760, @NFLCharean

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