Dak Prescott is not the biggest story in Dallas entering this season, a strange phenomenon for a Cowboys quarterback to grow accustomed to.
Even as Prescott authored what was unquestionably the greatest statistical season by a rookie quarterback in NFL history, his injured backup stayed in the spotlight. When Prescott narrowly won Offensive Rookie of the Year over teammate Ezekiel Elliott, the universal response was surprise. Prescott is that rare star player overshadowed by his own offensive line. Try to find a superlative statement about Dak without a qualifier explaining the support around him. When I mention Prescott’s limitless ceiling on sports talk radio, some variation of the same joke comes back: “Yeah, but I think you or I could complete a few passes behind that line.”
This season, Prescott can end that disrespectful wholesale nfl authentic jerseys nonsense for good. The Cowboys will ask him to do more, and he’s shown every indication he can handle the extra responsibility. Even a modest second-year leap in his development could elevate him to the ranks of the game’s great players, a development no one, least of all the Cowboys, saw coming at this time last year. (Jerry Jones famously regretted not trading up for Paxton Lynch and also tried to nab Connor Cook.) Prescott is the young quarterback most likely to crack into the Brady-Rodgers hegemony at the position, yet he’s seemingly hiding in plain sight, without top billing even in his own town. He can change that starting Sunday night against the rival Giants.
This is the Quarterback Index. Every week, I’ll rank each signal caller’s play on this season alone. Since there are no games to evaluate yet, this week’s rankings are based on one, simple question: Who would you want as your QB for the 2017 season?
These are your two options for the 2010s All-Decade Team, both coming off perhaps their most brilliant stretches of their respective careers late last season. Everything points to them staying on top again.
Rodgers has stuck around long enough in Green Bay to see multiple cycles of general manager Ted Thompson’s offensive team-building. There were the early attacks constructed around pass catchers Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley. Next came Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy, although they were rarely all healthy at the same time. Now Rodgers is protected by an excellent offensive line, with wideout Davante Adams having emerged and tight end Martellus Bennett added to the mix. This cycle could be tough to keep together for long, but this offense is well set up to peak now.
Brady similarly has more talent around him than in any season since 2007, even after Julian Edelman’s season-ending injury. New England’s deep backfield and multiple-TE sets will provide an endless stream of formation and matchup advantages. It feels wrong to rank Brady anything less than No. 1 after his latest title, but Rodgers’ age (33) and unsurpassed ability to make any throw gives him a slight edge for this forward-looking exercise.