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Dungy: Right now, I would never take out Dak Prescott


NEW YORK -- Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy has spent this season delighted by the play of Cowboys rookie Dak Prescott. And while he admires the relationship owner Jerry Jones shares with current backup quarterback Tony Romo, Dungy isn't sure how he could turn back to his former quarterback now.

"I don't think Jerry will overrule (Jason Garrett) because he wants to win," Dungy said Monday at the NBC Thursday Night Football luncheon. "I like the way Dallas has played, and Dak has forced them to play a certain style and it's been very beneficial. They run the 40-second clock down, they throw very few incomplete passes and they keep their defense off the field for the most part.

"The style has been perfect. If Tony Romo were to come back and play that style, he could do it very successfully but that is not his game. What I think Dallas has recognized is, 'Hey, we're on an eight-game winning streak. There's a certain way we need to continue to play' ... but right now, I would never take Dak Prescott out now."

Dungy shed some light Monday on the most interesting part of the debate -- that it really isn't much of a debate when you think about it. Sometimes a prevalent storyline gets kicked around in the echo chamber for so long that it starts to pass itself off as a legitimate argument. But who is truly clamoring for Romo's return?

At the moment, Prescott's interception rate, TD to INT ratio, yards per completion and completion percentage are all better than Romo's career averages. Prescott has more mobile options in and out of the pocket and, should the need arise, could allow Dallas to shift gears on offense into a more traditional zone read scheme. As NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport noted last week, Prescott has earned the right to be Dallas' quarterback until he hasn't. Maybe it can be this simple.

There are aspects of Prescott's game that leave something to be desired. Perhaps Romo throws a better deep out or mid-range ball. He certainly throws it with more urgency. His pocket presence, buoyed by years of experience, should be better by default.

But that is the beauty of the league's best running game, which is negating just about any of Prescott's deficiencies right now.

"I don't even know why we're having this conversation right now," NBC analyst and former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said. "To me, it's the fact that Dak, with the pressure of Romo looking over his shoulder, he still goes out there and performs at a high level. The way he's handled the situation to the public, the media ... the level of maturity he shows. The poise, the humility, all of it speaks volumes. And the guys in that locker room, they're attracted to that."