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Tom Brady-Dak Prescott comparison? A former trainer weighs in

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For Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, the hyperbole has turned into reality. Those who gushed over him in the preseason, lavishing over-the-top praise, have found those compliments to be just and warranted.

As the fourth-round rookie has led Dallas to a 10-1 record and taken franchise quarterback Tony Romo's job, he has earned it all. So while respected trainer Tom Shaw used to whisper the comparisons he saw between pupils Patriots QB Tom Brady and Prescott, he now no longer feels compelled to keep quiet.

"I had Tom Brady coming out of college as a rookie and then the first seven years of his career," Shaw told NFL.com over the phone on Wednesday night. "And I had the opportunity to work with Dak before the draft. What I noticed about Dak was, this guy had the same desire, work ethic, the same traits as Brady. Nobody wants to be compared to anyone else. But he was the hardest worker, guys gravitate towards him, he was the first one there..."

Shaw trailed off, but his point was clear. No, they aren't the same player. Brady has three Super Bowl MVP awards and two regular-season MVPs, while Prescott is merely a rookie who has the Cowboys a win away from a playoff berth.

But when you examine the way they carry themselves, Shaw believes they are identical.

"I told his agents Rick (Roberts) and Jeff (Guerriero) 'I'm not saying he's going to be the next Tom Brady, but he has all the intangibles to do exactly the same thing. All Dak wants is to be the best. When he wakes up in the morning, that's what he wants. The most important thing for him was to learn how to play football."

Using his performance center Wide World of Sports at Disney World, Shaw has trained countless elite athletes. Brady was among his first proteges. The former Patriots speed and conditioning coach, Shaw worked under Mike Woicik and won three Super Bowl rings.

But it's not just running and lifting. The Prescott you'll see tonight is polished, with 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions. He didn't throw one in the month of November.

But it wasn't always that way. Shaw brings up another Brady connection.

Dick Rehbein was the Patriots QB coach in 2000 and 2001, and he passed along to Shaw a drill involving placing targets for every route across a field, set up with strings. A bucket-size target for a go-route, a smaller target for a comeback, different size for a curl.

Prescott would make his drops and throw 200 footballs at the targets, go pick up the ones he missed, then throw 200 more. The more you missed, the more you have to pick up.

"If you can hit a target, you can hit a receivers hands," Shaw said. "And by the end, Dak was hardly missing any."

He also points out that Brady's left hand is often in front of his face while throwing to keep his motion together ... "And Dak does it, too" Shaw said.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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