It might be a very long afternoon this Sunday for Dak Prescott as the Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback will be making his NFL debut. And given that he will face a pass rush that includes Jason Pierre-Paul, Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison, it might be a long as well as a painful afternoon for Prescott.
In other words, Rookie, Welcome to the NFL.
Tony Romo will be out for Sunday’s season opener and much longer with a fracture on his back, meaning that the Cowboys will rely on their fourth round pick to guide them through the early parts of the season. Prescott of course had a storied college career at Mississippi State and faced some stiff competition in the SEC. But he undoubtedly has never faced the type of pass rush that the Giants can generate.
Prescott at least will be helped by a Cowboys offensive line that is considered one of the best units in the game. It may not be enough if the Giants are clicking but it at least gives Dallas a fighting chance.
“It doesn’t matter to me who’s playing for them at the skill positions. They’re always going to lean on that offensive line,” Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said on Wednesday. “It’s one of the best in the league, if not the best. They’ll take their shots down the field, but they’re going to lean on that line.”
At the start of last year, the redshirt senior was being touted as a Heisman candidate.
The Giants will be expected to dial up the pressure early on Sunday to get to the rookie. Since they should theoretically be able to generate a pass rush with their front four defensive linemen, this should allow them to generally drop their linebackers back into coverage.
There will be looks and flexibility in terms of exotic coverages to try and confuse Prescott into some bad decisions.
“I have a lot of respect for Dak. He’s a player that has won a lot of football games, not necessarily at this level but he’s shown a lot in the preseason,” McAdoo said. “We need to be ready for his best shot.”