LANDOVER, Md. – Dak Prescott made his first career road start Sunday, scored his first career touchdown, and in a crowded post-game interview room at FedExField, discussed his first career victory as an NFL quarterback.
Plenty of firsts for Prescott in Week 2 of his rookie season, but he'd already experienced a crunch-time moment in Week 1: the chance to lead a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.
Last Sunday, time ran out in a 20-19 loss to the New York Giants.
This Sunday, Prescott had a few extra minutes on the clock – 10:35, to be exact – and he calmly led the offense on an 11-play, 80-yard drive ending in an Alfred Morris touchdown run that gave the Cowboys the lead for good in a 27-23 road victory over the Washington Redskins.
What was said in the huddle this time?
"Not much," Prescott said. "I don't think anything really had to be said. We're all pros. We knew exactly what we had to do. We had to go down there and respond."
He did, completing all four of his pass attempts on the drive, including a critical 11-yard throw to Cole Beasley on third-and-11 from the Redskins' 24-yard line. Two plays later, Morris ran untouched into the end zone to erase a three-point deficit.
With two more stops by the defense in the final 4:45, the Cowboys (1-1) sealed their first win of the 2016 season.
"Proud of our offense in that moment," Prescott said, "just coming back and responding with a big drive."
The Cowboys are proud of the uncommon rookie poise Prescott has displayed and the progress he's made since injuries to starter Tony Romo (back) and backup Kellen Moore (fibula; injured reserve) moved the fourth-round pick into the starting lineup in late August.
His stat line Sunday resembled the near-perfect preseason performances he delivered a month ago: 22-of-30 for 292 yards, a rushing touchdown and no interceptions for a 103.8 passer rating. The Redskins sacked him four times, but he didn't get rattled and led the offense on five scoring drives in 10 total possessions.
"His ability to take everything in the meetings, in the practices – his ability to take it all to a highly competitive situation," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. "You see him do the right thing and good things when he's under pressure.
"He's like a sponge. And not in the sense that he's not talented, but he has the overachiever attitude about soaking it up. And he uses every bit of it in these practices and games. He's impressive in that way."
The Cowboys expect Romo to return from a broken bone in his back at some point this season. Until then, Prescott continues to learn from his experiences as the fill-in starter.
"I've got great coaching, an unbelievable coaching staff, great teammates who pick me up every day I come in," he said. "I focus on the moment. I focus on the day. Just try to live in the moment. I've got great people around me."
Prescott grew up a Cowboys fan wanting to play in the storied Cowboys-Redskins rivalry.
Sunday, in the 113th all-time meeting between the franchises, he helped rally the Cowboys past their NFC East rivals.
"It's exciting," he said. "But I guess I can enjoy it tonight and move on tomorrow. Got to get ready for next week."
That's the life of an NFL quarterback.