FRISCO, Texas – When the regular season kicks off Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium, newly-signed backup Mark Sanchez might not all of the plays that rookie starter Dak Prescott will be asked to run.
However, he'll have a good idea what Prescott is feeling, not to mention a few other things that Sanchez has experienced in the past.
And for now, it's those things that Sanchez is hoping he can help Prescott with as the two get ready for Sunday's game with the Giants.
"I know what it's like to be a rookie starter as well," Sanchez Monday in his first media session with the Dallas-Fort Worth media, "and come in your first game and people are expecting you to play at a high level. If there's anything he needs from me he knows that I'm available."
Sanchez spent the last two years with the Eagles, so he at least knows a little about the venues and opponents Prescott will be facing, especially in these first two games where the Cowboys face a pair of NFC East opponents.
"Anything that I know, that I can help him with," Sanchez said. "I've played against the NFC East before, I've played against a lot of the teams we're going to see, I've been in those stadiums, any kind of knowledge I can impart on him without bombarding the guy."
And with that, Sanchez sounded like he was speaking from experience, stating that too much information, from too many people, can be problematic.
[embeddedad0]"But at the same time you want to make sure he's hearing (two voices) and that's the head man, and the offensive coordinator. You've got to make sure that's a streamline of information, You don't want to bombard the guy, especially as a rookie. And I know from experience that's really important. You don't need a million people telling you how to throw a slant route. You just need to go with what you know, be as comfortable as you can, and I'm here to help."
As for the actual playbook, Sanchez knows that will be his own challenge to try and learn as quickly as possible. And while he's willing to help Prescott in some ways, Sanchez expects to lean on the rookie, and other quarterbacks in the building as well.
"I've got a long way to go," Sanchez said of learning the system. "That's just fine. That's a part of it. Just keep chipping away, keep studying. I'm thankful a guy like Kellen Moore has been a great resource for me. Dak's been great, and I'm sure Tony will be awesome too."
Sanchez said he's traded a few texts with Romo over the last few days. The two have met at various functions over the last few years.
"He's a great guy and extremely competitive," Sanchez said. "I feel bad for what he's going through but I've been there, too. It's a tough position for him. I know he's fighting to get back and that's why he's such a good player."
While Romo remains on the 53-man roster, the Cowboys have a few days before they must decide to place him on the eight-week IR list that would have him miss seven games of the season. Sanchez knows he'll begin the season as the backup but Romo's return would effectively move him down to the third spot.
Either way, the former Jets and Eagles starter, who spent the offseason in Denver, said coming to Dallas was the best option for him. And when he showed up The Star in Frisco on Sunday, he quickly realized that he made the right choice.
"The atmosphere here, the talent that this team has and how close they've been the last few years, to really making a statement," Sanchez said. "Two years ago they went deep in the playoffs. So, this is a group that's been there, knows how to win and has created and cultivated a winning atmosphere. So anything to be a part of that, I know that's really important."