Dak Prescott is a shining light in this NFL season

Oct 16, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) following the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Cowboys won 30-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2016; Green Bay, WI, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) following the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. The Cowboys won 30-16. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has been a rookie sensation. Yet it’s who he is away from the field that is truly fascinating.

Rayne Dakota Prescott is not the perfectly made-up name of your favorite fictional superhero, though his name would lead you to believe so. So would his actions of late as the Dallas Cowboys rookie quarterback turned phenomenon. With a name like Rayne Dakota Prescott, or Dak as the world knows him, should we really be surprised that he’s interesting?

Dak is not only short for Rayne Dakota, but also has morphed into sort of an acronym for Dallas’s All Knowing. Prescott has started all seven of the Cowboys’ games in 2016 after perennial starter Tony Romo went down with yet another brutal back injury in the preseason. In those games, Prescott has wowed: nine touchdowns, two interceptions (no interceptions until Week 6). So, even though Prescott is only a rookie who wasn’t even supposed to be a starter until after the Romo era ended as planned, his football story is in pretty good standing, is pretty well understood.

Prescott the person is much more interesting, believe it or not. SportsDay, a Dallas news outlet, was nice enough to list 10 things all the millions of new people in Dak’s life might not know about him. He has a dog named Tim Tebow. His mother, Peggy Prescott, tragically died of stage 4 colon cancer during his sophomore year at Mississippi State. Prescott has a tattoo spelling out “MOM” and the ‘O’ is a cancer ribbon. He still texts his mother before every game.

Most relevant to his NFL career but not most important in the grand scheme: Prescott holds 38 records at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the country for a time in 2014 under Prescott, the first No. 1 football ranking in the history of the school. So, this wild success Prescott is enjoying with America’s Team? Not a fluke. Rather, the ultimate capitalization of an unforeseen opportunity.

How can you not root for this guy? Well, not many people aren’t. Not right now anyway. We all know how this goes, this vicious cycle of popularity and success. Today’s darling is tomorrow’s ghost. All glory is fleeting, someone once said centuries ago, and it holds truer nowhere more than the NFL or any professional sport.

There is a probability that one day, either next week or next decade, Dak Prescott will be a distant memory. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy him now. He and fellow rookie, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, are making it impossible not to see stars when watching Dallas play football.

Prominent NFL voices around the country are vouching for Prescott’s impending longevity. One example is Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, who covered the Cowboys thrilling overtime victory over Philadelphia on Sunday Night Football. Freeman’s opening from his column on that game:

“Let’s not mince words about what we just witnessed. We saw, officially and with certainty, Dak Prescott take the reins of the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Probably for the rest of the season. Probably for the next 10 years. That’s it. It’s done. It’s over.

“Prescott wasn’t perfect, by far. But he stood in the face of an insane, ferocious blitz, stared down one of the NFL‘s best defenses and led Dallas to a 29-23 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.”

Prescott wasn’t perfect. Prescott isn’t pretending to be perfect. And as far as standing in the face of ferocity?

November 3rd will mark three years since Prescott lost his mom. Last year, he posted a collage of photos about her and with her to Instagram. The caption: “2 Years! Wow, The Only Reason I’ve Survived The Past Two Years is Because You Did Your Job as a Mother & Showed Me The Way Before God Called You Home! I Miss You Dearly Every Second of Every Day. Thank You for Being So Great and Leaving Lasting Memories. I Love You my Gaurdian Angel. Wish you were here #MOM #TimeDoesntHeal 11.3.13”

His guardian angel. It all makes sense if you think of it that way. Dak Prescott is flying so high, so quickly, because he has an extra set of wings. Who are we to say he’ll cease to fly?