To say that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was blown away by the performance of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott is akin to saying that Kanye West is pleased with his own talents.
Of course, he was.
Jones was downright ecstatic watching Prescott’s near-perfect outing in the Cowboys’ 28-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Saturday.
The fourth-round pick from Mississippi State completed 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, with a quarterback rating of 154.5.
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Two days later, Jones’ excitement had yet to diminish about what he saw from Prescott on the grandest stage imaginable for a preseason game — before 89,140 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum in the first NFL game in Los Angeles in 21 years.
Certainly, Jones has his limits. He is not ready to put Prescott in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he is ready to close the door on bringing in a veteran to back up starter Tony Romo.
“He is a long way from Canton, a long way from Canton,” Jones told the Star-Telegram on Monday. “But it was certainly a great start. It was just good to see the coaching staff and everybody get behind the promise of what he might be able to be as a player. Certainly the way he and [Jameill] Showers played, I wouldn’t consider a backup quarterback situation at all. I wouldn’t want to, by any way, deter the progress and the excitement that he can bring to the building of the team and the future.”
Jones said it’s unfair to Prescott to get too far ahead, but he acknowledged that his performance confirmed a lot of positive things he had seen from him in practice and the meeting rooms. He said everyone on the Cowboys feels the same way, and it’s just a matter of Prescott’s building on it.
“What was impressive to me is how our team and how our sideline responded with what he was doing on the field,” Jones said. “I felt good about it, of course. I was just tickled to see the promise of what he might evolve into. Everybody on that sideline knew that was in front of 90,000 people. Everything now is about where he goes from here. That’s what it’s all about. That gave you the indication that he can continue that arrow going up.”
Coach Jason Garrett liked Prescott’s numbers, too, but it was his poise, composure, and demeanor in working with the first team under the spotlight of the Rams’ return to Los Angeles that stood out most.
In evaluating young quarterbacks, Garrett said they look at “how does he handle the game? How does he manage it? Does he execute his plays? Everybody has an assignment to do on each play, 11 guys, did he do his job?”
Garrett said Prescott checked all the boxes with very few mistakes.
“The thing that jumped out more than anything else are his poise and composure, how he handled the game, how he managed the huddle, the line of scrimmage, how he managed game situations, did a really good job,” Garrett said. “And then he executed plays. Very few mistakes, and simply read the coverage, threw it to the right guy and delivered throws.”
Garrett said Prescott wasn’t perfect. He messed up a play call and could have had better decisions on a couple of plays.
But outside of that, he was the same guy they evaluated and scouted at Mississippi State before the draft — prepared, calm and ready. They knew the stage wasn’t too big for him. It was just good to see it in an actual NFL game.
“One of the things we knew about him when we evaluated him was that everyone around him was so impressed with his leadership, his poise and his composure,” Garrett said. “We felt that when we evaluated him. [Quarterbacks coach] Wade Wilson went and worked him out. [Offensive coordinator] Scott Linehan spent time with him down there. He came to see us. We visited with him at the Senior Bowl, the combine, all of that. So we got all of those impressions.”