By Nick Shook
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Saturday’s disappointing news — that Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo has a broken bone in his back — would be viewed as crippling in past years.
But in 2016, things are different in Dallas. The news came just one day after owner Jerry Jones raved about the situation behind Romo. The inspiration: Dak Prescott.
Head coach Jason Garrett refuses to admit it, but it’s essentially Dak Season in Big D. Dez Bryant is ready to roll.
Prescott has looked impressive, and at times, seasoned during the preseason. But as plenty of former players will caution, one must take his play with a grain of salt, because it is preseason after all.
After a nearly flawless performance against Miami in Week 2, Prescott started to show signs of his rookie status in Week 3 in Seattle. Optimists will jump up and down and shout until their faces turn red while pointing at Prescott’s touchdown pass to Jason Witten to cap his second drive. It looks great on paper, but cue the film and it’s easy to see Witten not only made a spectacular catch, but also saved Prescott from an interception.
There were other moments in the game against Seattle in which Prescott looked skittish, as a rookie should in a hostile environment. When the regular season arrives and defensive schemes are no longer vanilla, Rocky Road or Moose Tracks, we’ll get a better look of just how far along Prescott is in his progression as a professional quarterback.
According to his words Sunday, he’s already got the preparation part down.
“I said it beforehand, that’s the way I prepared to begin with,” Prescott said. “Nothing really changes. I just gotta continue to do that and make sure I don’t slack up or be lazy and just stay focused.”
Prescott added it’s still Romo’s team, and that he hopes Romo gets well soon while Prescott tries “to do my best to hold the fort down.” Smart words from a rookie.
But while he says all the right things on the podium, we can revel in the excitement of the unknown come Week 1, for it could be the point upon which we look back one day as the Drew Bledsoe-Tom Brady moment — the possible changing of the guard in Dallas.