FRISCO, Texas – In many ways, Louisiana might be home for Dak Prescott. But the upcoming showdown against the Saints is purely a business trip.
The Shreveport-area native has never played in the New Orleans Superdome. His high school team, Haughton, lost in the 2010 quarterfinals to state champion Franklinton.
Sunday night, he'll lead the 3-0 Cowboys into the thunderous dome against a 2-1 Saints team coming off a gritty road win over Seattle without longtime starting quarterback Drew Brees (thumb surgery), who reportedly could miss a few more weeks.
A win would push the Cowboys to 4-0 for the first time in 12 years and at least maintain their early-season grip on the NFC East.
That'll be the only thing on Prescott's mind when he crosses the state line.
"It would in high school if I had made it there (the Superdome), it would have had special meaning," he said Thursday. "But right now it's another game, going on the road, always fun, knowing this environment, knowing the Superdome, knowing how their fans are going to be, the intensity, the atmosphere.
"I'm excited to go in there with my team, the brotherhood we have and the us-against-the-world mentality."
Prescott enters Week 4 second in NFL passer rating (128.0) behind only Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes' 134.9. He has a league-best 74.5-percent completion rate. And the passing game has soared under first-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.
Prescott has completed 13 throws of at least 20 yards, and his nine touchdown passes tie Don Meredith (1966) for the most in Cowboys history through the first three games of a season.
"I think just his command and conviction in how he's playing," Moore said of the fourth-year starter. "He's letting that thing rip, and it's maybe a silly way of saying it, but I think there's something to it that there's no hesitation in him. He's hitting the top of his drop, he's seeing it, he's letting it rip and he's very convicted and decisive in what he's doing."
The Cowboys won a 13-10 slugfest against New Orleans last November at AT&T Stadium. Prescott was efficient, completing 24 of 28 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown, but the offense stalled four out of five times inside the red zone.
They've bucked that trend through three games, ranking fourth inside the 20 with an 81.9-percent conversion rate. Finishing drives will be critical in a rowdy road environment.
Prescott said he has a few tickets reserved for family this week. He admits he might have a brief flashback to his high school days on the trip.
But he's looking forward to a new challenge with his Cowboys teammates.
"Just a small-town guy who's worked his ass off and ended up making it to the Superdome," he said.
And playing the best football of his career.