HOOVER, Ala. -- Six quarterbacks were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft before the Dallas Cowboys plucked Dak Prescott, who became the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year as a fourth-round selection. But Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen doesn't see Prescott as a draft miss for the teams that passed on him until the Cowboys got one of the draft's true steals on the third and final day of selections.
"Why did they miss on him in the draft? I have no idea. ... I think when you get to the NFL, everybody is looking for something different and you might not be looking for a quarterback, or someone of his style," said Mullen, who coached Prescott at MSU. "That's very unique, where you might slot a quarterback in (the) draft or what they're looking to get out of that quarterback position. It's hard to say teams missed on him because you don't know what their strategy going into that draft was."
Dallas' strategy, certainly, was to put some depth behind incumbent and oft-injured starter Tony Romo. A year earlier, in 2015, the Cowboys' season unraveled after Romo was lost to an injury. And when Romo was hurt again during the 2016 preseason, the club's instincts in drafting Prescott proved to be not only smart, but season-saving.
Coming from MSU's spread offense, there were pre-draft questions about whether Prescott could make a tricky adjustment to a pro-style system. There was also a DUI arrest in the weeks leading up to the draft for NFL front offices to consider in assessing his draft value. The Cowboys hit the jackpot, however, as Prescott took command of the offense as a rookie, held the job after Romo healed, and helped Dallas win the NFC East.
While Mullen hesitates to describe Prescott's fall to the fourth round as a miss by clubs that passed, the former Bulldogs star was a definite hit for the Cowboys.