Dak Prescott Is Embracing the Pressure of Being America’s Quarterback

The Dallas Cowboys QB led the NFL with 15 picks last season despite missing five games

Dak Prescott of the Cowboys speaks at a news conference.
Dak Prescott has plenty of eyes on him as the quarterback of the Cowboys.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty

It doesn’t seem like it, but 30-year-old Dak Prescott is entering his eighth season as the starting quarterback for America’s Team. Prescott has been pretty good since seizing the reins in Dallas and has a 61-36 record as a starter and has thrown 166 touchdowns compared to just 65 interceptions in his seven seasons. However, 15 of those interceptions came last year when Prescott led the NFL in picks despite missing five games for the Cowboys.

Heading into this season, Prescott has guaranteed he will cut down on the interceptions without lowering his aggressiveness level. Speaking with USA Today, Prescott, who is just 2-4 in four trips to the postseason, also indicated he’s accepting of the pressure that comes with being the quarterback for the Cowboys and is using the criticism that has been coming his way as motivation to succeed.

“I’ve never allowed any people’s opinions, or expectations, to dictate who I am. I believe I have the highest expectations for myself than anyone does,” he said. “That holds me to a high standard. Obviously, me coming from a year last year, leading the league in interceptions and not performing the way I wanted…I’ve always been a fighter. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder and had it before. I never want anything easy, never want somebody to give me the shortcut to it. I’m embracing everything that’s coming my way — negativity, criticism, whatever it may be. I’m getting better.”

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There’s no shortage of negativity heading Prescott’s way, including from his own team as a viral video from Cowboys training camp clearly shows. In the clip, Dallas defensive back Trevon Diggs told Prescott to “shut his bitch-ass up” as the two came together near the sidelines. Diggs, who just inked a five-year extension that guaranteed him $33.3 million at signing, is one of the few players on the roster who could get away with talking trash to Prescott as he’s under contract with the Cowboys for a longer period than Prescott is.

If Prescott struggles again this season and the Cowboys, who are a top-six Super Bowl favorite behind only the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals, fall short of expectations, big changes could be coming in Big D.

“If he [Prescott] has a better year, then we’re going to be better than those teams we’re talking about,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told USA Today. It will be interesting to see what Jones has to say if Prescott’s year is worse.

Prescott has to be aware of the position he’s in, but, to his credit, he doesn’t seem to be showing it. “I’ve been through a lot, but going into my eighth year, I haven’t gotten what I want to get out of this league. That’s what pushes me every day when I wake up. At the end of the day, when we win this thing, it’s only going to make it that much sweeter.”

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