Cowboys' Dak Prescott included in C.J. Stroud's rankings of the NFL's top 5 quarterbacks

C.J. Stroud did some back-tracking after revealing his initial list of the NFL’s top-five quarterbacks based off of the 2023 season. One of the things that remained consistent, however, was Stroud’s inclusion of Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott.  

In order, Stroud initially tabbed Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, himself, Prescott and Jalen Hurts as the NFL’s top quarterbacks during an appearance on the “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast. Stroud later called an audible, however. 

In his updated list (which he posted on his Instagram account), Stroud kept the top-three quarterbacks the same, but gave the No. 4 spot to Josh Allen and moved Prescott to the fifth and final spot while omitting Hurts. Stroud added that he feels Joe Burrow is also among the NFL’s top 5 quarterbacks. Burrow, though, missed nearly half of the 2023 season with an injury, which was surely the reason why he was left off of Stroud’s list. 

Stroud took some heat on the podcast for his inclusion of Prescott, who led the NFL last season with 36 touchdown passes. Prescott also led Dallas to a 12-5 record to improve to 73-41 as the Cowboys’ starting quarterback since 2016. Prescott fell to 2-5 as a postseason starter, however, after Dallas was upset by Jordan Love and the Packers in the NFC wild card round. 

“Dak’s that boy,” Stroud said. “Ya’ll not gonna say that because he ain’t won the big one yet.”

Polarizing would be a good word to sum up Prescott’s career so far. He hit the ground running as a rookie, leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record en route to Pro Bowl and Offensive Rookie of the Year Honors. But his numbers (and the Cowboys’ record) dipped in 2017, largely due to running back Ezekiel Elliott’s six-game suspension. 

Prescott returned to his Pro Bowl form in 2018 while helping lead the Cowboys to only their third playoff win since the franchise’s last Super Bowl triumph. He put up big numbers again in 2019 and was on a tear to start the 2020 season before a serious leg injury ended his season after just five games. 

Despite the significance of his injury, Prescott returned and was his usual prolific self in 2021, his first season with Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy. He threw a career-high 37 touchdowns that year while leading the Cowboys back to the playoffs for the third time since 2016. 

Prescott endured a slight dip in production in 2022, however, as he threw a career-high 15 picks. His and the Cowboys’ offenses’ issues were compounded when Dallas scored just 12 points in its season-ending loss to the 49ers in the NFC divisional round. 

Last season, Prescott again put up big numbers while agin leading the Cowboys to the playoffs. But the playoffs loss to the Packers reinforced the narrative that Prescott is still lacking something despite all the success he’s had so far. 

Stroud, though, clearly doesn’t feel that the Cowboys’ lack of playoff success under Prescott should be held against the team’s quarterback. Stroud also hailed one specific aspect of Prescott’s game that might be overlooked by some of his naysayers. 

“Dak,” Stroud said, “is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the world.” 

That might be true, but until he has more success in the playoffs, it appears that Prescott’s supporters are always going to have to defend themselves. That list of supporters includes Stroud, who will get a chance to share the field with Prescott when the Cowboys host the Texans in Week 11. 

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