Dak Prescott has something Tom Brady doesn't: receivers
While the young Cowboys quarterback takes advantage of the best receiver corps he has worked with, the Patriots veteran suffers after Gronkowski's retirement.
What does Dak Prescott have that Tom Brady doesn't?
Brady has played in nine Super Bowls. He has six championship rings. He is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen and his fortune as a couple is valued at 580 million dollars.
What could “TB12” envy Prescott?
Maybe his receivers.
Prescott is the NFL leader with 322.1 yards per game and is on his way to becoming the first Cowboys quarterback to finish the season as passer leader.
The 26-year-old young man is in the last year of his rookie contract and seems stubborn to show Jerry Jones and his son Stephen, owner and vice president of the Cowboys, respectively, that he’s worth the $ 40 million a year that, according to reports, wants the 2016 Offensive Rookie Of The Year.
With this version of Prescott, Dallas has the league’s best offense with 444.6 yards, and fourth with 28.6 points per game.
Of course, the cast that Prescott works with counts.
Amari Cooper is fourth among the NFL receivers with 886 yards and has seven touchdowns. Since arriving at the Cowboys, in the middle of last season, he has 109 receptions, 1,611 yards (14.8 average) and 13 scores.
There is a Prescott before and another after Cooper.
Michael Gallup is second with 42 receptions, 678 yards, and three touchdowns. Then comes veteran tight end Jason Witten (41-371-2), who returned in 2019 to Dallas in search of the coveted championship ring, after a year as an ESPN analyst, and Randall Cobb (35-495-3).
With what is undoubtedly the best receivers he has ever had, Prescott needs two touchdown passes to match his personal mark of 23 (2016), and we're barely in Week 12.
He is the only quarterback in the history of the Cowboys with consecutive games of at least 350 yards, most recently against Vikings and Lions.
Prescott has changed the identity of this franchise.
“You think of the Cowboys and you think of ‘Zeke’ [Elliott], the ground attack and the offensive line,” Cobb said. “But I think we've already changed that face.”
Ah, what Brady would give for having those friends.
The 42-year veteran is not having a good time this year in New England.
After the retirement of Rob Gronkowski (one of the best tight ends of his generation and Brady's favorite target), the Patriots have tried to fill their shoes with Matt LaCosse, Benjamin Watson and Ryan Izzo, who combine for a touchdown this season.
In addition to Julian Edelman, this past Super Bowl’s MVP, Brady's receivers are Phillip Dorsett, Mohamed Sanu and rookies N'Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski.
One of the reasons they call him “The Greatest Of All Time” (GOAT) is the fact he won all those Super Bowls without having superstars at the receiver position, with names such as Troy Brown, David Patten, Deion Branch, David Givens, Brandon LaFell, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Chris Hogan.
The team had signed Antonio Brown, but the Brady-AB connection only lasted exactly one game. Due to the legal problems of the former Pittsburgh and Oakland player, the Patriots cut him immediately.
With a run game that averages 75.2 yards in the last four, the Patriots rely on the passing game, but Brady has recently suffered to generate points, particularly when New England enters within the 20-yard line of the opponent. In the last three, they are 5-13 in the red zone.
And that frustrates the leader.
“It’s just frustration with the offense. Just trying to grind them out. I am happy we won on the road, but at the same time just wish we would have scored more points,” said Brady after the 17-10 victory in Philadelphia.
In that game, “TB12” completed just 55.3% of his passes, the second-lowest of the season, and left without a touchdown pass for the third time this season.
It is the first time in 10 years that Brady has three games without a touchdown pass in the same season.
In the past three, the Patriots have been inefficient in third down, having converted only 15 of 45, including a 5-16 against Eagles.
To make matters worse, Mohamed Sanu could miss a couple of weeks with an ankle injury. Neither Sanu nor Dorsett (concussion protocol) practiced on Wednesday.
“The strength of our team is our defense and our special teams,” said Brady. “On offense we just have to take advantage when we get opportunities and understand where our strengths lie and try and play to them — not giving any short fields, not turning the ball over and try and take advantage when we get into the red area to score touchdowns. That is kind of where our offense is. That is kind of where our team is.”
The Patriots defense is the best in the NFL by accepting 249.9 yards and 10.8 points per game. New England is also the league leader with 19 interceptions and on third down defense (19.3%).
Prescott is 2-0 against No.1 defenses, so Brady (4-0 vs. Dallas; nine touchdowns, 1,164 yards) and his so-so receivers need to be more productive on Sunday.
Ah, what Tom would give to have Dak's friends.
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