ARLINGTON, Texas – Even for preseason, the numbers through two games are exceptional: 22-of-27 for 338 yards, six touchdowns (four passing, two rushing), 0 interceptions.
Average quarterback rating: 156.4. What qualifies as perfect: 158.3, the rating Dak Prescott posted in Friday night's 41-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins with four total touchdowns and only three incompletions.
Did the Cowboys' fourth-round pick expect statistical perfection in his second NFL appearance?
"I don't really pay attention to that," Prescott said. "Just coming in, just trying to work. But that's pretty cool, I guess."
Pretty cool reaction from a rookie who has looked more like a 10-year veteran in a little over four quarters of work.
In last Saturday's preseason opener against the Los Angeles Rams, Prescott started his first professional game and threw only two incomplete passes – both drops. Friday night in Tony Romo's preseason debut, Prescott took over after two series and played into the third quarter, leading a combination of offensive starters and reserves on four scoring drives.
He threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more. For the second straight game, he found star receiver Dez Bryant in the end zone, this time from 28 yards out.
"Man, I'll tell you this: rookie is a name – just a name that they give you in the league," Bryant said. "Either you can do it or you can't. The guy is a student – give it to him. You've got to give it to him. He wants to learn, he wants to be good. He's sitting behind a Hall of Famer. Give him his credit."
Prescott did a little bit of everything on his third touchdown drive. After throwing a perfect pass downfield to Brice Butler for 58 yards, he calmly placed a 1-yard back-shoulder throw to Butler in the left corner of the end zone.
Prescott ran for two touchdowns, but his mobility neutralized the Dolphins' pass rush all night. In a two-minute situation late in the first half, he escaped pressure to his left and found Lucky Whitehead for an 18-yard completion.
Everything has seemingly gone right for the 23-year-old quarterback: even an interception on a misjudged throw in the second quarter was wiped out by a roughing the passer penalty. Four plays later, he scrambled 20 yards for a touchdown.[embeddedad0]
"I've been very impressed with how Dak has played," said Romo, who looked sharp himself in two series with a 72-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter. "It kind of reminds me a little bit of back in the day in some capacity. He's playing great. To have depth at that position, it's a big, big bonus. Hopefully he can continue to do that. And he's a good kid, so you really root for him."
Backup quarterback has been a major question mark since the Cowboys lost 11 of 12 games without Romo in 2015. Kellen Moore, a two-game starter last year, was the frontrunner to back up Romo in 2016 until he fractured his fibula on Aug. 3.
Have the Cowboys seen enough from Prescott in two preseason games to have their answer at the No. 2 spot?
"So far, he's done a really nice job leading the team," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "I think he's been productive. His production speaks for itself. But it's still preseason. We have to continue to evaluate his progress. It's the full body of work, not just a few preseason games.
"I think he'll be the first to tell you that he's got a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but we're certainly giving him credit for the job he's done."