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Prescott setting wrong kind of record

by MAC ENGEL FORT SMITH STAR-TELEGRAM | September 18, 2021 at 2:48 a.m.

FORT WORTH -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame routinely collects various items for display, and what needs to be included now is a bronze die cast of Dak Prescott's right arm.

From the shoulder down to the fingernails, the whole thing needs to be on display in Canton. Maybe for study at Johns Hopkins med school, too.

On first glance, Dak's 58 pass attempts in the Dallas Cowboys' season opener merely answered any concerns whether he was "all the way back" from both his ankle surgeries and the sore shoulder that kept him out of preseason games.

On second glance, those 58 attempts look potentially historic. And potentially troublesome. Maybe even alarming.

Because math is not favorite subject, I called my good friends at the Elias Sports Bureau to see if what Dak is doing is historic.

According to Elias, Dak Prescott is the first passer in NFL history to "have 55-or-more pass attempts in at least three games of a four-game span."

Also of note, from Elias, "Over his last five games, Dak Prescott has 1,993 passing yards (Sept. 20, 2020 to Sept. 9, 2021). That ties the NFL record for passing yards for any player over any five-game span.

"Interestingly enough, it's Prescott himself who previously had that record. So he has two five-game spans of 1,993 passing yards and no other player has reached that many passing yards over a five-game span."

Of course, this record includes games all the way back in 2020, but the trend is the trend. The trend is the Cowboys love Dak slinging it, and when he slings it too much they lose.

Under Coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, the Dallas Cowboys are not an Ezekiel Elliott team but a Dak Prescott team.

In Dak's four seasons and 64 regular-season games under Jason Garrett as the head coach, Dak had two games where he attempted at least 50 passes. One of those went to overtime.

He has started six games under McCarthy, and thrown at least 50 passes three times. One other start Dak attempted 47 passes, and another he suffered a season-ending injury.

This means a few things:

1.) The Cowboys are behind, and have no choice but to throw the ball a lot.

In this three-game "stretch" of Dak throwing it more than 50 times, the Cowboys fell behind by at least one score. They are 0-3 in these games.

In the Cowboys' 40-39 win over the Falcons in Week 2 of the 2020 season, they fell behind 20-0 and Dak threw 47 passes.

If you recall, the Cowboys needed a football miracle to win that one.

2.) They trust Dak Prescott to call the game at the line of scrimmage.

At least according to "those who watch the game," the Cowboys did not intend to be that pass-crazy against Tampa Bay; Dak actually changed the play himself at the line of scrimmage 12 times.

According to that math, the Cowboys should have passed the ball 46 times.

Having a quarterback entrusted to make those decisions at the line, and execute them successfully, is always your desired option.

Dak passed for more than 400 yards with three touchdowns, and the Cowboys should have won the game.

The quarterback across from Dak, Tom Brady, threw it 50 times.

After the first game it's hard to conclude too much, but at this point it's evident the Cowboys under McCarthy under a Dak-first offense, throwing the ball 50 times a game is a good way to lose, and that Dak Prescott's right arm belongs in both Canton and Johns Hopkins.

Print Headline: Prescott setting wrong kind of record


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