Why Dak Prescott Will Not Be A Top-5 QB in 2020

Dak Prescott (DAL)

  • Why Dak Prescott is being ranked as a Top-5 QB? I mean he finished QB2 at the position in 2019 (ESPN scoring). So let’s give the man some praise for his awesome 2019 season. He threw for 4,902 yards (career high) and 30 touchdowns (career high) while completing 65.1% of his 597 pass attempts (career high), and lead the Cowboys #1 ranked offense (via nfl.com). In addition, Dak is always a threat in the running game, adding 277 rushing yards (career low) and 3 rushing touchdowns (career low). Although he put up career lows as a runner, padding his career high 4,902 yards through the air and 30+ touchdowns with any work on the ground will likely produce a Top-5 finish in most years.

  • Why I’m not taking Dak as a Top-5 QB: Dak’s previous career highs in each of those passing statistics are 3,885 yards (2018), 23 touchdowns (2016), 67.7% (2016) and 527 attempts (2018). Every major passing stat in 2019 was a career high aside from competition %. Clearly the Cowboys were a much more pass-happy team in 2019 than they have been in previous seasons, and Dak took advantage. Dak has been healthy for all 16 games in each of his 4 NFL seasons, not missing a single start, so the numbers aren’t skewed by him missing any games. The numbers are skewed by a much more pass-first offense than we’ve seen from Dallas in the past. Enter Mike McCarthy, first year head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. McCarthy was head coach in Green Bay from 2006-2018 and Aaron Rodgers was his quarterback from 2008-2018. Only 2 times in his time with Rodgers did Green Bay throw the ball 597+ times (Dak’s 2019 attempts). So in saying that, I don’t expect Dallas to be as pass heavy in 2020 as they were in 2019. Now I do expect Dak’s rushing numbers to climb back up. In his previous 3 seasons he rushed for 6 touchdowns each year, so his 3 in 2019 was more of an outlier. His rushing numbers will always give him a somewhat comfortable floor week-to-week.
    • This first table shows Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay Packers passing and rushing attempts from 2008-2018
    • This second table shows the Dallas Cowboys passing and rushing attempts since Dak Prescott was drafted in 2016-2019
Green Bay PackersPass AttemptsRush Attempts
2008 541437
2009553438
2010541421
2011552395
2012558433
2013 570459
2014536435
2015573436
2016620374
2017562386
2018640333
(Packers.com)
Dallas Cowboys Pass AttemptsRush Attempts
2016483499
2017493480
2018527439
2019597449
(Dallascowboys.com)

  • Extra Point: I know Dak had an amazing season in 2019, and he made a lot of fantasy football owners very happy. If you drafted Dak last year or acquired him early on in the season you also should have gotten him at a great value considering his production. He started off the season hot and continued to remain consistent throughout, he was a “set it and forget it” quarterback in 2019. So don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you stay away from Dak completely, but his ADP (average draft position) heading into 2020 is drastically different than it was just a year ago. I’ve seen QB rankings with Dak as high as QB3…and for me that is just too high. As I stated above, last year was a year of career highs for Dak. Since Dak and Zeke were both drafted in 2016, the Cowboys have been a primarily run-first team. I expect Mike McCarthy to get back to feeding Zeke and taking care of the football, reverting the Cowboys back to more of the run-first offense we’ve seen in years past. Dak should still be on your radar, and should be a fantasy starter every week, but his current ADP is too rich for me. I have Dak as my QB7, I won’t be reaching for him and I won’t be expecting him to replicate his 2019 season.
  • Who I’m taking ahead of Dak? Lamar Jackson (QB1), Mahomes (QB2), Deshaun Watson (QB3), Russell Wilson (QB4), Kyler Murray (QB5), Josh Allen (QB6)

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