Fake fact attack on Dak: How Cowboys QB's record vs. 'winners' rally stacks up

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - For the entirety of Dak Prescott's short time in Dallas, critics dismissed his stellar total 32 victories in his first three pro seasons by claiming, "He didn't win those games; his teams did.'' But now those same critics are flipping the script, as suddenly, the QB's losing record against winning teams is ... all his fault.

Right or wrong, quarterbacks are often defined by their win-loss record. If you are a Dak believer, you like to cite the inarguably good news: In his first three seasons, he QB'ed Dallas to a 32-16 record ... only New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (35) won more games in that time.

Ah, but you argue, "Dak didn't win those games alone''? It's true -- Just as Brady didn't win his alone.

But now comes a fresh twist on ripping Prescott: Sure, he gets wins, the critics concede - but he accumulates those wins against have-nots.

Former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky may be the triggerman of his campaign, thanks to this tweet:

And then came the pile-on, a common occurrence in this social-media era in which the time necessary to truly do research seems to some like time wasted. This tweet falsely suggests that Dak's record against winning teams adds up to just 5-9.

But wait. How did 10-14 suddenly shrink to 5-9? Because, upon review of the author's tweet, he's opted to eliminate Prescott's first of his three seasons, his rookie year, in which he won NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year, was to many a league MVP candidate and was at the very least an integral part of a 13-3 team that advanced to the playoffs, eventually losing a 34-31 shootout to Aaron Rodgers' Packers.

It's not a fair way to evaluate a player by creating artificial starting points, windows and deadlines. It's true that in Prescott's last three games against winning teams - this year against the Saints and Packers, preceded by a playoff loss at the Rams.

So, if you want to trash Dak, you can "make the numbers dance'' your way by bellowing that the QB's record against winning teams is ...

Oh-and-three. Winless. Zilch.

Pretty damning, right?

The "artificial window'' is one major problem with this fake-stat attack on Dak. The other major problem: It creates the faulty illusion that if a QB has a losing record against winning teams, he must be a loser, unworthy of a contract, even unworthy of a job.

The illusion: Every single quarterback in the NFL with enough starts to qualify for consideration here, except for Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Russell Wilson, are saddled with "losing records against winning teams.''

All of them.

Brady is 70-40 against winning teams.

Roethlisberger is 51-39 against winning teams.

Wilson is 26-21 against winning teams.

That's it. Everyone else, in this category, is Dak-esque.

This isn't, or shouldn't be, a debate about "$30-mil QBs'' or "$40-mil QBs.'' Or it this about Dak's win totals approaching Brady's and therefore justifying a position that they are reminiscent of one another. (Sorry, Jerry.)

This is -- or should be -- about the Cowboys being 3-2 and about how they got there. ... while somehow remaining tied for the lead in the NFC East. This is about to be whether Dallas can beat enough of the winning teams left on the schedule to qualify for the playoffs.

Upcoming winners: the Eagles, the Vikings, the Lions, the Patriots, the Bills, the Bears, the Rams and the Eagles again. This week against the Jets and then a Dec. 29 season-closing home rematch with Washington mark the only two "losers'' the rest of the way.

There's your true"window.'' But consider the realities of NFL parity: If the 3-2 Cowboys sweep the two losers, that'd push the Dallas win total to five. If along with that, they win just one game more than half of them, the Cowboys (and Dak) would have a season record against winners of 5-5. Still not a winning record vs. "winners.''

But Dallas would be 10-6. Likely good enough for the NFL Playoffs ... where all the entries are "winners'' -- yes, even the Cowboys and their under-attack Dak.

Comments (4)
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Jason 75
Jason 75

Winning teams create losses for losing teams and losing teams create losses for winning teams. The whole 'quarterback is the only reason a team wins or loses story' is old and tired. Does anyone really think Belichik has nothing to do with New England winning against winning teams?

Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher


It's legit to note that Brady feasts on the Bills, Jets and Dolphins ... but also that his record v W teams is 70-40. He's 'abnormal.' What Dak is doing is 'normal' for the best of the rest.


How about going back and looking at Brady. They will see what is true with most QB's. Brady having played in the weakest division for years has a high majority of his wins against losing teams. This year as of today the Pats have only played one team who has won a game. The Bills. They probably would have lost it if Josh had not been knocked out of the game in the late 3rd. But they and Brady are great. People cherry pick stats but at least apply them to all.