Cowboys playoff factoid makes latest two QB eras even more depressing

Dak Prescott, Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott, Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Playoff futility has tied Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Tony Romo and Dak Prescott even more together than we ever realized.

Not since Troy Aikman starred for them have the Dallas Cowboys been to the NFC Championship.

It has been over a quarter of a century since the Cowboys played for the right to go to the Super Bowl. The only teams in the NFC with greater playoff futility of late than them are the Detroit Lions and the Washington Commanders. Although Dak Prescott has the ability to change his team’s fortunes, he is looking closer to a Tony Romo than he is to an Aikman or a Roger Staubach.

To date, Prescott is one of five quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to start at least three divisional round games and go winless. The fourth guy to unfortunately do this was Romo right before him…

With the NFC somewhat down, anything short of an NFC title bout berth would be disappointing in ’23.

Dallas Cowboys will need better quarterback play in their divisional round games

For better or worse, I am drinking the Cowboys’ Kool-Aid this season. They were a top-four team in the NFC last year, and I expect them to be roughly about that level this season, possibly even a bit better. It really comes down to either the arch-rival Philadelphia Eagles or the San Francisco 49ers pulling back. I’m not sure which one will, but I don’t think we get a rematch in the NFC title bout…

The Cowboys will play a second-place schedule, and won’t have to navigate a potential Super Bowl hangover like the Eagles might. I don’t know if they are my pick to come out of the NFC, but I think getting Dan Quinn back for a third season as an overqualified defensive coordinator is a huge deal. Of course, it will all come down to Prescott playing up to his contract to avoid being a Romo…

No, winning playoff games in general hasn’t been a problem for him. It has been when the stakes get a little higher. Now that his draft classmate and best friend Ezekiel Elliott no longer plays for the Cowboys, there is even more pressure on Prescott to be the franchise quarterback he is claimed to be. Frankly, he is too good of a player to have never gotten to the NFC Championship.

Overall, football is a team sport, but only one player on the field gets wins and losses attached to their name. Yes, there are plenty of benefits to being the starting quarterback, but there are also some downsides. In a game with a hard salary cap, this position takes up most of it, so they best be prepared for criticism if they come up short. Maybe the fourth time’s the charm for Prescott?

Until things change in the postseason, the Cowboys will remain the NFL‘s ultimate hype machine.

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