FRISCO, TX — A large part of what comes with being the quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, especially in the social media age, is understanding that everyone with a microphone, camera and/or a keyboard will publicly weigh in with criticism of the position — a lesson learned by Tony Romo and now by his successor, Dak Prescott.
As of late, however, there's been a surge of national media aiming pointed criticism toward Prescott — some justified, much of it not — while mixing in waves of what many, including Micah Parsons, views as outright disrespect that's being masked as analysis.
"I'm giving them their content," said Parsons this week. "They're basically stealing my content and they're wrong. They're doing exactly what I said they're going to do. Whether we win or lose, they're going to have something to say. People think I'm shying from criticism. No, criticism is not the problem. Just criticize everyone with the same energy.
"They're just as big of bullies as these other guys. People decide who and when should get breaks. I wasn't raised like that. I treat everybody the same. I talk about everybody the same, give everyone the same benefit of the doubt. That's the type of real person that I stand on.
"A lot of these dudes aren't real."
For his part, Prescott has tuned it out and remained locked in on the task at-hand: getting to and winning a Super Bowl.
"I don't deal with it," said Prescott as the Cowboys exit their bye week and prepare to host the Los Angeles Rams. "People talk. They're always gonna talk. … I've always felt this way: I'm most critical of myself when it comes down to it.
"So, [criticism from] outside of this building, if you don't know the true X's and O's of what's being talked about, and what's being asked of me in this position, then it really doesn't matter. But it's also something that experience creates. It's getting old, I guess."
Parsons has owned headlines the past couple of weeks in defense of Prescott and the Cowboys, along with other players around the league he feels are being disrespected, or rather "bullied", and the First-Team All-Pro pass rusher has taken a strong stance against it, as noted above; and that includes going so far as to name names.
Make no mistake about it, Prescott appreciates the Lion standing guard.
"I try to miss a lot of it, but [that one] is hard to miss," he said. "He's got the platform. Obviously, you appreciate it when a teammate is standing up for you but, in the sense of comparing us to other teams, I've been in this organization for eight years; and whether you bitch about [the criticism] or not, it's not gonna stop.
" … [But] he can talk all he wants. That's Micah."
What can silence most of the noise will be a Super Bowl victory, though that itself will only last for so long when you're wearing a Cowboys' uniform because, inevitably, the noise ramps back up and the cycle ultimately continues.
Prescott looks forward to pressing the proverbial mute button with a Lombardi trophy, though.
"That's just how it goes," said the two-time Pro Bowler. "To me, it's fun. It's fun. Because when things go our way and we win this thing, it'll be all that much sweeter."