Like/dislike: Cowboys must keep starting Dak Prescott

What we are talking about:

  • Dak Prescott

Deserves to keep starting

  • Big Ben

Did he return too soon (again)?

  • Andy Reid

The NFL's most underrated coach


Tony Romo has returned to practice this week and it's a surprise how much coverage a backup quarterback is getting, amirite? (Sorry, if you didn't click the "amirite" please read the sentence again and then hit the sound effect, you'll like it. Trust me.)

But I'm over this story. And yes, I realize that I'm part of the problem here because I always have to talk about this guy. He moves the needle. We do our show "Fantasy and Friends" and it's all about Dak and Romo. I do a radio appearance, like the Rodger Lodge Show on AM830 (home of the Angels) in Southern California and I have to weigh in on this.

And if you're asking yourself if that's the same Rodger Lodge from that dating show that you watched as a kid in the 1990s, it be. The show was called "Blind Date" and it was pretty awesome. But here's something else you might find striking. Lodge had a roommate in the 1990s. Guess who it is. No, not Bret Michaels. Though, that's a good guess. No, it was John Stamos. That's right, Stamos in his prime and Lodge, who had the hottest show going. They had to be the Shaq and Kobe of Los Angeles during that time, right? I'm telling you, I always tell Rodger that he needs to write book. Well, I'm telling him that and to stop asking me about Romo because there is no viable reason to even ask about it.

That's not true, as I did see one incredible argument for Romo that was somewhat compelling. I kind of get that. But that clip was from the Bears game much earlier in the season. I would surmise Dak has done some film study over the past couple of weeks. And the comparison to Peyton Manning/Brock Osweiler from last year doesn't quite work for me.

For starters, the Broncos defense was much more dominant than the current Cowboys club. That's not to say the Cowboys defense hasn't played well. It has. But not to the Broncos level of last season. Plus, Dak is on pace to be just the fourth rookie quarterback to pass for more than 4,000 yards in season and is a much better signal caller than Brock Osweiler could ever hope to be.

Most importantly, what about Romo's history makes you believe he's going to be the savior? He's had numerous opportunities to move the Cowboys deep into the playoffs and has failed to deliver. (Before you go into the "Dez caught it" movement, we would then have to give equal time to the "That was pass interference" cause. So if you want to go down that road, that's fine. But realize, you're going to have to answer for this.)

The bottom line for me is this Romo thing seems a lot like a media creation. And while it seems like a joke right now without consequences, this is the kind of situation that could spiral out of control if not properly squashed in its early stages.

And without further ado ...

Tom Brady has more rushing yards than Russell Wilson since Week 4. But it looks like we started to see more of the old Russell on Monday night. Those who have had patience with DangeRuss (is it a shame it took me like a year to get that?) shall be rewarded.

This will be Pete Carroll's first trip back to New England since he was the head coach of the Patriots in 1997-1999. Going from Carroll (the Patriots version) to Belichick seems like a fantasy trade you've won every year for the past near-two decades.

Jameis Winston has nine touchdowns and just one interception in his last four games. Quietly having a great season.

Drew Brees and the Saints offense rank first in total yards, while the Broncos are first in rushing yards allowed. The Broncos are one of six teams to not allow a quarterback to top 300 passing yards. Brees has five games with 300-plus this year, the most in the NFL. I'd bench Brees in Denver, but he's an automatic start in New Orleans.

The Eagles have not allowed a team to score 30 points in any game this year, while the Falcons have posted an NFL-best six 30-point games. Matt Ryan has five 300-yard passing games. The Eagles haven't given up 300 passing yards. So even with all of that information, there is no way I bench Matt Ryan.

The Saints lead the NFL in rushing offense with 185.5 rushing yards per game since Week 8. The Broncos rank 31st in rush defense during that span. Play Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower.

Aaron Rodgers and Marcus Mariota are tied for the NFL lead in touchdown passes (13) since Week 5. Mariota has also rushed for a pair of touchdowns during that span.

Speaking of Rodgers, he has a passer rating of 106.4 in the last three weeks. But you're still a Packer and I'm still mad at you, Wisconsin.

My favorite stream quarterbacks (in order) are Jay Cutler, Trevor Siemian, Joe Flacco (I know he played, but I said this on F&F), Case Keenum and that one guy. Cody Kessler. Which was probably stupid.

Here's the thing with Cutler. He might not have been the guy I voted for to lead my team, but he is our leader and I'm going to support him 100 percent regardless of how I feel about him personally. Because if he wins, I win.

Ezekiel Elliott needs 109 rushing yards to become the second Cowboys rookie to reach 1,000 rushing yards, and he can break Tony Dorsett's club record with 117. And it's Week 10.

Jay Ajayi has 529 rushing yards in a three-game span. The most since Adrian Peterson in 2012. The Chargers have allowed 13 rushing touchdowns this season. I guess that means to start him.

The Jets rank fourth against the run, so I was going to be against Todd Gurley. But Ajayi did do a pretty fair job against them last week. So I'd be inclined to start Gurley here. Maybe the Jets will fear Case Keenum and Kenny Britt! But really, you don't want Gurley to have the breakout game when he's on your bench. Not a scientific approach, but it's how I do it.

Darren Sproles has at least 50 rushing yards in each of the last two games. He's also huge in PPR formats as well.

Lamar Miller has three scrimmage touchdowns in his last three games, so he's moving away from being a bust. And really, they just don't want Brock Osweiler throwing the ball.

Image Brock Lesnar, on the other hand, can do pretty much whatever the hell he wants to do. He'd better beat Goldberg. Although the WWE does a pretty good job of putting over the true WWE guys over WCW dudes (cough)HHH over Sting(cough). I was averse to Lesnar against Goldberg at SummerSlam, but I'm now completely behind it because it has me fantasy booking Lesnar vs. Kevin Owens at WrestleMania which would be the best.

A.J. Green needs 104 receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the season. He would join Randy Moss as the only players in NFL history to record 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first six seasons. And Moss is the GOAT.

Julio Jones does have at least 100 receiving yards in three of his last four games. That surprised me. I think we focus too much on the negative with Julio, and that's not fair.

Tyreek Hill wasn't great last week. But he's second among rookies with four receiving touchdowns. His quarterbacks have a 141.1 passer rating when targeting him.

I expect a huge blowout win for the Cardinals this week. But I'd still be bullish on Larry Fitzgerald, J.J. Nelson and John Brown.

This is a bummer. Mike Evans was the No. 7 pick in 2014. Kevin White the No. 7 pick in 2015. Evans has more career touchdowns (23) than White has catches (19). I mean this as a bummer for a Bears fan. Great for your fantasy team!

Odell Beckham Jr. is on pace for 1,352 receiving yards this season. He would join Green, Moss and John Jefferson as the only players in NFL history to have 1,000 receiving yards in each of their first three seasons. YouTube some John Jefferson. That guy looked amazing.

Dak Prescott has a passer rating of 132.2 when he targets Cole Beasley. No wonder that dude gets so many looks. But I expect a big Dez Bryant game this week. Doesn't mean we'll get it, but I expect it.

The Chargers receivers have bad matchups on paper, but Philip Rivers is still going to fling the ball so I'm not too worried about it.

Dak Prescott has a passer rating of 132.2 when he targets Cole Beasley. No wonder that dude gets so many looks. But I expect a big Dez Bryant game this week. Doesn't mean we'll get it, but I expect it.

Image ESPN is going to have a 30 for 30 on the XFL coming in February. I can't wait for it. I was a huge fan of the Los Angeles Xtreme. I even went to the Million Dollar Game (the championship). It is the last pro football title won by a professional football team in L.A. Well, if you don't count the Reggie Bush USC Trojans, that is.

Travis Kelce has scored the fourth-most points among tight ends over the last two weeks. The Panthers have had trouble stopping tight ends this season.

C.J. Fiedorowicz has been targeted at least seven times in his last four games. At least five targets in his last five. I know I put this in Rank's 11, but don't be the person who blindly follows the FPA. That's the road to ruin.

The Chiefs are 16-2 in their last 18 regular season games. Which is amazing when you think to yourself, where are the superstars? Andy Reid continues to do this, week-in, and week-out. I'm sure I've said this plenty of times, but Reid is the most-underappreciated coach of his generation. He's destined to go down as this generation's Marty Schottenheimer if he can't get that elusive Super Bowl title.

Carson Wentz has struggled in the fourth quarter and overtime this season, which is especially problematic because all four Eagles losses have come by seven points or fewer. His passer rating in the fourth quarter and overtime is 66.3. He's the only quarterback to start at least five games and not have a fourth quarter/overtime touchdown. You need that garbage time, man!

Andy Dalton is the NFL's "not ready for primetime" player of the decade. Dalton is 5-13 in primetime and playoff games, with 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

But have you ever noticed Dalton really gets skewered for his primetime/playoff futility while others seem to dismiss it as a "narrative" or some (expletive)?

Ben Roethlisberger is 15-1 against rookie quarterbacks in his career. Which seems great! Until you realize his one loss came against Carson Wentz this season. Doh!

Roethlisberger traditionally plays better in his second game back from injury. But it's not like he's set the world on fire as he's posted 12 touchdowns and 13 picks in those games. This Cowboys defense is also better than people want to give it credit for. If it does have a weakness, it's against the pass where it ranks 15th.

Colin Kaepernick had 398 passing yards with two touchdowns and an interception last week. And I know it was against the Saints. But you can't tell me the talent isn't there. He's a good quarterback when given a legit chance, which he ain't with the 49ers. All of that said, I'm not going to start him against the Cardinals.

Sam Bradford has taken 27 quarterback hits since Week 7, which is the most in the NFL over that time. With no running game and a spotty offensive line, that will continue. As a double-down he's also pretty bad on the road.

I talked about Ryan Tannehill as one of my top sleepers last year. Sorry, last week. And he wasn't great. It could be worse this week as the Chargers really have a lot of problems stopping the run. Which means Tanny could have one of those weeks where he throws for like 182 and no touchdowns.

Blake Bortles has been pretty good in garbage time which is cool. Garbage points still count. But the Texans are one of the best teams against the pass this year, so starting him is much riskier.

I don't know why people want to bench Case Keenum. He had 16.84 fantasy points last week. What more do you guys want? I like him as a streaming option in deeper leagues, but not if you're in a 10-teamer with a bunch of people who don't keep quarterbacks on their bench like a bunch of fantasy tough guys.

Speaking of Jeff Fisher, with his next loss, Fisher will tie Tom Landry for the most losses of all-time. But Landry went to five Super Bowls (winning two), coached an expansion team back when expansion teams had zero talent, and won a bunch of division titles. Fisher has none of that. Well, except for a Super Bowl appearance a long time ago.

Melvin Gordon is trash! He's not. But I continue to promise Gordon holders that I will always trash him. I'm not saying my harsh words have inspired him. But it can't be a coincidence, right? (Actually, that's exactly what it is. Or more to the point, I'm just wrong about stuff.)

Ryan Mathews has nine carries and 25 rushing yards combined in his last two games. He's gone 18 consecutive games without 100-yard rushing game. He's just about ready to be released to the waiver wire. Actually, I dropped him in a keeper league because this is never going to turn around.

Doug Martin has returned to practice this week. But I'm a still a touch hesitant because I want to see how he runs in a game, and the Bears D is better than you are giving it credit for.

And yes, I'm talking to you specifically. I know what you say about the Bears in private. You don't think I heard about what you said about them while you talked to Jordan in the commissary this week? (My favorite part is everybody who knows a Jordan [which is everybody in the entire world] is going to be thinking to themselves, 'what the devil?')

Image If you want to be the kind of person who points out plot holes to some of my favorite movies, like Uproxx did right here to "Ocean's 13" then I don't want to chit-chat. Much like a lot of voters in our country, I don't want the facts to get in the way of something I really enjoy. And stop it, that's not a shot at one side in particular. Well, maybe.

DeAndre Hopkins has had fewer than 60 receiving yards in six of eight games this season. He's had fewer than 75 yards in six consecutive games. It's the way the Texans offense is run more than anything else.

I was all about Allen Robinson last week. He's still going to get targets, though, so it's going to be hard to dismiss him completely. I will say he starts in traditional leagues. But find better options in daily formats.

I'm more concerned about targets as opposed to the quarterback who is delivering those targets. But I'm truly worried about a Bryce Petty-led Jets squad. Mostly because Aaron Donald would make his life miserable. If he can do what he did to Cam, good luck Bryce.

Rex Ryan needs to keep his mouth shut sometimes. I really don't like the comments he made towards Richard Sherman. Who are you to tell Sherman how to act? You appeared in an Adam Sandler movie. Though, one I actually liked, mind you. So for you to get all self-serious about Sherman is not a good look.

Image The #MannequinChallenge is over now, right? It quickly got into Harlem Shake territory. Which is always the key to these things. Great to be one of the first, but it's awful once it's reached that breaking point. And I say that unironically as a person who still takes Thunder Stix to baseball games. Just kidding. But I still have a Rally Monkey. I don't care what you say, the Rally Monkey is still cool.

Image BTW, did I not tell you to keep your head about you regarding the college playoff poll? It took one week to rectify itself as Texas A&M lost, just about as expected. I was kind of surprised Ohio State didn't take the No. 4 spot, because you know that's what they wanted. But it would have been way too obvious had they done that. All of that said, I don't really have a dog in the fight but I'm supporting the Washington Huskies 100 percent. And now I would like to go back to the dog in the fight comment and say pun intended. But yeah, I'm a huge fan of the state of Washington right now and would like to see them beat anybody from Alabama, Michigan, South Carolina or especially Ohio.

Be sure to watch "Fantasy and Friends" at 6 p.m. ET on NFL Network, Monday-Wednesday and Friday. (Sorry, the Thursday night game preempts us. But you can be a part of the show by going to Also follow Adam Rank on Twitter @adamrank.

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