Cowboys' Dak Prescott Wants Balanced Offense: 'I Don't Want to Throw for 6,000 Yards'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2021

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott smiles following practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Oxnard, Calif., Thursday, July 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said he's not aiming to break Hall of Famer Peyton Manning's single-season record of 5,477 passing yards in 2021 and would rather have a balanced attack that can help the team win a lot of games.

Prescott discussed his expectations for the Cowboys offense Wednesday, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News:

Michael Gehlken @GehlkenNFL

Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was on a 17-game pace to throw for 6,310 yards when he fractured ankle in Week 5 last season. He's not chasing 6,000 yards in 2021, he said. The opposite. "I don't want to throw for 6,000 yards, to be honest with you." <a href="https://t.co/qYIOdOsRvi">pic.twitter.com/qYIOdOsRvi</a>

The Cowboys announced the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback will undergo a check-up MRI on his right shoulder this weekend after being held out of practice with a strain, but the team did so in an ominous way on Twitter that made fans question the announcement:

Dallas Cowboys @dallascowboys

It's not a setback. <br>And it's not a reason to worry. <br>But QB Dak Prescott is planning on getting another MRI.

"Once Sept. 9 comes, I'll move forward and won't think about this again," Prescott said.

The 28-year-old Mississippi State product, who was was limited to five appearances last year before suffering a season-ending ankle injury, is referring to the Cowboys' regular-season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Prescott has been terrific when healthy since Dallas selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He's completed 66 percent of his throws with 106 touchdowns and 40 interceptions in 69 career games. He's added 24 rushing scores.

The Cowboys' entire 2021 outlook is dependent on him staying on the field, though. The front office didn't sign a proven veteran reserve similar to Andy Dalton last year, instead opting for Ben DiNucci, Garrett Gilbert and Cooper Rush as the reserve group.

With Prescott, Dallas features one of the league's most dynamic offenses on paper with the backfield tandem of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard combined with a group of pass-catching targets led by Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Dalton Schultz.

The Cowboys can't avoid any type of setback that causes Prescott to miss the early stages of the campaign, though. They open with back-to-back tough road games against the Bucs and Los Angeles Chargers followed by two divisional home games against the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants over the next three weeks.

It's possible their franchise quarterback doesn't take any snaps during the preseason, but that's not a major cause for concern as long as he's available for Week 1.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys will use their three remaining exhibition contests—Friday at the Arizona Cardinals, Aug. 21 vs. the Houston Texans and Aug. 29 vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars— to determine who should run the offense if Prescott is unavailable at any point in 2021.