Dak Prescott vs. Carson Wentz is a debate that will never grow old.
Quarterback debates are often the most heated discussions among NFL fans. Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady comes to mind. In the next decade, there may not be a fiercer debate than Dak Prescott vs. Carson Wentz, as there’s so much competitiveness between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles fan bases.
Wentz and Prescott are two franchise quarterbacks who are capable of winning Super Bowl rings and MVP awards, and both of them already have impressive resumes despite their youth. But based on the seasons they had last season, the advantage goes to Prescott.
Although Wentz was impressive with over 4,000 passing yards 27 passing touchdowns, and fewer than 10 interceptions, Prescott was one of the most statistically impressive quarterbacks in the NFL, leading a resurgent Cowboys offense in Michael Gallup’s second-year breakout campaign alongside Amari Cooper.
Prescott blew the rest of the NFC away, finishing with 4,902 passing yards. Jameis Winston had more, yes, but he also had more pass attempts and more than double the amount of interceptions.
But the comparison isn’t Prescott vs. Winston, of course. It’s the far more fair one between Prescott and Wentz, who will both rule the NFC East for years to come. (Assuming the Cowboys don’t mess it all up by failing to sign him to a long-term deal!)
Prescott blew away Wentz in almost every measure of quarterback play last season, except for the dreaded “QB Winz”. Despite throwing fewer attempts, Prescott had nearly 1,000 more passing yards, averaging 8.2 yards per pass attempt to Wentz’s rather paltry 6.7. So while Wentz threw three fewer interceptions, Prescott’s edge in touchdowns (30, a TD on five percent of his pass attempts) and massive advantage in yards per attempt make those three interceptions a non-issue.
There are areas in which Prescott could improve, of course. He didn’t have any fourth-quarter comebacks or game-winning drives, which may have actually played into the whole “QB Winz” disadvantage, seeing as how his Cowboys missed the playoffs after losing in Week 16 to Philadelphia.
Wentz, on the other hand, orchestrated four-game winning drives to tie conference-winning quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. But as a reminder of how flawed and arbitrary a “game-winning drive” can be, Ryan Fitzpatrick shockingly ended up with as many as Garoppolo and Wentz.
Prescott’s ability to create big plays with his arm, move the chains, and avoid making mistakes is incredible and puts him among the league’s best quarterbacks. He was fifth in intended air yards per pass attempt whereas Wentz was 18th (behind Mason Rudolph, even) due to a less downfield approach.
Despite averaging 1.5 more yards per pass attempt, Prescott was in the top 10 in percentage of throws on target. Wentz was 25th. Prescott’s higher completion percentage to Wentz’s was overshadowed by the fact that Prescott’s receivers dropped the second-highest percentage of passes of any passer in the NFL last season.
Quietly, Prescott showed he has the total package as a franchise quarterback in running one of the league’s most electrifying passing attacks. Wentz is a good quarterback in his own right, but Prescott is on another level in terms of production. The Cowboys clearly need to pay him his worth.