The Dallas Cowboys are the hottest team in football. They’ve won five straight games and will go for No. 6 this Sunday night against Philadelphia (4-2).
It still seems hard to believe, doesn’t it? Well, yes and no. Many people have been surprised by the stellar play of rookie Dak Prescott, but Michael Irvin, even in the preseason, thought the fourth-round draft pick could be special.
“You see that light go on in his eyes,” the Hall of Famer and three-time Super Bowl champion said in studio on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “If I said something to him that resonated with him, you’ll see that come out of his spirit – in a way that he can’t help it. I saw it. I’ve always loved the kid. I (told Jerry Jones), ‘You run with this young kid.’”
So far, he has – and for good reason. Prescott has completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 1,486 yards and has 10 touchdowns (seven pass, three rush) to just one interception.
He’s also been a good teammate.
“When I go over to the complex, I always see Dak, I see Ezekiel Elliott and Jaylon Smith walking together,” Irvin said. “They’re always (together). I told Dak, ‘When you guys are hanging out, drop seeds about winning Super Bowls. I promise you those trees will grow later on. Just drop seeds like Johnny Appleseed as you walk down the street. Just talk about him. Just plant a few seeds and you guys will reap the benefit of those later.’”
Irvin believes the Cowboys (5-1) have done an excellent job of building their roster. Rather than making splash moves and drafting players such as Johnny Manziel, the Cowboys have focused on building in the trenches and getting good return for every draft dollar.
“Great job by Stephen,” Irvin said, referring to Stephen Jones, Dallas’ executive vice president and director of player personnel. “But I love Jerry because Jerry wants to be there for somebody. He always wants the story to end great, and he loves a fighter. If you’ve been through something, he wants to get in there and fight with you and help you win in the bigger picture. But Stephen’s done a great job. But (by) that same token, I was upset when they let DeMarco Murray go. They were saying, ‘You can put any running back behind that line.’ I said, ‘Stop saying that.’ When it meshes well with that line, you got to hold on to that combination because it’s so hard to find. As good as Ezekiel is, he had to find his rhythm with that line. The first few games, he was flying to the hole. I said, ‘Hey, slow down, these are big boys. Give them time to get on the blocks and then make those moves.’ So he had to find (his rhythm).”
As well as Prescott has played, the Cowboys will have to make a season-defining decision in the coming weeks once Tony Romo is healthy enough to play.
“What’s so tough about is each week it gets more and more difficult,” Irvin said. “You beat Green Bay. (What if) you turn around and beat Philadelphia? I still say right now (it’s Tony’s team). Tony knows a little more than Dak knows in that offense. (But when Romo returns), if any ball is thrown to the other color jersey, it’s a wrap. Everybody in Dallas is going to go out of mind, saying ‘Get Dak Prescott back in the game.’ I feel bad for Tony. It’s almost a lose-lose.”
Irvin also weighed in on several other topics from around the league, including the poor play that has permeated many high-profile games this season. He did say, however, that he enjoyed Sunday night’s 6-6 tie in Arizona.
“I enjoy the battle of wills – because that’s what that is,” Irvin said. “That’s a battle of wills, and I wanted to see which will would break first.”
Irvin also criticized the NFL for its handling of Josh Brown’s domestic abuse.
“The Ray Rice situation was an introduction for a lot of us to pay attention to something that we have not put our minds on,” Irvin said. “(The statistics on domestic abuse) are so outrageous. The league is big enough to do something about it, and the league has done something about it, and it started changing and making everybody take note. That’s why I’m shocked that they got this so incredibly wrong. My question is what did you see to reduce (an automatic six-game suspension) down to one? . . . I know (the league) is moving in the (right) direction, but they just did not make (the right call here).”