Dak Prescott is finding ways to bring “America’s Team” to greatness again in the locker room and on the field.
Despite the Dallas Cowboys’ season-ending 34-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, the 23-year-old quarterback remains hopeful for the future of his team and what he can bring to the table.
“It’s sinking in. It sucks. It stinks,” Prescott said to the Star-Telegram. “But it was fun; it was a great year. Great teammates, great coaches … We’re going to get better from it. It’s going to make us better.”
Prescott has signaled the revitalization of the Cowboys and potentially the transformation of the quarterback position to be more racially inclusive.
The QB position has historically been played by white men, and the language surrounding the position has been racially problematic. White quarterbacks are are called “intelligent” and “cerebral” for making plays, different from their “naturally athletic” black skills player counterparts. Prescott is biracial, with both black and white parents.
As a biracial team leader, Prescott has been able to straddle race lines in the locker room and on the field, and has been able to cross back and forth in a way that comes naturally to him.
“I was put in all those different situations. I’ve been in situations where I was the only black guy. We’re in a time now where nobody wants to see that. But it still happens. Depending on where you come from, it happens,” Prescott told USA Today Sports. “To be able to wipe that clean and see and live both sides, it’s just who I am. Being mixed allows me to connect with everyone.”
Drafted in the fourth round as the 135th pick out of Mississippi State, Prescott stepped into the QB slot following an injury in a preseason game in August 2016 to the beloved Tony Romo. Prescott proceeded to lead the Cowboys in a 13-3 season to be first in the NFC East for one of their best seasons in almost a decade.
Romo handed Prescott the reigns of the team, saying in a prepared statement, “He’s earned the right to be our quarterback. As hard as that is for me to say, he’s earned that right.”
Prescott has continued the recent ascent of black players to the quarterback role–there are five black starting QBs, including Prescott and Carolina Panthers powerhouse Cam Newton –and it’s possible that after this season more league officials and coaches will take notice of more players of color.