Dak Prescott's message to campers: Dream big
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott seemingly always pushes the right buttons and strikes the right chord.
It’s one reason he is billed as the perfect leader of the Cowboys and why he is being propped up as the new face of the team.
Consider this week and the days leading up to the team’s departure for training camp on Saturday.
While off-the-field concerns and distractions dominated headlines in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Prescott was more than 1,000 miles away getting last-minute work in with renowned athletic performance trainer Tom Shaw at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
“I think he’s the best,” Prescott said about Shaw to the local media following his final work out on Thursday. “He tells you exactly what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear. He is honest with all the guys which I greatly appreciate. I came here to Disney to train because I wanted to be in the best possible condition when I go back to my team. I wanted to get that good sweat in down here in Florida to make sure that from a conditioning standpoint, I’m ready to go when my team heads to training camp in California.”
Prescott worked with Shaw leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft where he was picked in the fourth round. That was before he went from a developmental quarterback of the future to unseating all-time leading passer Tony Romo as the Cowboys’ quarterback of the present with the best rookie season by a quarterback in NFL history.
Prescott led the Cowboys to a 13-3 record and NFC East title, completing 23 touchdowns with four interceptions and winning NFL Rookie of the Year Honors.
His work ethic and zest to improve is what set him apart and why he returned to work with Shaw through the off-season, both after last season ended and now before camp..
“This guy has a chance to be an elite quarterback in the NFL,” Shaw said. “The game is important to him. He wants to improve, and he works at it. That’s the way you improve in the NFL – you have to work at it, and that’s non-football stuff – the conditioning, the core strength work, the weight room strength work, and he attacks what he does.”
“He is serious about improving all aspects of his game – and I mean all of it. He works on the on-field work that’s necessary to become a great player in the NFL. This guy is a worker.”
Prescott said he mainly focused on his turning his perceived weaknesses, mentioning his footwork and accuracy, into strengths as he prepares for his second NFL season.
He returned to Dallas on Thursday for the team physicals on Friday before departing Saturday for training camp in Oxnard, Calif.
Prescott believes he has done the work necessary with Shaw at Disney to prepare himself for camp and build on his success from last season.
His goal is to not only take the Cowboys back to the playoffs for a second consecutive season, something the team hasn’t done since Romo’s first two years as a starter in 2006-2007, but also make a push for the Super Bowl, which would be the Cowboys’ first since 1995.
Prescott’s quiet week in Orlando leading into camp was a far cry from what was being generated back in North Texas, including running back Ezekiel Elliott’s alleged involvement in a fight at a Dallas night club.