The LA Rams‘ new veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford is still learning the offense, and already the hot takes are out there pitting him up against the Dallas Cowboys quarterback up for comparison. If you didn’t already know it, the annual “Dak Prescott is better than your quarterback” is now in full swing.
That provocative exchange between emotional fanbases was once limited to an annual NFC East debate, and it predates even the Donovan McNabb vs. Eli Manning vs Tony Romo era. Now that Carson Wentz has signed with the Indianapolis Colts, Jared Goff is a Detroit Lion, the NFL marketing team is out there once more plucking the strings to see which quarterback fanbase will buy in with a social media firestorm.
It is a quarterback ranking without relevance. It is a no-criteria blurp that ranked the Top-10 NFL quarterbacks, and the controversy began with the debate that sixth-ranked Matthew Stafford is not better than seventh-ranked Dak Prescott. Well, the debate is futile.
Let’s just begin this by saying that I write about and cheer for the LA Rams. Let’s also point out that the ultimate goal in the NFL is winning a Super Bowl, a feat that neither Dak Prescott nor Matthew Stafford has gotten close to accomplishing.
Los Angeles Rams
The argument beyond that point is moot. Better is relative. Better how? NFL quarterbacks are cogs in an offensive machine. That offensive machine for the Dallas Cowboys has been a very quarterback-friendly place-to-be. The offensive line is annually reinforced with top draft picks. The Cowboys’ offense has been host to a very run dominant game plan. While the entire offense for the Detroit Lions has been all about Matthew Stafford, the Cowboys’ offense has been Ezekiel Elliott.
One of Stafford’s primary receivers has been Golden Tate. Tate would not be one of the Cowboys’ top three options. Truth be told, the Cowboys have gone to great lengths to create a very quarterback-friendly offense. You need to go no further than 2020 when veteran Andy Dalton stepped in for 11 games and put up solid numbers with 2,169 yards 14 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions, and completed nearly 65 percent of his passes. Is he suddenly among the top 10 quarterbacks too?
Stafford has thrown for over 45,000 yards, and passed for 282 touchdowns, over 12 NFL seasons. Prescott has thrown for over 17,000 yards and passed for 106 touchdowns over 5 NFL seasons. My simple math, Prescott should be at 18,750 yards and 118 touchdowns, just to keep pace with Stafford. And don’t try to use the ‘But Dak was hurt in 2020’ excuse because Stafford missed 19 games in his first two seasons and another eight games in 2019.
Prescott got paid to remain the Cowboys’ starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. That should be enough. Neither Stafford nor Prescott has led their respective teams to the Super Bowl, but Stafford will finally enjoy a better running game and defense to help him do so. Who is truly the better quarterback? I suppose the one that is representing the NFC in Super Bowl LVI is a good place to start.