Dak Prescott came into the NFL with a bang after Tony Romo went down with an injury. He took the starting quarterback job and never looked back, leaving Dallas Cowboys fans more excited than ever for last season. Unfortunately, some of that excitement died down when the Cowboys missed the playoffs and Prescott struggled with consistency throughout the season.
Looking ahead to 2018, the Cowboys are very confident that Prescott will have a big season. Even without Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, Prescott is expected to have a successful year.
During the 2017 season, Prescott completed 62.9 percent of his pass attempts for 3,324 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. His interception numbers spiked from the four that he threw as a rookie. That was a major concern, but defenses simply figured out how to play him more effectively.
At 24 years of age, there are still questions surrounding Prescott. Is he a legitimate starter? Will he be able to lead Dallas back to being a serious contender for a Super Bowl appearance in the NFC?
All of that being said, what should the Cowboys and their fans expect from Prescott in the upcoming 2018 season?
First of all, let’s not underestimate the losses that Prescott will be dealing with. Bryant may have received the label “washed up,” but he still caught 69 passes for 838 yards and six touchdowns. Witten was also a favorite target for Prescott, catching 63 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns.
Losing that kind of production from two of his favorite targets isn’t going to be easy for the young signal caller to overcome. Jerry Jones and company may very well have handcuffed the potential that Prescott had for this season.
Dallas did go out and acquire Tavon Austin from the Los Angeles Rams during the draft. We previously took a deeper look at what the Cowboys should expect from the speedy wide receiver.
In addition to Austin, the Cowboys will be working with Cole Beasley, Terrance Williams, Allen Hurns, and Michael Gallup as their main wide receivers. Those names may not strike fear in the hearts of opposing defensive coordinators, but Prescott can have a good season throwing to them.
Predicting his season isn’t going to be easy. There are too many factors to think about before throwing out a ballpark for what his stats could be at the end of the year.
Can Prescott and his receivers develop consistency? Is Gallup going to be able to become a serious deep threat as a rookie? Who will become his security blanket to help replace Witten?
Despite all of the questions, it would be reasonable to expect Prescott to complete between 61 to 64 percent of his attempts. He should get to around 3,500 yards, possibly up to 3,800 depending on how his young wideouts play throughout the season. Prescott will throw at least 25 touchdown passes and will stay right around the 10 to 13 interception total area.
If the Cowboys want to make a run at the playoffs, they will need Ezekiel Elliott to handle a heavy workload. Prescott has a lot of talent, but there simply isn’t a lot of help for him on the roster right now.
Expect to see Prescott come out with great leadership skills and to put up a solid all-around season. He isn’t going to blow people away with improvement and major stat jumps from last season, but he should be able to keep Dallas in playoff contention for the majority of the season.