* FRISCO, Texas –*Way back in the beginning of my newspaper days when there were length restrictions to the stories you wrote, an editor once told me after my piece was cut, "If you like the end of your story so much you had better learn to put it in the beginning."
So just to make sure this Shot doesn't get lost in the shuffle, here we go, the impetus for pointing this out once again is me reading too many responses to one of my Tweets and still trying to help out those mystified by the real meaning of "Dak Friendly."
And as a reminder, this is not an opinion, these are facts. If you have time, look 'em up yourself.
Here are Dak Prescott's numbers over the first 24 of his 32 NFL starts, which by the way, produced an 18-6 record for the Dallas Cowboys, and we'll go one at a time so their meaning can sink in:
QB Rating: 102.4
Anyone sense anything unfriendlyabout what the Cowboys were doing?
And just for reference, his 104.9 QB rating as a raw rookie – with barely any reps during the offseason workouts and having entered training camp as no more than the third-string quarterback – ranked third in the NFL in 2016, behind some guys named Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, who just happened to meet in the Super Bowl that 2016 season.
And just for comparison sake, if you take Dak's first 24-game QB rating and put it up against this past season's top QB ratings, only Alex Smith (104.7), Drew Brees (103.9) and Tom Brady (102.8) have higher ratings.
Just the facts. Don't let the final eight games of last season continue to cloud your perception of what the guy is capable of doing.
And one last aside for this Shot: Dak's 32-game record for his first two years in the league is 22-10, with two of those losses, to the Rams and Packers this past season, coming when putting up 30 and 31 points.
Here is a list of the records for Cowboys quarterbacks after their first two seasons in the NFL:
Don Meredith: 2-2-1
Craig Morton: 0-1
Roger Staubach: 3-1
Danny White: 1-0 (Not until his fourth season)
Gary Hogeboom: 6-6 (In the final two of his six seasons)
Steve Pelluer: 8-19 (In the final three of his five seasons)
Troy Aikman: 7-19
Quincy Carter: 6-9
Tony Romo: 6-4 (Not until his fourth season)
Dak Prescott: 22-10
Pretty good shot, eh?
- By The Way:ESPN.com's Dan Graziano just came out with an NFL Quarterback Confidence Meter, basically rating team quality at the quarterback position. He ranked the Cowboys 10th, and all based on what he thinks of Prescott, since the likes of Cooper Rush and now Mike White didn't score the Cowboys any brownie points. Ranked 1-9, the majority based on veteran starters or one quality veteran backup, were: Philadelphia (Carson Wentz-Nick Foles), Green Bay (Aaron Rodgers), New England (Tom Brady), New Orleans (Drew Brees), Seattle (Russell Wilson, much based on leading the Seahawks in rushing last year), Atlanta (Matt Ryan), Detroit (Matthew Stafford), L.A. Chargers (Philip Rivers) and Minnesota (now with Kirk Cousins and Trevor Siemian's 24 starts). Oh, and the Cowboys were ranked directly ahead of teams with such starters as Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Alex Smith and Derek Carr.
- White Out:So learned a few things I didn't realize about quarterback Mike White, the Cowboys' fifth-round draft choice. First, many thought while in high school White had a better shot at becoming a Major League Baseball pitcher than an NFL quarterback, and he did go to South Florida with the intent on playing both sports until football became his primary focus. Then, reason he transferred for his final year to Western Kentucky was South Florida changing offensive schemes, going from a pro style to more of a spread, needing a running QB, too. When asked about being here at The Star and with the Dallas Cowboys, White said, "It's a long way from Bowling Green (Kentucky). True that.
- Best Bets:Now that the Supreme Court has kicked the door wide open for states to legalize gambling on sporting events other than horse and dog racing and other than in Nevada if they so choose, here are my two bets: The State of Texas won't lead the charge to pass such a law and the biggest downside to this ruling will be folks no longer trusting the integrity of the game. Especially when, like, replay officials overturn a catch ruling on the goal line in a playoff game at Lambeau Field, if you know what I'm saying.
- Big Gamer:Here is an interesting major for a college football player: Technology Studies. Now how does a tight end like Dalton Schultz choose just such a major? "I'm a big gamer," the tight end says, and figured if he didn't make a go of it in football he'd like nothing better than to design video games. As for playing, "Sports video games are so frustrating to me. (The players) can play so much better than me." For the Cowboys' sake, they hope he's been leaning on Jason Witten during these video-playing days.
- Third Amendment:Man, what's the deal with Maliek Collins' feet? First, as a rookie, he breaks the fifth metatarsal on his right foot. Then in his second season he plays through a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his left foot, surgery repairing that one after the season by inserting a screw in the weakened area. And now, merely going through strength and conditioning work on the practice field, Collins fractures the fifth metatarsal on his left foot, needing a third foot-surgery mending in less than three years. At least, I'm told, the inserted screw didn't break and this time doctors were likely to repair the fracture with a bone graph, similar to what they did for Dez Bryant. Trainers will be very cautious with his rehab, meaning the projected starting defensive tackle's return might not be until midway through camp, if that. Why this sudden rash of fractured fifth metatarsals team wide? Answer was: Shoe comfort is taking precedence over suitable support.
- Minicamp Impressions:Now I see what Rod Marinelli meant when comparing some of first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch's physical traits to Brian Urlacher. The 5-5s really look good on his blue 55 jersey, even without pads on … Shook hands with third-round receiver Michael Gallup, and his grip basically swallowed up my poor right hand. The guy just glides when he runs … Sure liked the looks of No. 59, and when I checked out who that was the first practice on Friday, none other than sixth-round pick Chris Covington, a 6-2, 245-pound linebacker. He sure looks the part … Here is what Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett had to say about Ben Bloom, promoted to linebackers coach after eight years with the team in various support roles: "Ben has done an excellent job in any role we've given him since he's been here," and after pointing out the club went through an extensive interview process to fill the spot vacated by Matt Eberflus becoming Indianapolis D-coordinator, he said, "but deep down we knew he was the guy" … And lastly, a week from today we get to watch our first Organized Team (wide) Activity practice of 2018. No more of this half-speed stuff of last weekend.