It’s not easy being a rookie quarterback.
You’re the rookie quarterback who has to learn how to throw the football in the pocket and understand when to run the football and when to read a defense and how to adjust.
It’s a lot to process, and that can be a bit intimidating, especially when it’s a team like the Dallas Cowboys.
It wasn’t easy for Matt Cassel or Dak Prescott, who had their own coaching struggles early in their careers, either.
Both Cassel and Prescott struggled to grasp the nuances of the NFL offense, and Cassel’s struggles were exacerbated by a shaky grasp of the nuances in the defense.
Prescott was a bit of a mess in the NFL, and it was difficult to have him learn the game at the pro level, especially in a situation where he’d already spent time as a quarterback.
Prescott didn’t have the experience or the coaching to handle the pressures of the position, and the result was a quarterback who was a shell of the player who was drafted No. 1 overall in 2017.
Prescott is still just 22 years old, but his development was hindered by a coaching staff that has been struggling to find a quarterback to step in as their starter for the past several years.
Prescott will get a chance to play in his first NFL game next week against the New Orleans Saints, and his debut will likely be as a passer.
Cassel, meanwhile, has been working as a backup to rookie Dak Prescott since last season.
The veteran quarterback spent time learning the game during a brief stint with the Cleveland Browns, and after a promising rookie season, he was released by the team.
Prescott’s new offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, has made it a priority to give Prescott a fair chance at playing time in Dallas.
Prescott has looked good during his time with the Cowboys, completing 20 of 36 passes for 251 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in two preseason games.
Prescott spent much of his rookie season in the backfield with Ezekiel Elliott, and he looked much better in his second year in Dallas, finishing with 1,721 passing yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions.
He’ll be trying to replicate that performance in Dallas next week, and if he’s able to, he’ll be hoping to prove that his career as a pro-starter isn’t over.
Prescott did have one big mistake during his rookie year, however.
He was sacked four times, and when he was hit, he just looked dazed and confused.
He struggled to put the ball on the ground for the entire game.
Prescott, of course, is a big target and has been the Cowboys’ most explosive playmaker this season.
He caught three passes for 55 yards and a touchdown last Sunday against the Chicago Bears, and this was his first career game in which he ran for a touchdown.
He’s also the third-leading receiver in the league with 26 touchdowns.
Prescott may not have been able to take the next step that Prescott is trying to take, but he’s certainly showing the type of maturity that Prescott was looking for during his tenure in Cleveland.
He should be able to lead the Cowboys to another big win, and there’s no reason that he shouldn’t get that chance in Dallas this week.