The 2017 NFL season is still months away, but already there are no two quarterbacks in the league under more scrutiny, perhaps, than Dak Prescott and Colin Kaepernick.
We’ll start with Prescott, who, as a rookie, had 29 touchdowns (23 pass, six rush), threw just four interceptions, and led the Cowboys to the best record in the NFC.
Now he just needs to do it again.
“Because Dak Prescott was so spectacular as a rookie, because he was a Pro Bowl player and Offensive Rookie of the Year and because he forced Tony Romo out the door – there are a lot of people that want to know if a fourth-round pick can be the real deal year after year after year,” former NFL cornerback and current NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “So in his second season, there’s a lot of intrigue on whether he can be able to continue to play to the standard that he showed last year. If he does, it’s going to be great for the Cowboys. But if he doesn’t, you will hear some conversation about, ‘Oh, they shouldn’t have moved on from Tony Romo and he could have returned.’ So I think there’s a lot of pressure on Dak Prescott to play at a high level, play at a Pro Bowl level, and (to continue to put the Cowboys in position) to not only win the NFC East, but to potentially put them in the Super Bowl.”
Kaepernick, meanwhile, had a solid year in San Francisco numbers-wise but remains a free agent.
“I think for Colin, because of all the other stuff that has been kind of attached to him, he’s been . . . a toxic player when it comes to why people won’t touch him or talk to him or entertain the possibly of signing him,” Brooks said. “But I think when you look at the fact that last year he played pretty well – 16:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio, passer rating over 90 – those are solid numbers for a starting quarterback. You can say, ‘Oh, his team didn’t win.’ But most teams won’t win with the cast of characters around him.”
Seattle has emerged as a potential candidate to sign Kaepernick, and Brooks thinks that would be wise for both parties. After all, the Seahawks have a good running game, good wide receivers, and a good defense. They also need a competent backup for Russell Wilson, who spent much of last season running for his life.
“All the things that they have that are strengths are the same strengths that (Kaepernick) had when he played at his best in San Francisco,” Brooks said. “And Russell Wilson took a lot of shots last year. There were probably times that he played because they didn’t have a backup that was good enough to get them out of games in Trevone Boykin. If you bring in Colin Kaepernick, you now have a guy who has starting experience, who’s played and won at a high level, who has the opportunity to play in a situation that is very similar, and from a team standpoint, anytime you bring in a alpha player, a player that is talented, into that room, it makes the starter continue to stay sharp. Even though it’s not a competition, he knows there’s a guy that is playing behind him (who) has been to a Super Bowl (and was) a play away from winning the Super Bowl. It kind of keeps everybody sharp. Competition brings out the best in everybody. I think it would be a win-win for the Seattle Seahawks and Colin Kaepernick to do that.”