Challenges Dak Prescott faces with a new offensive in 2022

Whether you love him, hate him, or fall somewhere in between, Dak Prescott is the quarterback for the Cowboys series. Given the position he’s playing in or the team he’s playing for, there will always be different opinions about how he does his job. Because of all the things that have already happened this season, and what we know before 2022, Dak Prescott will have more pressure to push the attack forward. Let’s take a quick trip back in time to see what the young QB in Dallas actually had to beat in his young career, and then what his prospects look like in 2022.


From fourth round to superstar (2016-2017)

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Dak Prescott’s 2016 junior season played as if it was made for Hollywood. After Tony Romo sustained a back injury in pre-season and Kellyn Moore fractured his leg shortly after, Prescott abruptly transitioned from developmental QB from the third series to a Team America starter. Fortunately for him, with the exception of fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliot, he was surrounded by veterans in their prime.

In the first two years, Prescott couldn’t ask for better weapons in a passing game or a better offensive line in front of him. In Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley he had great threats in WR, and in the end, he had a steady security blanket in Jason Witten. Because of that, a paltry fourth-round draft pick turned into a huge star overnight.

(Stats ’16-17: 6,991 passing yards, 45 touchdowns, 17 interceptions)


Get rid of the old and go with the new (2018-2019)

Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49

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Things have changed drastically, not only for Dak Prescott, in 2018, but also for the Dallas Cowboys offense. Dallas moved on from Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams, Jason Witten unexpectedly retired, leaving Cole Beasley pretty much the only rest of Prescott’s first two years in the league. What did they do? They drafted Michael Gallup and eventually traded for Amary Cooper.

Prescott had two new WRs in the scrolling game but wasn’t given much time to build a relationship/bond with his newest weapon. Gallup was there throughout the offseason after he was drafted, but Cooper was added after the current season. After losing his first three goals in a passing game, and having to try to bring his new weapons up to speed as fast as he could, put Duck in a tough position to succeed. But he led the Cowboys to a 10-6 record in his third season in the NFL.

In 2019, things changed for Prescott again by adding by subtracting. Jason Witten decided to give it another shot after retirement, but Dallas moved on from Cole Beasley, to be replaced by Randall Cope. Duck once again had to adapt to the new guns around him and he responded by driving the Cowboys for the .500 (8-8) season only. That ended the Jason Jarrett era in Dallas and brought about a more significant change to the Cowboy signal communicator.

(’18–’19 stats: 8,787 passing yards, 52 touchdowns, 19 interceptions)


Insect bite strongly wounded and then gnawed (2020-2021)

New York Giants vs Dallas Cowboys

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If welcoming an all-new coaching apparatus under coach Mike McCarthy wasn’t enough in 2020, Dak Prescott’s end-of-season ankle injury he sustained in Week Five was a players’ worst nightmare, especially the starting QBs. Not only did Prescott have to go through multiple surgeries on his injured ankle, but he has had to work his way back from said injury, hopefully back to the player he once was. Not only was he successful, but he achieved it all by extending the decade looming over his head.

With a new contract, and a surgically repaired ankle, the Duck and the Cowboys exploded out of the gates offensively in 2021. He was going at record pace in nearly all classes before getting injured again, leaving him with a strained calf. He wasn’t quite the same after that injury, and the shoulder injury we now know he played with, but nevertheless, he made the Cowboys into the playoffs and gave them a chance to be serious Super Bowl competitors. But everything fell apart in the playoffs against the San Francisco 49ers.

(’20-21 stats: 6,305 passing yards, 46 touchdowns, 14 interceptions)


What does Dak Prescott have in store for you in 2022?

Philadelphia Eagles x Dallas Cowboys

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Believe it or not, but there seems to be a trend for the Dallas Cowboys and Dak Prescott over the past six years. It feels like every two years or so they go through some significant roster changes offensively. And as I predicted, it really does look as if 2022 could be the same.

It’s hard to imagine Prescott could do better in 2022 without Amary Cooper and Michael Gallup will likely be out for several weeks while still recovering from his AFC Champions League injury at the end of the season since last year. Because of all of that, he will be required to do more with less, which will put a lot of pressure on his shoulders to succeed this year.

Looking at the big picture, it kind of looks like Prescott is in a tight spot heading into 2022. With Amari Cooper now gone, CeeDee Lamb will move to the first round in WR, James Washington, free agent Plus, he’ll be vying with rookie Jalen Tolbert for the job 2, leaving only Dalton Schultz as the only known aspect of last year’s Cowboys passing game. Furthermore, Dallas’ offensive streak is in flux.

Neither the Duck nor the Cowboys know right now how Tyler Smith will perform when replacing Conor Williams in the left guard. They also don’t know how Terrence Steele as a full-time rookie will respond at the right tackle or how many Tyron Smith games will be available this season. This does not even indicate the questionable depth of every position on the OL at the moment. There are a lot of unknowns at the moment and it doesn’t bode well for fourth place.

This looks like one of the worst positions that Dallas Cowboys have put in place Dak Prescott since he took over as top QB in 2016. How things go for them offensively is the ultimate mystery now. But because of that, if he ends up having pretty much the same kind of success as before, he’ll show that he has matured into an outstanding midfield player who can work with whatever weapons are provided to him.

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