Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott is good — but he’s no Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen

·4 min read
Julio Cortez (Prescott); Reed Hoffman (Mahomes); Justin Edmonds (Allen)/Associated Press

After watching the most arresting weekend of football ever, the Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones need to acknowledge among themselves, out of earshot of a cellphone camera, they do have a serious issue at quarterback.

Dak Prescott is good, and that’s the problem.

The new standard for NFL quarterbacks doesn’t have any room for good.

Not when the standard is set by Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and now Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, and a few others.

The game has always been, and will always be, about the quarterback, but the way the game is called, and the way the rules are structured, either Dak improves, or his supporting cast can’t miss.

The NFL game is now more 1-on-11 friendly than ever before, which is great when your quarterback is Patrick Mahomes. Or Josh Allen. Or Kyler Murray.

Dak is good, and not quite good enough to beat a team 1-on-11.

The way the 2021 NFL season played out proved that former Cowboys coach, and current NFL Fox analyst Jimmy Johnson, nailed it when he assessed Prescott.

“He can win you a championship, if you’ve got really great players around him,” Jimmy said earlier this season on an appearance with Fox sports radio personality Colin Cowherd.

The Cowboys thought they had just that this season. The defense was one of the best in the NFL. The offense had top skill players surrounding Dak.

All of this is why Jerry Jones said he is so mad about how the season ended, in flames in the wildcard round against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Cowboys thought they had the complete team.

Also, Jimmy’s assessment makes Dak no different than most good quarterbacks. It doesn’t even make him different from a handful of other Super Bowl-winning, and Hall of Fame, passers.

Looking at you, Terry Bradshaw.

The eyeball test says Dak Prescott is better than San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo, who in his five career postseason games has two touchdown passes with five interceptions.

Also, Jimmy G is 4-1 in the playoffs.

Also, Jimmy G is in his second career NFC title game, and had a three-point lead with 5 minutes remaining in Super Bowl LIV against Kansas City.

Jimmy G’s problem was Patrick Mahomes.

After six NFL seasons and 85 career starts, the Cowboys cannot be dumb enough to believe Dak is any version of Patrick Mahomes.

(Check that. It’s the Cowboys. “Dumb enough” can never be excluded from the conversation.)

Dak Prescott is just another Tony Romo

When evaluating the list of NFL quarterbacks, Dak is not that much different than Tony Romo during the prime of his career. Romo was never in first class, nor was he in steerage, nor in coach.

Dak, like Romo, is somewhere in business class; he’s close enough to see around the closed curtain where Mahomes, Allen and the rest sip champagne sitting in their fully reclined seats watching all of the first-run movies on a high-def’ flat screen while eating a bone-in rib eye.

The confounding element is Dak’s first six weeks of this season, when he was one of the best players in the NFL.

Something went sideways on that game-winning pass at New England, when he suffered that calf injury. He was not the same when he returned, in Week 9, and neither were the Cowboys.

The Cowboys gave Dak that extension because they believe in him. He is going to be their starting quarterback for a while.

His contract expires after the 2024 season. Barring a Greek tragedy, he will sign another contract, too. For more than $40 million a year.

Since Romo became the starting quarterback in 2006, the Cowboys have had one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, but not one of the best.

The standard is the standard, and it has been set by Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and now Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow.

There is nothing to suggest that Dak, as good as he is, has the ability of those players.

And that’s the problem for the Dallas Cowboys.