I’m sure readers know that the first round of the 2020 NFL draft was completed last night. I’m not going to talk about overall winners and losers on the first night because you can get a hundred different opinions from other writers. I’m going to focus on the first round from a fantasy perspective and tell you what’s relevant.
I’m going to focus on the Dallas Cowboys – not because they are the most important team but because they are the most important team to me, and I’m writing this column. Most pundits claim the acquisition of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb with the 17th pick in the draft was a deal they couldn’t pass up in spite of not needing another wide receiver.
“Exceptional ball skills,” one analyst writes. “Elite ability to track the football in the air and adjust. Does a wonderful job of positioning his frame at the catch point to win with consistency. Hands are secure and he routinely wins through contact. One of the most natural receivers I have ever seen in terms of hands, ball skills and tracking.”
I’m not going to take exception with that because I saw Lamb play during his Oklahoma days, and he’s all that. I’m also not going to take exception with the Cowboys taking him in the first round, in spite of the fact that they signed Amari Cooper for about $1 billion, have promising wideout Michael Galllup and Ezekiel Elliott in their backfield.
The problem with drafting Lamb, or any wide receiver, is quarterback Dak Prescott, who has divided people in Cowboy Nation. In spite of putting up career numbers in 2019 season, I will continue to be a Prescott detractor. He had five chances to lead the Cowboys to victory in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter in 2019 and was 0-5.
The Cowboys were the only team I watched weekly last year on the way to an 8-8 record. I recall week 4 in New Orleans when the Cowboys were down by two and Prescott ended the game with a pick. And I remember three more games later in the season when they could have won, or tied, on the final drive and turned the ball over on downs.
The final one of those five games where Prescott failed to deliver was a game I’ll never forget last year in Philadelphia. Prescott had his worst performance of the season when it counted most against the Birds, completing just 25 of his 44 passes (56.8) for 265 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions in the critical matchup.
The Prescott apologists will point to the stats, showing how he threw for 4,902 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, completing 65.1 percent of his passes. But time after time, I watched Prescott deliver the ball late, or throw behind his receiver. If you think he can deliver the ball on target in a clutch situation, you don’t know Dak.
But I can hear your voices being raised against me right now. You could care less about my homer tendencies and my sob stories about how the Cowboys coulda, shoulda, wouldna. What about Dak from a fantasy perspective? After all, he was not only one of the top NFL quarterbacks but also one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in 2019.
True. Prescott was actually the No. 2 quarterback in fantasy points scored last year, trailing only the extraterrestrial life form known to some as Lamar Jackson. So, are you really going to use a mid-round pick to draft Prescott based on his 2019 numbers? Keep in mind that he was the 10th best fantasy quarterback in 2018 and 11th best in 2017.
By the way, is anyone wondering why Prescott still hasn’t gotten a long-term deal done with the Cowboys? Both the Cowboys and Prescott’s representatives continue to negotiate a contract extension, a process that started last year. And that long continues to fostered speculation that the Cowboys franchise quarterback is really Dak Prescott.