In his NFL rookie season with the Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott was thrown into the starting role before anyone expected. Tony Romo was the starting quarterback and Prescott was nothing more than an insurance policy at backup. Romo fell to injury in the preseason and Prescott had to step up as the Cowboys cashed in that insurance policy. Instead of finding a veteran to replace Romo until he could return, they went with the rookie. By the time Romo returned, Prescott had the Cowboys on the road to the playoffs and Romo watched his tenure and the Dallas starting quarterback end. Now, entering his third season as the starting quarterback, Prescott is comfortable calling himself a leader on the team.

Prescott finds himself as the Cowboys offensive leader

In that first season, Dak Prescott could not call himself the leader on offense because he continued to defer to Tony Romo, who was on the sidelines injured but helping him every step of the way as a mentor. Even when Romo was healthy and lost his starting job to Prescott, the youngster did not consider himself a leader on the offense. In his second season, there were problems as his numbers fell and the Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs.

However, Dak Prescott did enough to prove that he still belonged as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys and worked hard to become more consistent while watching the team’s veteran receiver Dez Bryant regress and running back Ezekiel Elliott miss six games to suspension.

This year, things have changed drastically. Romo has been gone for over a year now, Bryant was released, and veteran tight end Jason Witten retired. Dak and Ezekiel are third-year starters and are the two biggest names on the offense.

Dak ready to accept his new role

Jason Witten was there as a leader for everyone on the offense. Now, the offensive line is all in the 20s, the quarterback and running back are third-year starters and the only returning veteran Dallas Cowboys receivers are Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley. This means that the only player on the offense to stand as the true leader, outside of the blockers, is Dak Prescott. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan told ESPN that he feels Prescott is cut out for the job and enjoys it.

Dak Prescott was out there at the OTAs last week working with players most fans have never heard of. He is throwing the ball to second-year players like Lance Lenior and Noah Brown and trying to see if he can help the next generation of Dallas Cowboys players step up and take over. He is working with Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, helping these free agent acquisitions get acclimated with the Cowboys playbook. This is the Dak that the Cowboys need if they want to build a successful franchise on his shoulders.