Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was on a pace absolutely shatter the NFLs record for most passing yards in a season. In the first 4 games, Dak had 1,690 yards passing which put him on pace to throw for 6,760 yards in a 16-game season, or 7,183 yards in a 17-game season.
Peyton Manning currently holds the record with 5,477 yards in 2013.
Dak said last week that he doesn't want to throw for 6,000 yards. And that is OK with me.
Here is the full quote:
“I don't want to throw for 6,000 yards, to be honest with you,” Prescott said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “That means we’re not running the ball. That means we’re not probably doing the things we need to do to be a balanced, winning team. As I said, I want to be the best offense in the NFL, and I think the best way we can do that is if I’m not throwing that many yards, and our run game is working, and we’re playing complementary football, and we’re winning a lot of games."
I have to say, I agree with everything Dak is saying here. And I think the Cowboys as an organization agrees too.
Before I really dive in here, I am going to get these three questions out of the way.
Do I think his numbers were "garbage yards?" No.
Is Dak a good NFL quarterback? Yes.
Did Dak deserve his contract? Yes.
You have to do that these days because you will be considered a "Dak hater" if you don't.
3 reasons positive reasons why Dak not throwing for 6,000 isn't the worst thing in the world
Ezekiel Elliott having a bounce-back season
The Cowboys have not been shy saying the focus for this season is to make sure Ezekiel Elliott has a bounce-back season. I wouldn't say that means he must lead the league in rushing yards, or that he even needs to finish top 5.
For me, it is about getting back to hitting some of those "home runs" and efficiency for Zeke. The past two seasons, Elliott has only had 7 runs of 20+ yards. He had 30 of those 20+ yards runs in his first 3 seasons in the NFL.
Improvement on defense
Another big contributor to all those yards for Dak? The historically bad defense.
For the season, the Cowboys gave up a franchise-record 473 points and the second-most yards in franchise history (6,183).
The Cowboys are bound to improve on those numbers for the simple fact, it cannot get any worse than it was last year.
Cutting down on turnovers
Going into Week 5 last season, the Cowboys were 1-3 despite Dak's record-setting pace. The Cowboys lost in Week 1 last season in Los Angeles against the Rams. After not turning the ball over in that game, the Cowboys would have three turnovers in their next three contests. Limiting those will limit the amount of time Dak is having to throw them back in games.
Would Dak throwing for all those yards be cool? Sure.
Should those numbers be the priority? Absolutely not.