The only way to not be impressed by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is to not want to be impressed by him. Dallas is 7-3, obliterating bad teams and largely staying competitive against the good ones.
Prescott is playing some of the best football of his career. He’s produced the third most expected points added in football, has slashed his interception percentage in half, and entering Week 12 has an outside shot at the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
For some, that’s not enough. Whether it’s holding him accountable until he wins a Super Bowl or disregarding his prowess because the defense played well, Prescott cannot make some Cowboys fans happy. Despite the wins, the traditional stats, and the analytics … sometimes horses just aren’t thirsty.
Tuesday, the quarterback spoke about the criticism he gets on social media.
“I get when fans are upset,” Prescott said. “I get it. I was once there … I laugh at it because I understand it’s an angry fan.”
Last season’s Walter Payton Man of the Year winner did indeed show some grace, but he wasn’t joking about having been there before.
In 2012, Dallas, quarterbacked by Tony Romo, choked against their divisional rivals in Washington to cost themselves a playoff spot.
“I’m DONE Taking up for Romo. #hadenough,” Prescott, then a 19-year-old college QB, tweeted about his future senior teammate.
Criticism is a part of playing quarterback for the Cowboys. With the biggest fan base, a stranglehold on the media’s attention, and a pathway to easy clicks, that will always be the case.
However, the uptick in sports gambling (and Fantasy Football) hasn’t exactly eased fan-athlete tensions. If social media is bad after a loss, it can be even worse after coming up short for someone’s parlay. Prescott, it seems, has found that out the hard way.
“But then there are other cases,” Prescott began. “Those are the times you have to remember, he must’ve had his whole rent on that one. Once again, I give him grace and I understand and say, ‘Stop gambling.’”
Prescott, on this day wearing a sweatshirt with “resilience” across his chest, is no stranger to the perils of social media. He’ll look to keep the critics quiet on Thanksgiving when the Cowboys play host to the Washington Commanders in a tale of two teams trending in opposite directions. What will Dallas do with the nation’s attention?