Whatever door was open for Tony Romo to return as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback, Dak Prescott slammed it shut on Sunday.
It’s not just for this season, for which Dallas is 5-1 after Week 6’s 30-16 rout of the Packers. Given Prescott is also the future, what he did at Lambeau Field sets up Romo to likely to never see the field again for Dallas, regardless of how healthy his back is.
That’s no indictment on how good Romo has been and still could be in the current state of the Cowboys’ offense, much like he showed in ’14.Prescott is just playing too far off the charts now to even think about benching him and slowing down their non-Romo mojo.
Sunday was the final test to see if there was any reason to say bye to Prescott after the bye. The Cowboys saw exactly what they needed to see: being the best by beating one of the best on the road.
Sure, Aaron Rodgers hasn’t been Aaron Rodgers in a while, but it’s still rare he lets someone come into his house and steal the show. Prescott did just that, and he did it by playing at an incredibly high level that would make every veteran visiting QB jealous.
Prescott is a rookie in designation only now. There’s no more argument that Romo’s experienced presence can make Dallas’ offense produce any better.
The results against the Packers, with nothing held back: 18 for 27, 247 yards, 3 TDs, 8.5 yards per attempt, 132.8 passer rating. It didn’t even matter Prescott had his second turnover of his NFL career after a strip sack, followed by his first-ever interception on really, hisone bad throw. He proved he could handle a high volume early in a hostile environment when needed with a Green bay defense focused so much on stopping Ezekiel Elliott and therunning game — until it finally wore down.
That was because of Prescott slinging the ball confidently downfield, and getting every one of his still Dez Bryant-less targets involved for big plays in every situation. The Cowboys needed Prescott to pass first to open up the run against what was the No. 1 Packers run defense, and he delivered.
It was a game where he could have freelanced with his athleticism, but in a move beyond his years, he didn’t run more than once, for only six yards. Any pressure he felt from Green Bay, and it was ample at times, he stayed calm, bought time with his feet and kept his eyes strictly on his wide receivers and tight ends getting consistently open.
The NFL hasn’t seen a surprising and sensational QB debut like this since Russell Wilson, and we know what happened not soon after his initial splash for the Seahawks. And as it can be argued that Wilson had the best overall rookie season at the position, Prescott is proving he can do that one better.