One of Dak Prescott’s biggest faults with the Dallas Cowboys has been his long ball. He is quickly improving in that area during OTAs.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott hasn’t been a deep throwing quarterback since joining the league in 2016. Instead, he has looked for the smarter, shorter passes to players like Cole Beasley and Jason Witten. That’s one of the main reasons the Cowboys have since moved on from receiver Dez Bryant because the two weren’t clicking.
After the 2019 edition of OTAs, things seem to be changing for Prescott.
Prescott isn’t just impressing people outside of the organization. Players and coaches are also taking notice including first-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
“He’s simply gotten better because we’ve repped it more and he’s repped it more, most importantly, in the offseason. You get some more speed guys that have been repping it and I think we’re heading in the right direction in regards to that,” Kellen Moore said on Prescott’s deep ball during OTAs, per DallasCowboys.com
Wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal even gave us a little sneak peek into what Moore’s offense could look like in 2019. Lal said the offense is based off “vertical speed,” according to the Dallas Morning News. Former OC Scott Linehan didn’t really focus on vertical speed or try to get the ball downfield with deep passes. He was more focused on slowly, methodically moving the ball down the field while draining a lot of clock in the process.
This year’s offense could be quite a surprise if the Cowboys come out with a gunslinger and can execute it. Prescott only threw the deep ball for just over 10 percent of his throws last season and completed 38.7 percent of those throws, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). In 2017, Prescott was the fifth-most accurate quarterback, completing 46.5 percent of his passes further than 20 yards.
Prescott has been known for having an excellent QBR in his few years in the league. That could take a dip in 2019 but if it results in better overall offensive play, does it really matter? If his passer rating drops 10-15 points per game but the unit as a whole scoring more points worth a win in an extra couple of games, it is worth it.
Who knows, maybe all Prescott needed to open up his deep passing abilities was a coach that would allow him to consistently make those throws every week. He has apparently gotten a lot better throwing the deep ball in OTAs, so I can only imagine how much better he will get once training camp gets underway. With a new offensive coordinator, new plays and schemes come available, and maybe that’s what Prescott needs to take the next step.