Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott admittedly wasn’t perfect in Sunday’s 19-3 season-opening victory against the New York Giants.
He completed 24 of 39 passes for 268 yards and a touchdown but would like to have some throws back.
The ball sailed on him a few times, including one that would have been a sure touchdown to wide open receiver Dez Bryant on a slant in the end zone.
But don’t be misled by those hiccups, Prescott was his typical self in that he played the same winning style football that allowed him to lead the Cowboys to a 13-3 record in his record-setting rookie season of a year ago.
Prescott’s leadership, poise, decision-making and mistake-free play ruled the day for the Cowboys against the Giants.
Prescott’s worst two games in terms of passer rating came in two losses against the Giants last year _ 69.4 in his first ever game in the season opener and 45.4 in December.
He had a 90.5 rating on Sunday, but got his first win against the Giants.
“He is a natural leader and has such a command of the offense and you saw that really throughout the ball game whether we were in no huddle or just playing from the huddle at a normal tempo,” coach Jason Garrett said “It's a good defense we played. It wasn't going to be one of those nights where everything came easy. It was going to be challenging.
“He did miss some throws early on in the game where the ball sailed on him a little bit. But I thought as the game wore on he made a lot of big plays, both with his feet and with his arm. From the pocket and out the pocket. He made really good plays at critical moments. Third down efficiency is big and the quarterback has a lot to do with that. His decision making and his throws. That was a big factor throughout this game. To keep drives alive and stay on the field and give ourselves point opportunities.”
Prescott ran for two first downs, including a 17-yard scamper that helped set up field goal.
He kept the Cowboys in the game and gave them a chance to win, unlike his counterpart in two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning, whose fourth-quarter interception to Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown sealed his team’s fate.
That Prescott continues to value the football as he did last year when he tossed 23 touchdowns to just four interceptions can’t be overlooked or underrated.
Prescott’s four interceptions are the fewest through a quarterback’s first 17 games of his careers since the AFL-NFL merger in 1966, according to ESPN via Elias Sports.
“I think he is a good decision maker,” Garrett said. “He values the football. He understands the importance of it. If you look at that game last night, we had nine drives in the game. They had 10 drives. You go back and look at the results of those drives, we scored a touchdown, kicked four field goals. I think we punted three or four times in the game. So there is your game. When you talk about a game when you have 9, 10, 11 drives, making sure you end the drive with a kick whether it’s a field goal, an extra point or a punt, that's big. I think he recognizes the importance of that. His decision making follows that. It certainly helps our team.”