Chandler Adams, Across The Board NFL Analyst
This is a recurring series at ATB. Taking a deeper look into what the numbers may or may not say. With Baker Mayfield being done, you can find that under the Browns tab of our website, we move on to another highly discussed QB in the NFL, Dak Prescott. Dak is often looked at in a...not very good light. Often times he's said that he just "doesn't have the arm talent". Is that true? Let's see.
In his young 50 game NFL career (He's played a few over 50 now, but we are using numbers for up to his 50th game), Dak is making history. Lots of history actually. According to Pro Football Reference 200 quarterbacks have made 50 NFL starts. In Dak's first 50 starts his TD/INT ratio is 74-26 (or 2.8) is second only to Aaron Rodgers (2.9). Here are some notable QB's to start 50+ games.
Out of all those guys on that list, Dak Prescott and Aaron Rodgers stand higher than them all on TD/INT ratio through first 50 NFL starts.
You might now be saying to yourself, "yeah, but that's because he doesn't throw the ball.". That isn't it either. Because he actually holds the record for 1 INT per 59.1 passes. That's outstanding. But, does he throw the ball deep? Yep, he averages 7.72 yards per attempt is 7th in history of 50 career starts. In front of players like Big Ben and Peyton Manning.
Now, it just gets even more ridiculous. His completion percentage through his first 50 games is only behind Kurt Warner. His QBR is 3rd behind Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson. And he ranks in the 20th percentile in every other major QB category. Completions, wins, passing yards/TD and rushing yards/TD. That is absolutely absurd.
So, what is the hold up with Jerry paying the man?
To be honest, I can't tell you the answer. While he was put in a very favorable situation as a rookie with the best RB in the league at the time, a HOF TE and the best offensive line that this league has ever seen, he still had to produce. Those things considered, it makes you wonder if he can get it done without the likes of Zeke and a dominating OL *(interesting tid bit, the last 3 seasons Zeke has been outside of the top 15 in 8 men in the box percentage - meaning, against the Cowboys teams have had more DB's on the field than one would expect ~ courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats)*. Why did I add that in? To further open your eyes on the fact that Dak hasn't been this dominate due to his RB.
This "Arm Talent" Thing
I, at one time, fell under the "Dak doesn't have the arm to get it done". I apologize to you, Mr. Prescott. In 2019, though a small sample size (7 games) Dak has ranked 14th in time to throw the ball. What does that mean? His OL has been very average at pass blocking (against a pretty average schedule to date...maybe something to look at later Cowboys fans). So this perception that Dak has this tremendous OL and RB tandem has been true at times, his ability perhaps has enhanced them as well. Another very interesting fact about Dak's arm? He is 3rd in completion percentage above expected. "What does that mean, Nerd". It simply means he is expected to make 63% of his passes but he is completing 70%. This could be due to a few things:
1. Elite WR/TE/(RB) play
2. Atrocious DB/LB play from opposing team
3. He has the talent to put the ball in places that stats say you otherwise probably shouldn't make
So, which is it? The correct answer is 2 and 3. (1)Albeit the Cowboys have some very talented skill position players (Cooper, Gallup, Witten, Jarwin, Elliot) none of them have played out of this world, Deandre Hopkins save your ass type, great. (2) 5 of the Cowboys 7 opponents are at the very bottom of the league in pass defense, and defense in general. (3) The numbers speak for themselves.
Jerry, if you're reading this (insert rolling eyes) PAY THAT MAN. This guy has given you better numbers than the love of your life, Tony Romo. Dak has proved time and time again, in the hardest of positions, against the best opponents, that he can lead a team. Dak Prescott is worthy of a huge extension. Short and sweet.