FRISCO, Texas – At this point, Dak Prescott hasn't even imagined playing quarterback at age 42 like Tom Brady.
"How many years is this for him? 20th?" he said Thursday. "It's mind blowing. Crazy impressive."
Prescott is focused on being his best in Year 4, and specifically this week against Brady's 9-1 New England Patriots team.
But the 26-year-old has been around the league long enough to know how much commitment it takes at the quarterback position. That's one of many reasons why he respects Brady so much.
"People say 'The GOAT, he's the GOAT.' He is," Prescott said. "I don't think it's comparable, the things that he's done."
Another is Brady's path: a former sixth-round draft pick who replaced injured Patriots starter Drew Bledsoe in 2001 and never looked back. His six Super Bowl titles are unmatched by any quarterback in league history.
Prescott still knows exactly how many quarterbacks were drafted ahead of him in 2016. Seven. The former fourth-round draft pick is having a career season in 2019, leading the league in passing yardage (3,221) and tied for second in touchdown passes (21).
There are so many intangibles to succeeding at quarterback, and Prescott continues to learn them into his fourth season. It's one reason he believes Brady has stayed on top for so long.
"A lot of times at this position you win, you win up here," Prescott said, pointing to his head. "I think that's hard to judge.
"But if you can continue to grow and continue to get better and sharper and smarter, you have a chance. That's what Brady has done. He's the epitome of that and he's an example for anybody and every young player starting to play this game."
All that said, Prescott's focus this Sunday isn't outplaying Brady head to head. He's well aware of the challenges presented by New England's top-ranked defense.
The Patriots are holding opponents to just over 10 points a game. They've forced 28 takeaways, the most in the league. And, as always under head coach Bill Belichick, they'll adapt week to week to any given opponent.
"Most defenses are who they are on defense, but the Patriots, they seem to be like a game specific type of defensive type of team," wide receiver Amari Cooper said. "Based off what we do on offense, they'll adjust their defense. They'll probably run a coverage that they haven't run all season if they think it will be able to stop some the things we do. I think that's one of the unique things about them."
Prescott anticipates he'll visit with Brady at some point Sunday before or after the game. But he's not going to get wrapped up in a battle-of-quarterbacks storyline.
"It's me vs. this defense, him vs. our defense," Prescott said. "An exciting game.
"This is a good test for us, I guess you could say, going on the road, going against a championship team. Since I've been in the league, they've been in the Super Bowl. It's an exciting matchup."