Oxnard, Calif. (AP) — Dak Prescott gave fair warning before his first meeting with reporters at training camp that Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy delivered his best line yet in California.
Something about the quarterback is the key to winning the Super Bowl.
Dallas is even closer to that far in the playoffs for the most time traveled among the NFL’s storied franchises. That’s why the star QB got a heads-up from the public relations staff before he even took the stage.
Prescott knew what his coach was saying.
“I think we talked about this in a lot of conversations,” Prescott said. “Apparently the old saying, defense wins championships, is true. And when he says quarterbacks win the Super Bowl, he means they have to make big plays in big moments in games like these. ,
For all the talk about the Cowboys not snapping out for the final game in a 23-17 home wild-card defeat in San Francisco last January, much of it isn’t what Prescott was trying to establish. One last throw in the last field was run away.
Perhaps it was a moment of uncertainty in a big game for Prescott. Maybe not. But it came after several other misfires for an offense that degraded from one of the best seasons in the NFL to the most incongruous of late.
McCarthy was asked two days into camp, where he thinks the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year could improve as Prescott, the starter since Week 1 of his first year, turned 29 and Holds a 1–3 postseason record in his seventh season.
The buzzing sound bite on Twitter came about halfway through the reply.
“It’s Dak Prescott’s offense and I think you see him taking ownership of that,” McCarthy said. “Because at the end of the day, the defense wins the championship, but the Super Bowl is won by the quarterback.”
McCarthy also left little doubt that he believes Prescott is capable of joining Roger Staubach and Troy Ekman as Super Bowl-winning QBs in Dallas.
Prescott understands how the quarterbacking legacy is defined in Dallas. He replaced perhaps the best Cowboys quarterback to never win a Super Bowl in Tony Romo, whose preseason injury had created an opportunity for Prescott six years earlier.
“The people we hold to the highest standard are Super Bowl rings,” Prescott said. “So, it’s about me trying to fill the shoes of people who have come before me and do something for this organization that hadn’t been done in a long time.”
The Cowboys have not even reached an NFC Championship game since the last of the franchise’s five Super Bowls during the 1995 season. He has three NFC East titles with Prescott – but two losses in the playoff openers at home, including the NFC top seed in his rookie year.
Prescott said the Cowboys’ mental health advisor Chad Bohling showed him a postgame news conference clip of the quarterback after his loss to the 49ers, as well as some star running back Ezekiel Elliott.
This could be the equivalent of hitting the reset button for Prescott.
“This feeling is a bad feeling and that’s when you think about it, you want to go to work,” Prescott said. “You want to do everything you can to make sure you don’t feel like this again.”
Two weeks before camp, Prescott said he was in the best shape of his career. Two days into camp, tight end Dalton Schultz said Prescott’s throw had “a lot of horsepower.”
Prescott credits an offseason training program that focused on figuring out ways to rotate his body, use his legs, and increase power at different arm angles.
He has been sidelined for more than a year with a gruesome ankle injury that ended Prescott’s 2020 season in Week 5, and is going into the second year of a club-record $160 million, four-year contract .
McCarthy said that his opinion of the quarterback and the Super Bowls was based on statistics. He also has evidence of his one Super Bowl win as a coach at Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers was the MVP when the Packers won at home to the Cowboys. Since coming to Dallas in 2020, McCarthy has said more than once that the offense should be about making the quarterback comfortable.
“That’s how I look at the journey and vision of how you structure your team and what your team should look like,” McCarthy said. “And I think he’s the kind of person who emulates what you’re looking for, because he’s always looking to improve in all areas.”
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