Meet Dak Prescott
The Dallas Cowboys entered the 2016 NFL Draft with a plan to acquire a young quarterback to develop behind Tony Romo. After failing to trade up to select Paxton Lynch and Connor Cook, they selected Prescott in the fourth round (135th overall). The rookie moved up on the depth chart when backup quarterback Kellen Moore broke his right tibia during the first week of training camp and after the Cowboys couldn't reach an agreement with the Cleveland Browns to trade for backup Josh McCown.
After Moore's injury, Prescott competed with second-year quarterback Jameill Showers for the backup job to established starter Tony Romo. Several reports from August training camp indicated that Showers outperformed Prescott, showing greater accuracy and a quicker release. However, the Cowboys coaching staff made the decision to start Prescott in the team's preseason opener at the Los Angeles Rams. Working with the Cowboys' first-team offense, Prescott completed 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns in one half of action, though Dallas would lose the game 24-28. Prescott continued his hot streak throughout the rest of the preseason, impressing all with his veteran-like pocket poise and decision making.
After starting quarterback Tony Romo suffered a vertebral compression fracture during the first quarter of the Cowboys' Week 3 preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks, and in light of Romo's projected 8–10 week recovery time, Prescott was named the Cowboys starter for the beginning of the 2016 season.
Prescott's first regular-season start came on September 11, 2016 at home versus the New York Giants, becoming the fourth rookie quarterback to open the season as a starter in franchise history, and the first rookie to start at quarterback for the Cowboys since Quincy Carter in 2001. He totaled 227 passing yards on 25 of 45 attempts, as the Cowboys lost, 20–19. During Week 2 against the Washington Redskins, Prescott had 292 passing yards and a 6-yard rushing touchdown. The Cowboys won, 27–23. Prescott threw his first NFL touchdown, a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant, during the Cowboys' Week 3 Sunday Night Football matchup against the Chicago Bears. In total he threw for 248 yards, the one touchdown, and also had a rushing score. The Cowboys won 31–17. In Week 4 at the San Francisco 49ers, Prescott passed for two touchdowns and 245 yards as the Cowboys won, 24–17. Against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 5, Prescott threw for 227 yards and a score while running for another in a 28–14 Cowboys victory. Week 6 saw the Cowboys travel to Lambeau Field to face Green Bay Packers. Prescott had three touchdowns and 247 passing yards as the Cowboys won 30–16. The game marked the end of Prescott's interception-free streak. After a Week 7 Bye, the Cowboys faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles and fellow rookie quarterback Carson Wentz. The Cowboys prevailed in overtime 29-23, with Prescott totaling three touchdowns (two passing and one rushing) and 287 passing yards.
Prescott was redshirted as a true freshman with Mississippi State in 2011. As a backup to Tyler Russell in 2012, he played in 12 games. He completed 18 of 29 passes for 194 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also scored four rushing touchdowns with 110 yards on 32 carries.
In his first season as a full-time starter in 2014 Prescott led the Bulldogs to a 10-2 regular season record, its first number 1 ranking in program history, and led them to the Orange Bowl. During the 2014 season Prescott broke 10 school-records including: single season passing yards (3,449), total yards of total offense (4,435), passing touchdowns (27), and total touchdowns (41). Additionally his 14 rushing touchdowns is tied for fourth in school history. Prescott also garnered several accolades throughout and following the season. He was named the Manning Award Player of Week 5 times (vs. UAB, at LSU, vs. Texas A&M, vs. Auburn; vs. Vanderbilt), the 2014 SEC Offensive Player of Week 3 times (at LSU; vs. Auburn; vs. Vanderbilt), the Athlon Sports, Davey O'Brien, Maxwell Award Player of Week two times each (at LSU, vs. A&M), and was the 24/7 Sports National Offensive Player of Week (at LSU). He was named a 2014 Honorable Mention All-American by SI.com, was named to the 2014 First-Team All-SEC team by the AP, Coaches, and ESPN.com and was on the 2014 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. He won the Conerly Trophy, was a finalist for the Maxwell Award, the Davey O'Brien award, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award, and the Manning Award. He also finished eighth in the 2014 Heisman Trophy voting and received two first place votes.
Prior to the 2015 season he was named a 2015 National Player of the Year Candidate, was selected to 2 Preseason All-American teams (Athlon Sports & Phil Steele) and was chosen First Team Preseason All-SEC by the media. During the 2015 season he became the fourth player in FBS history to pass for 60 touchdowns and rush for 40 touchdowns in a career, joining Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan, Tim Tebow of Florida and Colin Kaepernick of Nevada. His 2,411 rushing yards places him third in all-time rushing yards by a quarterback in SEC history behind Tebow and Matt Jones of Arkansas. He ranks 4th in SEC history with 107 total touchdowns responsible for (passing, rushing, and receiving) and 5th in total yards (rushing and passing) with 11,153. His streak of 288 consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception is the longest in school history and the third longest SEC history. In the Bulldogs' 2015 contest against Arkansas he set the school single game record and tied the SEC single game record for touchdowns responsible for with 7 (5 passing 2 rushing) and set a new school record for touchdown passes in a single game. He was named the AutoNation National Offensive Player of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America, the Davey O'Brien Award National Quarterback of the Week, a Manning Award Star of the Week by the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the SEC offensive player of the week following his performance in the Bulldogs' victory over Kentucky; a game in which he passed for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns to go along with 117 yards and 3 scores on the ground. The six touchdowns in a single contest tied the school record set by Jackie Parker in 1952 and Prescott became the first player in school history to throw for over 300 yards and rush for over 100 yards in the same game. This was the fourth time that he has been named SEC Offensive Player of the Week, the most in program history. Prescott received further national recognition by being placed on several national award watch lists including being named a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, a semifinalist for both the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award, placed on the watch list for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Manning Award,the Wuerffel Trophy, and the Senior Bowl, and won the Senior CLASS Award. For the season he passed for 3,793 yards, 29 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns.
For his career, Prescott finished 3rd in SEC history in total yards, and 4th in total touchdowns.