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Dak: Throwing Picks "Just Can't Happen Anymore"


FRISCO, Texas - No quarterback, at any point in time, at any level of football from the pee-wee ranks all the way to the professional level, has ever liked throwing interceptions. Just say it out loud. It doesn't make sense and it wouldn't under any logical context.

But in case that wasn't already understood, Dak Prescott took the liberty of making that clear himself on Thursday. With the Cowboys' franchise quarterback in the midst of a rocky and uncharacteristic stretch of nine interceptions in eight games this season, maybe it just needed to be said… Out loud.

"I don't like throwing interceptions," Prescott said. "That's what bothers me. It has nothing to do with what other people say or how other people feel. It's something that I've never enjoyed, never liked, never had that accepted as a standard for myself."

Prescott has been fairly open this season about his willingness to be more aggressive in the passing game this season and hasn't shied away from the trust and faith he's put into his receivers. It's also easy to forget he did miss the five games early in the season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand.

Whether his unusual interception habit is attributed to the time he missed earlier in the season and this stretch is a byproduct of getting on the same page with receivers, or just a more aggressive approach, Prescott acknowledged there is nuance to his interception total and that he focuses on them individually rather than the number itself.

For example, both Prescott and CeeDee Lamb have had a few instances, at least in the early portion of the former's return, where they were crossed up or there was miscommunication on who was supposed to be where and thus leading to an interception. But each time the two have gotten together to sort through it and move forward.

After going their separate ways to each watch the play and get an idea what went wrong, they'll then both reconvene to see if they draw the same conclusion or if there is more to it. "At first, I'll go talk with my position coach [Robert Prince] to give me a couple of points," Lamb said. "And then that's when I'll go [talk about it with Prescott.] He'll either come to me or I'll go to him and just be like 'What do you see there? Or what do you think I'm supposed to do on that?'"

"Anything can literally be better and prevent that from happening again."

One other thing to consider too - interceptions are frankly just dumb luck sometimes. Quarterbacks throw them constantly, even the best of them when looking at players like Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, etc. And while it's not really an excuse for Prescott, it is also just a reality of the position.

"Obviously you don't want to throw a pick every game," he said. "And at times it feels like that. You go back and you look at them individually, a lot of them as I said are misfortunes and just tip balls go up in the air. You watch around the league and some of those plays are happening and some are being intercepted. Some are not being caught, but that's just part of the game."

What's really weird about the trend that Prescott has been on this season is that almost all of his interceptions have exclusively come in the first half of games and especially towards the end of the half. He had not thrown one in the second half of a game this season until Sunday against the Texans.

Given that it came at a less than opportune time in the game with under three minutes to go and the Cowboys buried inside their own 5-yard line, Prescott who isn't known for letting his emotions get the best of him, admitted he was close to doing so against the Texans.

"This past game [I] was very close," he said with a laugh. "Maybe the helmet got tossed but just very close and slow to the ground… I don't like to always show when I'm frustrated. It was close. But at the same time I'm a very optimistic person."

Optimistic as much as the day is long. Absolutely. Working to cut down on the interceptions and take better care of the football? You bet.  How about being less aggressive and changing his approach? Yeah, Prescott probably isn't doing that.

"I've just got to dial that in a little bit [and] heighten that focus," he said. "But as far as the decision making and all that, it's tough because I'm not going to change that. I'm going to continue to stay aggressive… I've just got to stop throwing interceptions. Whether they're picked, deflected, whatever. It just can't happen anymore."

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