Dak Prescott entering the next stage of his development

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Dec 11, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) calls a play at the line during the first quarter against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

A quarter of the way into the season Dallas finds itself even at 2-2 after a thriller that didn’t go their way last Sunday against the Rams. There are a number of factors that go into such an up and down start, but none seem more polarizing than the QB.

I’ve heard a couple of times this season already that “Dallas needs to have a conversation about the QB” insinuating Prescott is the problem. If after four games, you told me your QB was 2nd in the league in total TDs from the QB position, 3rd in passing TDs, 3rd in QBR, had a quarterback rating of 90 and the QB was only in his 2nd year, I would probably say your QB is making things happen for your team.

What I believe is missing in the QB conversation is that Prescott is still growing and entering that next stage of his development. Once upon a time, quarterbacks did that, even if they had solid early years. This development doesn’t stop for a very long time.

Coming into the season, many people spoke on the league being able to adjust to what Dak and the Cowboys like to do and they have. Many also believed the Cowboys offense and Dak would still be able to get the job done. There have been mixed results there that involve the Cowboys coaches and Dak.

Teams have completely taken away Cole Beasley this year, treating him as the #1 guy with doubles and even triple teams.

This is a huge reason for the slow start statistically for Beasley. Teams just aren’t singling him up on big 3rddown plays. Again, there’s been mixed results. On one hand, it opens up things for others and leads to big plays, as it did last Sunday for Brice Butler in the end zone. It has also led to some hesitation from Dak which has led to a few inaccurate passes each game. He seems well aware of his inaccurate moments and will have to hit those as the season progresses.

“It’s just knowing where I’m going with the ball, having a good idea where I’m going with the ball so that my feet can be in tune with my mind,” Prescott said. “And just being balanced and making those throws”

“I just have to be better,” Prescott said. “No reason. No excuse.”

Adjustments like this made from defenses require counters by the Cowboys, be it from the QB and the coaching staff. The wide receiver group in Dallas isn’t one that creates a ton of separation, which puts more pressure on your QB to deliver.

 However, in 2016 Scott Linehan did a pretty decent job schematically getting guys open with movement upfront or from the WRs pre-snap or from the QB post-snap. This has to become more available in the game plan, as of right now, it isn’t.

A lot of the offense’s inconsistency issues stem from two things: the line is not where it wants to be and the running game not where it needs to be. Those issues alone warrant a detailed breakdown for another day. However, that has a trickle-down effect to the QB, and it would have the same results across the league to any QB.

With four games now in the books and with a better idea of how teams are defending Dak and the Cowboys offense in 2017, it’s now time to see the next step in his development.

-Follow Will on Twitter @BecauseCowboys and LIKE us on Facebook!


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