Dak Prescott’s rookie season ended with a heartbreaking loss to the Packers in the Cowboys’ first playoff game, but his first year in the NFL cheap elite jerseys was still an unequivocal success. A fourth-round pick, Prescott wasn’t even supposed to see the field. Instead, he took over for an injured Tony Romo, played so well that Romo couldn’t get his job back when he was healthy and won Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Plenty of factors contributed to Prescott’s stellar season: the Cowboys’ sturdy offensive line, Ezekiel Elliott’s dominance, and — of course — Prescott’s own hard work. Maybe he learned that trait from Jerry Rice, arguably the greatest player in NFL history.
Earlier this week, during an interview with NFL Network, Prescott revealed what he learned from Rice when the Hall of Famer visited Mississippi State during Prescott’s collegiate career.
“I just remember the importance that you put on hard work. You never took a play off. You ran the same speed whether it was the first play, second play of practice or the game-winning touchdown. You were always the same guy,” Prescott said, via the Dallas Morning News. “That’s the biggest thing I got out of that and that’s something that I try to do each and every day.”
Rice posted a portion of the interview to Twitter, which you can watch below:
Obviously, almost every NFL player works hard — that’s not a unique trait. Rice wasn’t a great player just because he worked hard. Prescott didn’t experience a great rookie season just because he worked hard. Both were/are great because they work hard and are talented. It takes a combination.
Because of the fact that they seemingly emerged as stars out of nowhere and were both mid-to-late round picks in their respective NFL drafts, it comes as no surprise that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady often draw comparisons. However, most of that talk is designed to fit that narrative and lacks true substance.
But when a former Patriots staffer who spent a lot of time working with Brady and now works with Prescott starts saying there are parallels, it takes on a different meaning.
In an interview with Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News aired on his Candidly Cowboys podcast and recorded at last month’s Pro Bowl, former Patriots strength and conditioning assistant Tom Shaw said he saw a lot in common between the two.
“Tom Brady realizes there’s 30 coaches and staff — equipment managers, trainers, the coaching staff — but they all have families. Some people have five kids, some people have no kids, but all those people are getting fired because you’re the franchise quarterback,” Shaw said. “Dak (Prescott) understands that because he listens to other guys tell him that. This has to be the most important thing in your life in order for you to be successful.”
Shaw now runs a performance academy based out of Disney in Orlando and trains dozens of professional athletes. Prescott did his combine training under Shaw, and he clearly made a resounding enough impression for Shaw to make a bold comparison to a guy who now merits discussion as the most accomplished player in NFL history.