SEATTLE –When this game started, I didn't think there was any way I'd be writing a column about anything, or anyone, other than Ezekiel Elliott.
His NFL debut? Against these big, bad Seahawks? Of course that would be the top story, right?
Well, not exactly. Especially when you've got a quarterback with a history of back issues that suffers yet another back injury and misses the rest of the game. Throw in this unbelievable backup who once again rises to the occasion and, yes, we've got a quarterback story yet again.
I'll let the other guys handle Zeke, who, by the way, looked every bit as advertised. What I like about him more than his shiftiness to get around, under and sometimes through defenders is the swagger he brings to the table with every run.
But back to the quarterback.
Without a doubt, the Cowboys have their backup quarterback for this season. And from everything we've seen, Dak Prescott looks prime to be this team's quarterback of the future.
You might be screaming for me to tap the brakes on this, but all you can do is go off what we see. And what we see is a poised, talented, smooth quarterback who has taken every single challenge the Cowboys have thrown at him and thrived.
Hey Dak, go start the first game of the preseason against a new franchise in a new city, under the bright lights of L.A. with the world watching. He passed.
Hey Dak, this time we want you to wait for Romo to get a few series and then come in against the Dolphins and finish out the half. He passed.
Hey Dak, once again we want you to wait for Romo to … oh, wait, he's down, you're in, go! And guess what? Even against this always-stout Seattle defense, he passed.
Right now, Prescott is passing every single test that is in front of him. That first half was marvelous, especially the two-minute offense to lead them down for a field goal when he spiked the ball with so much poise and patience despite the clock winding down. I'm really not even counting those two possessions in the third quarter so much. Yeah, he wasn't great, but his supporting cast was lacking as well. He gets a pass there.
When you think about it, what he did here Thursday night is the most impressive of his performances because it's a simulation of what might have to happen. It's one thing to start a game or come in after two series. But in a regular-season game, you never know when you're going in. Prescott didn't expect to come in this early, but he did, and he soon enough led the offense down the field for a score. That's what you want from a backup – someone who is ready at any time.
Even before the Cowboys came up here to Seattle, Prescott was getting comparisons to Russell Wilson. Middle-round picks, both very athletic, not completely polished as a passer right away, but able to just make things happen.
Now to me, I don't like comparing rookies to players who have started two Super Bowls, and won one of them. But here is where I do see some things that Wilson and Prescott have in common.
When Wilson got in the league, he joined a perfect situation, one where he didn't have to be the best player on the field. He might very well be the best thing Seattle's got right now, but back then the defense was leading the charge and the Seahawks had a ground-and-pound running attack behind Marshawn Lynch.
Wilson was making some plays, but wasn't always asked to go win games. I think he will be asked to do that more and he's better equipped to handle those situations now.
But needless to say, he was just living right.
Well, through three preseason games, it seems like Dak is living right, too. Rookies aren't supposed to be getting away with some of these plays, but for Prescott, it's just working.
Take the touchdown he threw to Jason Witten on his second drive of the game. That was an underthrown, wobbly pass that probably should've been picked off. And we haven't seen Witten go up and just take the ball away from guys like that before, but he did. So you've got a pass that wasn't where it should've been, especially to that receiver, but yet it ends up a touchdown.
Dak is trying to master this jump-pass when he's on the sideline, but so far it's not getting him in trouble. Last week he threw a pick, but a penalty negated the play, and he came back to lead the offense to another touchdown.
This week, the offense was stalling on his second drive, but a penalty gave them new life, and once again, Prescott led the offense to a score.
I'm not calling it luck by any means. Prescott is completely ballin' out. But as a rookie quarterback, you don't expect things to fall into place like they are.
Give him credit for that, but he's also just living right.
I'm sure there will be a time when things look like a struggle for Prescott. It'll probably happen when defenses actually start to game-plan for him.
Who knows when that time will be, and perhaps it could be sooner than later.
But if three games is any indication, Prescott seems like he'll be ready for that challenge, too.
Go behind the lens and view some of our favorite photos from the Cowboys game against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.