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Dallas Cowboys backup QB Dak Prescott debuts to raves

By
The Sports Xchange
Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Dak Prescott runs the ball for a gain against the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter of a preseason game at Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday. Photo by Lori Shepler/UPI
Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Dak Prescott runs the ball for a gain against the Los Angeles Rams in the second quarter of a preseason game at Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday. Photo by Lori Shepler/UPI | License Photo

OXNARD, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is not ready to nominate rookie quarterback Dak Prescott for the Hall of Fame, but he is ready to close the door on bringing in a veteran to back up starting QB Tony Romo.

Prescott and third quarterback Jameill Showers impressed Jones in the preseason opener against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday. Romo sat out the game, which the Rams won 28-24.

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A fourth-round pick from Mississippi State, Prescott completed 10 of 12 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns with a 154.5 passer rating.

"He is a long way from Canton, a long way from Canton," Jones said. "But it was certainly a great start. It was just good to see the coaching staff and everybody get behind the promise of what he might be able to be as a player.

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"Certainly what the way he and Showers played, I wouldn't consider a backup quarterback situation at all. I wouldn't want to by any way deter the progress and the excitement that he can bring to the building of the team and the future."

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Jones also liked how the team got behind Prescott.

"What was impressive to me is how our team and how our sideline responded with what he was doing on the field," Jones said. "I felt good about it, of course. I was just tickled to see the promise of what he might evolve into.

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"Everybody on that sideline knew that was in front of 90,000 people. Everything now is about where he goes from here. That's what it all about. That gave you the indication that he can continue that arrow going up."

Coach Jason Garrett said Prescott checked all the boxes.

"The thing that jumped out more than anything else are his poise and composure, how he handled the game, how he managed the huddle, the line of scrimmage, how he managed game situations, did a really good job," Garrett said. "And then he executed plays. Very few mistakes, and simply read the coverage, threw it to the right guy and delivered throws.

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"The other part when you're talking about quarterbacks is does the team respond to him? Does the ball move? Do you make first downs? Do you score points? And I think he did a really nice job in that area as well.

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"Certainly was a good outing for him, but one of the things I've found out about him is he's always looking for more. He always wants to learn from the experiences, and he had a good response to the game and he's ready to get back to work."

Garrett said Prescott wasn't perfect, pointed out a messed-up play call and saying the rookie might have made some better decisions.

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Outside of that, though, Prescott was the same guy the Cowboys scouted at Mississippi State before the draft -- prepared, calm and ready. They knew the stage wasn't too big for him. They were just pleased to see it in an actual NFL game.

"One of the things we knew about him when we evaluated him was that everyone around him was so impressed with his leadership, his poise and his composure," Garrett said. "We felt that when we evaluated him. (Quarterbacks coach) Wade Wilson went and worked him out. (Offensive coordinator) Scott Linehan spent time with him down there. He came to see us. We visited with him at the Senior Bowl, the combine, all of that. So we got all of those impressions.

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"Since he's been with us. he's demonstrated that as well, in practices, in competitive situations we've been in. But you haven't seen him in a game situation. One of the things that was impressive is he kind of continued that same demeanor when the game started, and that's a positive thing."

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