It was a 2021 regular season to remember for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who threw a career-high 37 touchdowns while leading a team with the league's second-best passing offense (282.4 yards per game) and the most offensive yards per game (407).
But these meaningless numbers became such after three-seeded Dallas dropped its NFC Wild Card matchup at home against the San Francisco 49ers in January, 23-17.
Dak Prescott (left) and CeeDee Lamb
The loss soiled what was supposed to be the best chance this Dallas team had at winning a Super Bowl. Now, the jury is out on Prescott's ability to lead the Cowboys to sustained playoff success.
CBS Sports released its 2022 NFL quarterback tier list on Wednesday and has Prescott ranked in tier No. 4 titled "You Can Win With Them." Regular season wins certainly weren't an issue for the 12-5 Cowboys, but CBS feels Prescott, 28, falls into the QB tier that lacks "when the stakes get highest."
You can reach the playoffs with these guys and a decent supporting cast. But they are not putting a team on their back and keeping it there. They are not going to have historically significant seasons. They will do enough to keep teams paying them quite well, but they will leave you lacking when the stakes get highest.
Dak had as good a cast around him a year ago as he probably ever will, and it was far from transformational for that offense.
Dak Prescott (left) and Jerry Jones
CBS included Prescott in tier two last season, or the "top pros, proven winners" category. Now two tiers below, he's alongside QBs like Derek Carr, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Tannehill, Kyler Murray, Jameis Winston, Jalen Hurts, Mac Jones, and Tua Tagovailoa.
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Only Carr (fifth, 4,804 yards) and Cousins (ninth, 4,221 yards) were in the top 10 in total passing yards alongside Prescott (seventh, 4,449 yards) last season.
The Cowboys are still putting all their faith in Prescott, something that showed when the team had him heavily involved in the pre-draft communication process last month.
But with only one playoff win under his belt in six years with the Cowboys, Prescott will need to prove he's more than just a regular-season winner headed into 2022-2023.
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