While Prescott might not have the team accomplishments Troy Aikman had or the individual accolades Tony Romo achieved, Jones believes that the Cowboys’ current starting quarterback is the best leader of the bunch, praising him following his turnover-free performance in Dallas’ 40-0 win over the Giants.
“Dak is so sound in his psyche, and he relies on his preparation better than anybody I’ve ever been around,” Jones said in an interview with 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday. “You get someone that the team will follow, and that’s the key. He’s the best leader that I’ve ever seen at that position. And we’ve been around some good ones. Aikman was outstanding and [Romo] I think was just outstanding. But Dak is quite a leader out there at that position.”
Jones’ high praise of Prescott came following a line of discussion about the scrutiny the quarterback faced over the offseason after he threw a league-high 15 interceptions in 2022 despite missing five games. Prescott vowed that he would lessen his number of turnovers in 2023, including a guarantee that he would finish with fewer than 10 interceptions.
Week 1 was expected to be a tough test for Prescott, as the Giants defense intercepted him twice in his lone matchup against New York last season. On top of that, Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium was played in constant rain, making it easier for the ball to slip out of the quarterback’s hands.
The weather didn’t plague Prescott at all on Sunday, but it was an issue for Giants QB Daniel Jones, who threw two interceptions and fumbled twice. Overall, the Giants had five total fumbles (losing one) while the Cowboys fumbled the ball just once, which they recovered.
The turnover margin was certainly a huge factor in the Cowboys’ win, allowing Prescott to deal with a lighter load as he completed 13 of 24 passes for 143 yards.
Sunday’s game also marked the debut of head coach Mike McCarthy calling offensive plays. Jones gave McCarthy’s play-calling an “A” as the Cowboys had four scoring drives in Sunday’s game.
“It was unbelievable,” Jones said of Sunday’s win. “I didn’t need a plane to get home. I was flying high.”
This Sunday, the Cowboys expected to face a quarterback McCarthy coached for years and one who has tortured the franchise on numerous occasions. But instead, Dallas will be the first team to get a shot at the Jets following Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles injury.
Though it will make for an easier game for Dallas, Jones said Rodgers’ injury is still upsetting.
“I was sick for everybody,” Jones said. “It just reminded me how fragile a season can be. [Rodgers] has taken a toll on us … given us a couple of heartbreaks.”
Now, Jones and the Cowboys will likely go up against Zach Wilson in their home opener. While the Jets offense took a major blow, their defense played at an elite level on Monday, forcing Josh Allen to turn the ball over four times.
So Prescott will face another tough challenge to play a clean game.
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