Prescott is faster and stronger heading into his second season in the league, Clarence J. Hill of The Dallas Star-Telegram reports. "They tested last Monday," quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson said Wednesday during the media availability of the first week of OTA practices. "He has improved strength-wise, flexibility-wise, speed-wise, quickness-wise. He is not resting on anything that went on last year."
The Cowboys recently tested participating players in the 20-yard dash, bench press, cone drills and vertical jump, among other activities. Prescott reportedly surpassed his first-year numbers across the board, which he attributed to his offseason work with Cowboys strength coach Mike Woicik. While these athletic improvements are unlikely to significantly improve Prescott's passing stats in 2017, being faster and quicker could lead to higher rushing totals, while being stronger and more flexible should boost his durability.
Prescott expects his second NFL season to be a challenge, The Dallas Morning News reports. "Anytime that you've had the success that I had in one year, that being my first year, I expect things to get harder," Prescott said. "I wouldn't want it any other way. The defenses have had more looks at me, so they're going to throw things at me. I'm ready for all of it. I'm excited for the challenge."
While he isn't necessarily wrong that NFL defenses will have a better idea of how to defend him, Prescott should benefit from taking regular first-team reps throughout the offseason program and into training camp ahead of his second professional campaign. He'll still be playing behind an elite offensive line, with Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten giving opposing defenses plenty to worry about. The Prescott-to-Bryant connection could take a big step forward, as the Cowboys' No. 1 receiver was limited by knee and back injuries last season, missing three games and playing at far less than 100 percent strength in at least a few others. Bryant and Prescott both finished the season on high notes from a statistical standpoint, with the former accounting for two of the latter's three touchdown passes in a 34-31 playoff loss to the Packers.
Prescott completed 24 of 38 pass attempts for 302 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in Sunday's game against the Packers. He also gained 13 yards on a pair of carries in the 34-31 loss.
Making his first playoff appearance, Prescott was able to complete 63 percent of his throws while connecting with Dez Bryant for a pair of touchdowns and Jason Witten for another. He also led the Dallas offense to a last-minute field goal that tied the game just before Green Bay's winning field goal as time expired. Despite the fact that the season ended on a losing note, Prescott established himself as one of the most promising young quarterbacks in the NFL and acquitted himself extremely well on the postseason stage.
Prescott completed four of eight passes for 37 yards in Sunday's 27-13 loss to the Eagles. He also carried one time for nine yards before exiting the game in the first half.
With the top seed in the NFC already in hand, the Cowboys elected to limit several key regulars while holding others out altogether. Prescott moved the offense adequately during his time, but an extended look for Mark Sanchez and a successful brief cameo from Tony Romo comprised most of the snaps under center. After an excellent regular season, Prescott will now turn his attention to his first career postseason game, which will come during the divisional round.
Prescott will start Sunday's game at Philadelphia, but his snap count may be limited, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
The Cowboys have secured the No. 1 seed on the NFC side of the bracket, so holding out or minimizing the potential for injury to one of their key players is a prudent one. Further factoring into the decision to remove Prescott at some point Sunday is the expected absence of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith, who is tending to a sprained MCL. If (or when) Prescott is pulled, Mark Sanchez is slated to receive the remaining snaps under center, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. No matter how the QB reps break down, though, Tony Romo isn't expected to take the field.
|P0||8/3/17||@ ARI||8:00 pm|
|P1||8/12/17||@ LAR||9:00 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ HOU||8:00 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|3||9/25/17||@ ARI||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/22/17||@ SF||4:05 pm|
|8||10/29/17||@ WAS||4:25 pm|
|10||11/12/17||@ ATL||4:25 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ NYG||4:25 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ OAK||8:30 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|