Sophomore Slump. The two most dreaded words ever spoken in the NFL, or any sport for that matter. A label every GM and head coach hopes to avoid in regards to their man behind center.
First off, I would like to say that the slump is way over hyped and is very hard to measure. With the constant changes in offensive philosophies, the arrival and departure of key players and a different schedule each year (for better or worse), no two seasons are the same. Each of these variables can affect the stats of quarterbacks and thus makes it almost impossible to determine a slump.
Dallas Cowboy QB, Dak Prescott, had an amazing first year, in fact, it was so good that it set him up as a prime candidate for the dreaded question: “Can he do it again?”
When evaluating the current status of the Cowboys, along with their defensive focus in the draft, free agent signings, and the overall lack of movement with star players (let’s not dwell on Tony Romo), Dallas looks to be an even better team in 2017.
So what about their leader? What about the guy who is going to touch the ball every offensive play? Prescott can be compared to another mid-round draft pick who has done well for himself in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson.
We’ve Seen This Before
With similar playing styles—and a starting gig from the get-go—Wilson and Prescott’s rookie years played out in an eerily similar way.
Both QBs threw for over 3,000 yards, and each had over 20 touchdowns through the air and ran for at least 4 more (Dak: 6, Wilson: 4). The 2012 Seahawks (Wilson’s rookie year) made the playoffs, losing in the divisional round by 2 points, the 2016 Cowboys lost in the same round by 3. Scary, right?
Here’s where the comparison gains momentum. In Russell Wilson’s second year he played just as well, some would argue that he was better, even if his stats took a small hit. The Seahawks went on to win Super Bowl XLVIII, and in the process put that near-sighted sophomore slump idea to bed.
The 2013 Seahawks, with their smash mouth offense, were nothing like the ball controlling juggernaut that’s playing out in Dallas these days. The Cowboys offense is like an orchestra with Dak Prescott front and center holding the baton. Pair that with the efforts to fix a porous defensive backfield through the draft, and you have a formula that could prove that slumps don’t belong in Big D.
Prescott has been given the keys to the kingdom in Dallas and his owner is building him a team to take on the world. Is it possible that we could see a new Lombardi Trophy on display at AT&T Stadium? My guess is it is certainly possible.