Saturday, July 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jerry Jones: Cowboys sticking with rookie Prescott at quarterback

FRISCO, Texas — The Cowboys didn't face much of a decision in sticking with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott in the middle of what became an 11-game winning streak even as veteran quarterback Tony Romo became an option.

They didn't want to stop their own momentum.

Similarly, owner Jerry Jones said it would become another no-brainer decision should the team opt to go to Romo instead of Prescott down the stretch run.

Prescott is coming off his worst game of the season against the Giants on Sunday and has not passed for more than 200 yards in the past three games. But that has yet to become a "definitive situation," as Jones put it after Sunday's loss, which would necessitate a change for Sunday night's game against the Bucs.

"I don't have a definition for it, but you'll know it when you see it," Jones said on a radio show Tuesday. "It's kind of like a definition I heard one time of another issue, trying to define a negative topic. They said, 'I don't know how to say it, but it's just something that when you see it, you know it's there.' We'll see it."

For now, though, Prescott has earned the right to bounce back from a poor outing. The fourth-round pick completed 17 of 37 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against the Giants. He had thrown only two interceptions in the first 12 games.

Prescott also had quarterback rating of 45.4, by far his worst of the season.

A few more games of that nature and it'll be easy for the Cowboys to try to salvage their season by making a quarterback change. Or a change would become necessary should Prescott get injured.

"You don't want either of those to occur, so they're unmentionables," Jones said. "But it'll be pretty obvious that when you see it with Romo sitting there and playing at the level that he's playing right now, practicing at the level he's practicing, got the experience. We're going into these last three games as well as the playoffs, we're really going into it at good shape, good depth at quarterback."

The Cowboys' offensive struggles of late can be blamed on several factors, including the passing game. Prescott had 195 passing yards against Washington on Thanksgiving Day; 139 against the Vikings on Dec. 1; and 137 on Sunday night.

The Cowboys were also 1-of-15 on third downs against the Giants and just 1-of-9 against the Vikings.

Romo, of course, has a proven track record and is the franchise leader in passing yards (34,154), passing touchdowns (247), passer rating (97.1), completion percentage (65.3) and 3,000-yard passing seasons (seven).

For the time being, though, the Cowboys are sticking with Prescott, who has them off to an 11-2 start and still in position to be the top seed going into the playoffs.

"We're so fortunate to have that legitimate discussion," Jones said of the quarterback decision. "Most teams, as a matter of fact I don't know of any, that if they lost their starter right now that they've got an alternative who could take them as far as they can go as a team. So I think it's a beautiful position to be in."

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