Maybe Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is on to something.
As good things happen quarterback Dak Prescott runs the ball.
The Cowboys are 15-4 when he runs at least four times in a game dating back his rookie season in 2016. They are 9-2 when he rushes at least five times in a game. They are 7-1 when he has six or more rushes in a game.
And they are now 5-0 when he has least seven rushes in a game following last Sunday’s 20-13 victory against the New York Giants when he rushed seven times for career-high 45 yards.
It’s a dimension that’s always been there for Prescott and the Cowboys, giving his abilities as a dual-threat quarterback who specialized in the zone read in college at Mississippi State.
But there has always been an injury concern in the NFL with running quarterbacks. So the Cowboys and Prescott have tried to be smart about it.
It’s why the quarterback run has not been a staple of their offensive attack, similar to Carolina Panthers and Cam Newton.
But the Cowboys plan to be more deliberate about it now, in the name of allowing him to use all of his skill in order to help the Cowboys win games, per the team’s clairvoyant owner.
It was Jones who highlighted Newton’s impact play with his runs in the season-opening loss to the Carolina Panthers. It was Jones who lobbied all last week for Prescott to run more like Newton, which he did against the Giants with six called runs and the final kneel down.
Jones says the quarterback run from Prescott is here to stay.
“You know, it’s a mixed bag. You hate to expose him more, but it’s such a dimension,” Jones said on his radio show on KRLD FM Tuesday when asked if he worried about Prescott running. “We had just come off of playing Cam Newton and he hurt us. (Carolina offensive coordinator) Norv Turner, I don’t think of Norv as a guy that works with the run-option on a quarterback, but there you go. He’s using Cam when he’s got it, and there’s no question it impacted the game in Carolina.
“So, yeah, we’re going to use Dak. We should. These games are so important to us. The other thing that Dak does is a very good job throwing on the move. We just have him in a lot of play-action. The pass-run option is a key part of the game today, and Dak can really do it well. So, we’ll use him.”
Prescott rushed 57 times in each of his first two years, averaging 3.5 rushes per game. With 12 rushes in his first two games in 2018, he is on pace for 96 this season.
It should help loosen things up for running back Ezekiel Elliott in the middle of the defense. It’s no coincidence that the game-clinching 86-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter against the Giants last Sunday featured three Prescott runs for 17 yards and five Elliott runs for 29, including the score from 6 yards out. All three of Prescott’s carries were followed by runs from Elliott on the ensuing play.