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Troy Aikman criticizes Dak Prescott over accuracy, anticipation issues

Dak Prescott
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott has been on a downward skid ever since his phenomenal rookie season, and this year he’s among the worst quarterbacks in the league.

The Dallas Cowboys are 2-3, in no small part due to the offense’s inability to move the ball through the air. Prescott has averaged just 172 passing yards per game, and his top receiver is Cole Beasley, who has 17 catches for 193 yards and no touchdowns.

Speaking about these issues, former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, now an analyst for FOX Sports, pointed out some glaring flaws.

“He needs to be more accurate with the football,” Aikman said on KTCK 96.7FM/1310AM The Ticket, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “I’ve said for many, many years, as long as I can ever remember, when I’m asked, ‘Hey, what do you look for first in a quarterback?’ The first thing I look for is accuracy, because the rest of it doesn’t matter.

“It doesn’t matter how tough you are. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or what a great leader you are. None of that stuff matters if you can’t put the ball where you have to put it. I’ve seen too many errant throws in that regard, and then there needs to be a little more anticipation. When there’s two deep safeties, you’re looking for somebody to take the middle of the field, and that should be your first read if you have somebody who is taking the middle of the field versus those kinds of looks. I don’t see great anticipation on what a defense is doing and how might I be able to exploit that pre-snap or as the ball is snapped.”

Indeed, the two interceptions Prescott threw on Sunday night against Houston in Week 5 were both inaccurate. The first was very high and too far in front of Tavon Austin, who did his best to leap for it but came up short. The second was thrown to the wrong side of receiver Deonte Thompson, which allowed Justin Reid to crash in on the play and come away with the interception.

The first pass was just a bad miss. He had time to make the throw, and Austin was wide open. He just missed. That’s all about accuracy.

The second one was equally due to poor accuracy and poor anticipation. It’s something we’ve seen with Prescott, where he usually needs to see it first before he lets the ball go.

Aikman’s not wrong here. Prescott has serious, glaring issues. Whether those are fixable or not remain to be seen.