(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into the 2022 season. Today, the staff writers discuss quarterback Dak Prescott's versatility from the pocket.)
FRISCO, Texas – Dak Prescott threw a franchise-record 37 touchdown passes last season, but perhaps the most popular question about the Cowboys franchise quarterback is how much will he run in 2022?
"I expect to have about 20 carries a game," Prescott joked during minicamp.
Yeah, not happening.
That said, is it possible that Prescott – who just enjoyed a fully healthy offseason, another year removed from that devastating ankle injury in 2020 – will run a little bit more than he did last season when he was just coming back from the injury? The staff writers debate below.
17) Do Cowboys Need Dak Prescott To Run More?
Nick Eatman: Yes, they do. Without a doubt, he's got to be more of a runner. And will most Cowboys fans be scared to death every time he does it? Probably. But that's just part of the game and more importantly, it's part of DAK's game. Dak is a runner. Not, he's not the fastest quarterback and isn't the Lamar Jackson type, or even Josh Allen. But Dak is an athlete. He's a big dude that can get from A to B, rather quickly and he'll drag a defender or two along the way if he needs to. The Cowboys are just a better team when he runs the ball more. Five attempts a game doesn't seem like a lot, but he's done it 26 times. The Cowboys are 20-6 in those games. That's good enough for me. He needs to tuck it under and run more, get the first down and keep the drive alive.
Mickey Spagnola: No, no, no. See 2020. He's the quarterback, and indispensable. See 6-10 in 2020. Now then, capable or running more effectively than last year, sure. But know this: Dak ran 48 times in 2021, just four fewer times than he did in 2019. Have no problem with the Cowboys mixing in some RPOs judicially. And think he better understands when he runs, get what he needs and either get down or get out of bounds. No more Walter Payton finishing. Dak can be most effective inside the 10 when defenses are loading up against Ezekiel Elliott or inside the five, where there are more direct paths toward the end zone and fewer open-field decisions to make. I need him throwing the football.
Kyle Youmans: This is the definition of a double-edged sword. On one end, you open your offensive playbook and help establish a run game that was stagnant towards the end of last season. On the other, there's the potential of injuring your franchise quarterback who is coming off his first fully normal offseason since 2019. The risk for injury is always there for a quarterback and there's an aspect to Dak's game that in enhanced by running the ball. If we're really going to see the true potential of this offense, they need to bury the risk and allow him to tuck it and run.