Cowboys Dak Prescott has elite regular season numbers

When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys of recent history, no player polarizes the fanbase like quarterback Dak Prescott. The media and punditry follow suit, constantly debating where Prescott sits in the current NFL landscape among his starting quarterback peers. One way to look at the situation is through stats.

So we checked how the eight seasons of Dak Prescott’s career compare to others across his position for all time. Believe it or not, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback has quietly put up some elite regular season numbers to start his career.

There’s been much debate this offseason about the franchise quarterback and whether he’s worth a record-setting extension. Prescott is entering the final year of the contract he signed with the team in 2021, and while he may have all the in-season numbers, people expect more when it counts—the postseason.

Prescott has just two playoff wins to pair with his five losses over his career. That’s not great. For quarterbacks with at least 160 pass attempts in the playoffs, there are 47 signal callers with more postseason wins throughout their first eight seasons in the league. That list includes Nick Foles, Matt Hasselbeck, Drew Bledsoe, Kerry Collins, and the late great Wade Wilson—Prescott’s position coach to start his career.

For the sake of this conversation, playoff Prescott and regular-season Prescott will be two separate entities. If you want to argue one side of the coin (lack of playoff success), you must flip it over and see the other side.

To Prescott’s credit, he stepped in from day one as a rookie and hasn’t loosened his grip on the starting role in Dallas for eight seasons. Despite missing time in 2020 and 2021 due to injury, he’s fought back to become a better pro than most projected he could be early in his career. The Cowboys signal-caller was coming off his best year as a pro, finishing second in MVP voting and was second-team All-Pro.

Prescott vs. everyone else

Using Stathead’s “60 minimum games started” filter is a good way to compare Prescott’s first eight years to other quarterbacks in the same span of their careers, including a tip of the cap to younger full-time starters like Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Patrick Mahomes. The 60 games eliminate inflated stats from players whose limited sample size gives them an advantage.

Here are some stats and where Prescott ranks with some of the best at his position.


Tom Brady – 86 (2nd)

Patrick Mahomes – 74 (7th)

Dak Prescott – 73 (11th)

Troy Aikman – 70 (12th)

Passing Yards:

Peyton Manning – 33,189 (1st)

Jared Goff – 30,429 (5th)

Dak Prescott – 29,459 (8th)

Drew Brees – 26,258 (21st)

Passing Touchdowns:

Russell Wilson – 227 (3rd)

Patrick Mahomes – 219 (4th)

Dak Prescott – 202 (7th)

Tom Brady – 197 (8th)

Interception Percentage:

Aaron Rodgers – 1.7% (1st)

Patrick Mahomes – 1.8% (2nd)

Dak Prescott – 1.9% (5th)

Tom Brady – 2.4% (19th)

Passing Success Rate: (A successful pass gains at least 40% of yards required on first down, 60% of yards required on second down, and 100% on third or fourth down. Denominator is pass attempts + times sacked.)

Patrick Mahomes – 52.6% (1st)

Dak Prescott – 50% (2nd)

Tom Brady – 48.3% (11th)

Completion Percentage:

Dak Prescott – 67.0% (1st)

Patrick Mahomes – 66.5% (6th)

Matt Ryan – 64.3% (16th)

Tom Brady – 63.0 (27th)

Matt Ryan (2008-2015) vs. Dak Prescott (2016-2023)

Matt Ryan is the most comparable if someone is looking to compare Dak Prescott’s career arc to someone else’s. With Ryan under center, the Atlanta Falcons had just four seasons of ten wins or more. Prescott has also had just four seasons of winning ten or more games. Even though 2022 ended with 12 wins, Prescott wasn’t under center for five games, so his season record was 8-4.

From a narrative standpoint, both players are almost identical. Falcons fans were wondering if Ryan would ever get over the hump in the playoffs sitting with a rough 1-4 record. As mentioned above, Prescott has had a few more bites at the postseason apple but is at 2-5.

The following season, in 2016, Ryan had a career year, winning MVP and taking the 11-5 Falcons to the Super Bowl. If not for a historic collapse after leading 28-3, Atlanta would have beaten the New England Patriots, and the narrative would have shifted entirely to Ryan’s outstanding play.

Comparing the careers of Prescott and Ryan is not intended to give fans hope or invoke a famous RJ Ochoa tweet in which Prescott leads Dallas to the Super Bowl in year nine, just as Atlanta’s quarterback did. Instead, it shows that despite one side of Prescott’s coin being a tad worn and weathered, he still has a chance to turn it around.

If the Cowboys decide to let their quarterback’s contract ride out, this season should help solve which side of the Prescott coin people land on, including the front office.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *