After finally signing a long-term deal to secure a future with the Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott didn’t disappoint in 2021. The veteran signal-caller set career marks in passing touchdowns (37) and completion percentage (68.8%) while helping to return the team to the playoffs after two-year hiatus.
But while Prescott remains one of the league’s better quarterbacks, he and the Cowboys must handle increased pressure this upcoming season. Head coach Mike McCarthy faces the very real possibility that team owner Jerry Jones could fire him next offseason and replace him with Sean Payton. As such, anything short of a deep playoff run will probably result in huge organizational changes. As the man under center, Prescott holds the key to McCarthy’s future in Dallas.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Passing: 410 completions on 596 attempts (68.8% completion) for 4,449 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions
Rushing: 48 attempts for 146 yards and one touchdown
Fantasy: Ninth among QBs in total scoring (11th in per-game scoring)
Cowboys’ offseason moves
With limited salary-cap resources, the Cowboys had to make some difficult personnel decisions this offseason. The biggest move from a name-recognition standpoint came shortly after the start of the new league year when the team traded veteran wideout Amari Cooper for some late-round draft considerations. Longtime starting offensive lineman La’el Collins also departed as a cap casualty while guard Connor Williams walked as a free agent.
2022 best-case scenario
Prescott has played some of his best football under offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, and it stands to reason he can continue that trend in 2022. Health permitting, the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback could match and perhaps exceed last year’s touchdown total (a career-best 37 passing TDs) while slightly cutting down on his turnovers (10 interceptions). That would place Prescott among the top scorers at his position for fantasy purposes.
2022 worst-case scenario
The Cowboys’ offensive line has taken multiple hits this offseason and the departure of Cooper puts additional pressure on CeeDee Lamb and the still-recovering Michael Gallup to pick up the slack. The team also lost wide receiver James Washington for much of the season due to a leg injury. Ezekiel Elliott is also past his prime and the offensive line isn’t what it once was. All of this could end up slowing down the offense this season.
Though the Cowboys face some personnel concerns on offense, Prescott should again shine. It stands to reason that his overall production from last season will dip unless in-season additions are made, but he should again finish among the top-10 quarterbacks in fantasy scoring if he plays a full season.