OXNARD, Calif. (TNS) — Talk about Lucky Whitehead all you want.
Speculate about the fate of Ezekiel Elliott. The most remarkable tidbit of information to surface from Cowboys training camp is that quarterback Dak Prescott has thrown just one interception in team drills this entire offseason.
What follows is an editorial statement every bit as shocking: That's not necessarily a good thing.
This isn't about taking a contrarian stance. This is a conversation about how a quarterback evolves. This is about a young player pushing the boundaries of his comfort zone to improve his game.
Prescott likes to say ball security is job security. He's right. His ability to make plays and avoid turnovers led to one of the best seasons by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.
No one wants to discard that formula. But sometimes a quarterback can settle for a safe play when the defense gives him the chance to strike on a big one. A quarterback doesn't want to be so locked into ball security that he allows that opportunity to pass.
Practice is where Prescott should test his limits, where he takes a risk with a throw here or a pass there he normally wouldn't attempt in a game.
"Being in camp with these extra reps will give me time to rate my risk versus reward, kind of test it sometimes," Prescott said. "I may go into practice one day and just gamble the whole practice but that's what this time is for so when I get in the game I know my chances.
"There's a time where you have to find out what you're capable of doing, what throws you're capable of making."
This camp is the time.
Prescott won't tamper with his DNA. He's a quarterback who protects the ball first. He will stay with what he sees defensively, react and execute. That's preparation.
"For me, it's protecting the ball and knowing my risk versus my reward and just being smart," Prescott said.
The smart thing for Prescott to do is take a few chances in the coming weeks to see if he can tip the risk/reward scales a little more toward the big play category.
That likely means days where there are more interceptions in practice.