Cowboys' Dak Prescott silences critics with MVP performance: 'I have the pen, I have the paper and I'm the one writing'

On the same day he was recognized as the NFC Offensive Player of the Month, Dak Prescott made his latest pitch for a more-esteemed honor at year’s end.

Faced with two different eight-point deficits in the second half — the first time the Cowboys have trailed in any capacity through six home games this year — Prescott threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns to help will Dallas to a 41-35 shootout victory over Seattle.

It was yet another performance worthy of a Most Valuable Player in an endless string of such statements, one that’s putting the oft-maligned quarterback front and center in the race for the league’s highest honor.

“No difference to when they were hating me and calling for my position, honestly,” Prescott told reporters when asked how it feels to have recently silenced critics and earned high praise. “I’m blessed, I’m super blessed, and I think about that each and every day that I wake up, I’m grateful for that opportunity to do that, and I go and attack the day.

“I understand nobody’s opinion defines me, that’s the great part about life and that’s the great opportunity that we all have, that people can say whatever they want, but you know I have the pen, I have the paper and I’m the one writing. So, because I’m playing as well as I am now doesn’t mean I’m going to stop, doesn’t mean I’m going to listen to them now.”

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Prescott’s performance was the exclamation point on a stellar November in which he’s thrown for 1,597 yards, 16 touchdowns and just a single interception on 131-of-190 passing (68.9%).

Thursday was his sixth straight multi-touchdown game, a stretch that has included 20 TD throws — tops in Cowboys history since 1970 over a six-game spread — and he also came just one yard shy of his fifth 300-yard passing performance during that span.

And unlike most of Dallas’ previous eight wins (and all five home victories), the Cowboys needed every bit of Prescott magic to overcome Seattle.

The Cowboys entered the game with a plus-145 point differential at home, having yet to trail a game for even a second at AT&T Stadium. They held an 0-2 record against teams with a winning record, though, and an 0-3 mark when allowing over 20 points.

Thus, the cards seemed stacked against Prescott and Co. when the Seahawks, who entered the night 6-5, scored on the second quarter’s final play from scrimmage to take a 21-20 lead into halftime — doubly so when Seattle double-dipped with another TD to open the third frame.

But Prescott responded by leading a 12-play, 75-yard drive to the end zone, and when the Seahawks opened up another eight-point lead two possessions later, Prescott struck back with three consecutive fourth-quarter scoring drives.

On the middle of those, a TD drive to take a three-point lead sandwiched in between field goals, Prescott accounted for 43 of his team’s 59 yards, going 4 of 5 for 35 yards and picking up 8 yards on a run. He capped it off with a throw to the front corner of the end zone for tight end Jake Ferguson, then hit Brandin Cooks on the ensuing two-point conversion.

“Hell of a fourth quarter, hell of a fourth quarter, for sure, for sure,” Prescott said. “So that was awesome, it really was, but at the end of the day you know it goes back as I said into my preparation and to what I’ve put into this thing, and yeah, I’m as comfortable as I’ve been, but as I’ve talked about before, that comes with growth, that comes with experience, as much as it comes with all the other guys around me.”

His fourth quarter provided enough cushion for a dangerous Cowboys defense that had been surprisingly exposed all night to hold on. The unit forced a turnover on downs in each of Seattle’s final three possessions, with every stop coming within 4 yards of the 50-yard line.

It was Micah Parsons’ final pressure on Geno Smith, the linebacker’s seventh of the game, that forced a throwaway to put the nail in the coffin, but Dallas’ defensive MVP made sure to give the team’s foremost leader for league MVP his props.

“Dak’s having one of the greatest seasons I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Parsons said in a scrum following the game. “It’s truly amazing to see the growth and where he’s at. I think right now he’s playing at the highest level in the NFL. Just from my standpoint what I’m seeing: Staying in the pocket, breaking sacks, making the right reads. He’s just playing terrific.”

Just how terrific, in Parsons’ view of things?

“This is the type of quarterback that’s gonna win us the Super Bowl,” he said.

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