Last week in an episode of “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd, he ranked quarterbacks into tiers going into this season. The main discussion was around Dak Prescott and what he can become, but the statement he made was blasphemous and to Buccaneers fans, it was just another example of the national media giving Jameis Winston zero respect.
The list of first tier quarterbacks was short, and it’s hard to disagree with any of the names on the list. Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers were the only quarterbacks considered to be at the top. I would have put Russell Wilson in that first tier as well, but that’s neither here nor there. In the second tier of quarterbacks, we see names such as Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo. Again, hard to disagree with most of the names on that list, but I wouldn’t have put Jimmy G or Cam Newton in the second tier of quarterbacks.
The third tier is where Cowherd placed Jameis Winston, along with guys such as Marcus Mariota, Kirk Cousins, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford and Dak Prescott. Cowherd went on to say that out of all the tier three quarterbacks, Dak is the only one that has a chance to be a high second, low first tier guy. That is a bold statement, Mr. Cowherd, and I can almost guarantee you that if every single team in the NFL had to choose between Jameis Winston and Dak Prescott to lead their franchise, 85-90% of the league is selecting Winston without even thinking twice about it. I’ll lay the facts out here for you.
When you compare the two, Dak since being drafted, has been in a much better all around situation then Winston. Dak inherited the best offensive line in football in his rookie season and also has an All-Pro running back that alleviates a lot of the pressure on him. He also has a very good coaching staff and the coaches have put him in situations that help him succeed. On the opposite side, Winston has had one of the worst offensive lines in football in all three of his seasons. He has been sacked a total of 68 times in the last two seasons, while Dak has been sacked only 57 times. The Tampa Bay run game has finished 24th and 27th respectively, while Dallas has been second in each of Dak’s first two seasons.
When you look at the stats from last season, Jameis Winston had a better statistical season than Dak Prescott and did so in four less games. Jameis threw for 3,504 yards with 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, while Dak threw for 3,324 yards with 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Jameis also had a better completion percentage than Dak did. If you factor in the four games that Jameis missed because of the shoulder injury, he would have easily thrown more touchdowns than Dak and probably would have exceeded the 4,000-yard mark for the third time in his career. Jameis Winston also ranked second in the entire NFL with a 84.4 passer rating while under pressure. The only QB with a better rating is Tom Brady.
I am not saying that Dak Prescott is a bad quarterback, but I am saying that it is foolish to say that Prescott is the only tier-three quarterback that has a chance to move up. We all know that Winston has to cut down on the turnovers, especially fumbles, but he was under pressure on nearly every snap last season. Winston has dealt with so much adversity since being drafted in 2015. He’s never had a consistent running game, he’s consistently had a horrible offensive line and he also has a questionable play caller at times, especially in the red zone. It all comes down to wins though and the national media perception of Winston won’t change until he starts eating more W’s.
Below is the segment from “The Herd”.