Tony Pollard isn’t the only major Cowboys player set to see an expanded role in 2022. Coach Mike McCarthy revealed to reporters Tuesday, at the start of the team’s minicamp, that Dallas will utilize quarterback Dak Prescott differently this season, particularly on the ground. After Prescott opened 2021 confined to the pocket while returning from multiple injuries, McCarthy said the veteran will be deployed on more designed QB runs and roll-outs this year.
Prescott is quicker and more comfortable moving around and outside the pocket this offseason, McCarthy explained, a year after serving as a limited participant for much of the team’s 2021 preparations. That was after the two-time Pro Bowler suffered a severe ankle injury the year prior, missing all but five games in 2020. Ultimately, Prescott ended up rushing 48 times for 146 yards in 2021, the lowest output of his career when playing a full season.
Prescott has never been one of the NFL‘s headlining QBs on the ground, but he was far more active as a scrambler from 2016-2020 before his ankle injury. Here are his rushing totals from those seasons, with 2020’s five-game sample size extrapolated over 16 games:
- 2020: 58 carries, 298 yards, 10 TDs
- 2019: 52 carries, 277 yards, 3 TDs
- 2018: 75 carries, 305 yards, 6 TDs
- 2017: 57 carries, 357 yards, 6 TDs
- 2016: 57 carries, 282 yards, 6 TDs
A year removed from his ankle rehab, Prescott may well return to similar numbers in 2022, so long as McCarthy, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and Co. follow through with their intentions to reintroduce the QB running game.