The last time a Cowboys quarterback finished second on the team in rushing came in 1989 when Troy Aikman had 302 yards on 38 carries. The same Aikman who became a Hall of Famer and never had more than 125 yards rushing in a season after his rookie year.
"What's underappreciated about Troy Aikman is how great of an athlete he was," coach Jason Garrett said. "He's a phenomenal athlete. He could move around and his drops were as good as any drops in the history of the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott JerseysIf there was ever a chance to run, he ran. Big, strong, athletic guy. So it doesn't surprise me one bit."Cowboys history is littered with some great improvisational plays by such quarterbacks as Roger Staubach, Don Meredith and Tony Romo, Jason Witten Jerseysbut the difference with Prescott is the designed runs called for him.
A year ago, the Cowboys incorporated the zone-read that Prescott ran so well at Mississippi State into their offense. He went untouched for a score in one game because of the play fake to Ezekiel Elliott. Prescott's six rushing touchdowns were a franchise single-season record for a quarterback.
With Elliott staring at a six-game suspension pending the result of an appeal, Sean Lee JerseysPrescott will be asked to do more, but maybe not run more in 2017. Dak Prescott JerseysIf Elliott is out, the Cowboys will rely on their tailbacks Darren McFadden, Rod Smith and Alfred Morris to make up for the absence of last season's leading rusher.
"He's going to run anyway because of his game, his mobility, but I think you're going to lean on the side of picking your times when you do it," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said of Prescott. "I think if you do it a lot it certainly can be a little bit of a distraction to what you're trying to do. That's why you have runners. But when a quarterback has that element, it's an advantage. So I think the key to quarterbacks running is they know what kind of a run we're trying to get. If they canget 3 yards and we want 4 yards, 3 yards is OK, too. Don't take hits. Tony Romo JerseysThat's my approach anyway."
Staubach built a Hall of Fame career with winning, passing and the ability to improvise with his feet. One of his many nicknames was "Rodger the Dodger." Tom Landry was not pleased all the time when Staubach ran. He didn't want the risk of injury. Since Prescott took over, Staubach has offered advice on a number of topics, on and off the field.