Dallas Cowboys

Why Kitna says Prescott is a ‘rare individual’ who wants to be ‘poked and prodded’

Dallas Cowboys: Jon Kitna compares Dak Prescott to Warren Moon

Dallas Cowboys: Jon Kitna compares Dak Prescott to Warren Moon
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Dallas Cowboys: Jon Kitna compares Dak Prescott to Warren Moon

Dallas Cowboys quarterback coach Jon Kitna is still building his relationship with Dak Prescott and it’s something that he doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s a long-term thing for me,” Kitna said after minicamp on Tuesday. ”Relationships are something I take very important, but it’s not something that I’m like every day, ‘Oh, I’ve got to make sure I try to do this.’ That’s not it. It’s just, ‘Hey, what kind of things do we need to work on today that are going to come up in the script, in the plays, in things that we’re running or something that maybe wasn’t right the day before.’ Stuff like that. I don’t know that it’s necessarily an intentional thing like that. Dak is very easy to form a relationship with because he’s a great guy. That makes it fun.”

Kitna, a former 15-year NFL veteran who was hired in January, says his job is to help Prescott be the best he can be.

That’s most important considering the Cowboys are in active talks with Prescott on a long-term contract extension that could pay him in excess of $30 million annually.

Kitna said no one knows how good Prescott can be. But he called him “a rare individual” in all aspects of the game and said it’s going to be fun watching him continue to grow and develop.

“He’s a rare individual from the physical standpoint, the mental standpoint, the experience standpoint, the leadership, I mean, on down the line,” Kitna said. “Playing in Dallas, with all that comes with being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, he embraces all that. He doesn’t shy away from it. I don’t think you want to even try to put limits on what that would be, on what his best is. It’s going to be fun over time to watch it happen and to be a part of it on a small scale.”

Kitna said he didn’t know how rare Prescott was before he took the job but he had heard great things. But seeing and being around him is believing.

“The thing that jumps out and I’ve said this multiple times: He wants to be the best,” Kitna said. “A lot of people say that. I just feel like you can watch somebody. You don’t really care about what they say. Just watching people. You watch Jason Witten and you’re like, ‘There’s a guy who wants to be the best tight end. Still.’ Dak is similar. He doesn’t need to be poked and prodded but he wants to be poked and prodded and pushed. So it’s fun.”

Kitna’s words reinforce comments recently made by Hall of Fame Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who called Prescott the perfect quarterback for the Cowboys because of how he handles himself on and off the field.

Coach Jason Garrett acknowledges the bond between Prescott and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore because of the prior relationship they have together as former teammates in 2016-2017 before Moore served as the quarterback coach last season.

But he said Kitna, who is a technical expert in terms of quarterback footwork, will be key to Prescott’s success and is already making an impact.

“Kitna has been in a lot of quarterback rooms throughout his career,” Garrett said. “I think he helps that whole process and that’s really important as guys are starting out together.

“You have to be honest with each other, as coaches you have to be demanding with your players. Kellen has done a good job of that, Kitna has done a good job of that. Dak has benefited from the experience.”

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.