FRISCO, Texas – Dak Prescott is apparently human after all.
Prescott finally made a mistake on Sunday night, five weeks into his rookie campaign. Cincinnati defensive end Carlos Dunlap screamed around the right side and stripped him of the football, killing a Dallas scoring opportunity in the process.
Of course, it's worth pointing out that, by the time of the turnover, Prescott had guided the Cowboys to a 28-0 throttling of the Bengals in arguably his most impressive performance to date.
"He's just continuing to execute week in, week out, and he's growing with the experience he gets," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "He goes about it the right way. We're lucky to have him."
Five weeks into this campaign, that might be the understatement of the year. Since posting a pedestrian quarterback rating of 69.4 in the Week 1 loss to New York, Prescott hasn't dipped below 103 in the month since. On Sunday afternoon, he finished with a rating of 117.9 after completing 75 percent of his passes for 227 yards and a touchdown.
[embeddedad0]"It comes from the preparation I put in throughout the week at practice," Prescott said. "Studying the team and studying the game plan allow it all to come together. Out offensive coordinator Coach Linehan does a hell of a job calling plays and allowing us to feel comfortable and allowing us to do what we are good at."
It's all well and good for Prescott to spread the praise around, but it doesn't completely account for some of the plays he made against a ferocious Bengals pass rush.
On 3rd-and-3 in the second quarter, with Dallas holding a 14-0 lead, Prescott bought time and unleashed a bullet to Jason Witten, fitting the ball just past the coverage for a 31-yard gain.
The next play, he fired a pass to Cole Beasley, hitting him in stride and allowing him to turn up field for the touchdown that essentially iced the game.
And of course, by the time it was all said and done, Prescott had thrown another 24 passes without an interception – bringing his season-long tally to 155 attempts without an interception. The rookie is seven more attempts short of Tom Brady's all-time record to start a career, not that he was overly impressed by that fact.
"It really doesn't mean anything to me," he said. "Some good fortune goes into that. There have been some passes that have been tipped up, or been in the defender's hand with a shot to intercept it. I think it serves to my preparation that I put in each and every week with these receivers going to make great plays for me and some good fortune."
He's got a point. It's easy to think back to the near-interception by San Francisco safety Eric Reid in Week 4. And several Bengals defenders had chances at a few tipped balls on Sunday afternoon.
It feels harsh to chalk much of this up as luck, though. The Cowboys saw firsthand what bad quarterback play looked like last season, and now they're getting the polar opposite. Five games into his NFL career, Prescott is completing 71 percent of his passes for an average of 248 yards per game, to go along with seven total touchdowns.
Despite that fact, the only thing more polished than Prescott's game is his demeanor. The Cowboys continue to thrive, and their rookie quarterback continues to take the ups and downs in stride – even when the downs are few and far between.
"We have to take it one game at a time, one week at a time and one day at a time," he said. "We've done a great job of putting the past behind us, if it's a win or a loss, and just focusing on what is in front of us."