Dak Prescott's stats weren't dramatically different from his rookie year in 2016 to his sophomore campaign, but it sure felt different. Prescott went from the No. 6 Fantasy quarterback in standard leagues in 2016 to No. 12 last year, but he felt like a bust given his overall performance. Part of the problem was the six-game suspension for running back Ezekiel Elliott, which put the onus on Prescott to carry the offense. Another problem was a lackluster receiving corps, which led to Dez Bryant being released this offseason. And the Dallas offensive line wasn't as stout either. Prescott has the chance to rebound this season, especially with his ability to run the ball (he has 639 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns in two years), but he's better off being drafted as a No. 2 Fantasy quarterback than a starter. His receiving corps is suspect at best, even with the addition of rookies Michael Gallup and Cedric Wilson, and Elliott will still be the focal point of the offense. Jason Witten also could retire and head to the broadcast booth. Plan on drafting Prescott with a late-round pick, and hopefully he will perform more like his rookie season compared to what he showed last year.
Prescott said Tuesday that he has lost about 10 pounds since the end of last season, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, Prescott doesn't consider this to be a significant change, noting that he always drops a little bit of weight during the offseason and plans to get back to around 230 to 235 pounds by Week 1. The more relevant offseason change occurred in the Dallas wideout group, with the team swapping out Dez Bryant and Brice Butler for Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson. While it may be a clear downgrade in terms of reputation, Prescott and Bryant rarely seemed to be on the same page last season, as evidenced by the veteran wideout's feeble mark of 6.3 yards per target. With Bryant out the door and Terrance Williams recovering from foot surgery, the Cowboys will likely add at least one wide receiver in the upcoming draft, possibly as early as the first round. Prescott kept fantasy owners reasonably happy with 22 passing touchdowns, six rushing touchdowns and 357 rushing yards last season, but his completion percentage (62.9), yards per attempt (6.8) and interceptions (13) all represented massive steps back from his rookie-year marks (67.8 percent, 8.0 YPA and four picks).
Prescott completed 17 of 30 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown while running the ball twice for 16 yards in Sunday's 6-0 win over the Eagles. His 20-yard TD strike to Brice Butler early in the fourth quarter accounted for the only points in a game that meant little to either team. Prescott finished his second NFL campaign with fewer passing yards, fewer touchdowns, a lower completion percentage, a lower YPA and more INTs than he did as a rookie, but his rushing contributions helped keep his fantasy value afloat. The Cowboys will likely make it a priority to generate more of a vertical threat in 2018, but as yet Prescott hasn't demonstrated that he's capable of carrying the team's offense for any meaningful stretch.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett confirmed Wednesday that Prescott and the team's other healthy starters would play Sunday against the Eagles, Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The Cowboys were officially eliminated from playoff contention after their Week 16 loss to the Seahawks, with Prescott's poor play during the game contributing heavily to his club's demise. Though the team has little at stake in Week 17, Garrett evidently wants the Cowboys to close the season on a high note, so the team's key contributors will suit up like usual. After posting a 16:4 TD:INT ratio and 7.0 yards per attempt while adding four scores on the ground through Dalllas' first eight games, Prescott's production has cratered in the second half of the season. Over the club's last seven contests, Prescott sports a 5:9 TD:INT, 6.6 YPA and has two rushing touchdowns.
Prescott completed 18 of 27 passes for 212 yards and two interceptions during Sunday's 20-17 victory over Oakland. He also rushed six times for 32 yards and a touchdown. Prescott's rushing acumen -- and his nose for the end zone in particular -- continues to aid his statistical floor on days he may struggle passing. This came into play Sunday, when he threw two interceptions against an Oakland secondary that had previously only recorded two interceptions. He's now up to 320 rushing yards with six scores while fumbling at a much lower rate compared to his rookie season. Moving forward, Prescott should enjoy the return of running back Ezekiel Elliott (suspension), starting with the Cowboys' Week 16 showdown with the Seahawks. In eight games with Elliott to start the season, Prescott averaged 227.3 passing yards, two touchdowns and 0.5 interceptions per game, compared to a typical line of 191.9, 0.8 and 1.2 without him.
Prescott completed 20 of 30 pass attempts for 332 yards and three touchdowns Sunday against the Giants. He also carried six times for 13 yards in the 30-10 win. Prescott completed 67 percent of his passes while posting an impressive 11.1 yards per attempt. He produced a career high in passing yardage thanks in part to three completions of at least 50 yards. Two of Prescott's touchdowns came on long plays -- a 50-yard strike to Dez Bryant and an 81-yard catch and run by Rod Smith -- with the other coming via a 20-yard connection to Jason Witten. The second-year signal caller committed eight turnovers compared to zero touchdowns during the team's recent three-game losing streak, but he's bounced back with 434 passing yards, five touchdowns and no turnovers in subsequent back-to-back wins. He appears to be finding a groove despite the continued absence of Ezekiel Elliott and will look to exploit a beatable Raiders defense next week.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/17||New York Giants||32||22.88|
|13||11/30||New Orleans Saints||18||19.06|
|16||12/23||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||18.56|
|17||12/30||@New York Giants||32||22.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||65.4||3496||22||8||320||6||323|