If you’ve ever called Dak Prescott a “throwback” quarterback, today you have never looked more right. Prescott is on pace to do something that hasn’t been done in almost 80 years. As a rookie on the Cleveland Rams in 1945, quarterback Bob Waterfield led the NFL in both touchdowns and interceptions, throwing 14 scores and getting picked off 17 times in 10 games. The next year, Waterfield again led the NFL in touchdowns, throwing 17, and he was also picked off 17 times, same as the year before. But 17 interceptions didn’t lead the NFL.
New York’s Frank Filchock was picked off 25 times and Paul Christman threw 18 interceptions.
Waterfield leading the NFL in interceptions one season and then touchdowns the next is not something that has happened to any other quarterback in NFL history and that has been true for 77 years. That could change this season thanks to Dak Prescott.
Dak Prescott is on pace to be the first player in the Super Bowl era to lead the #NFL in pass TD the season after leading the NFL in interceptions (2022).— Tony Holzman-Escareno (@FrontOfficeNFL) December 12, 2023
The only other player to do so in @nfl history was Hall of Famer Bob Waterfield (1945-46).#DallasCowboys @NFLResearch
The Cowboys quarterback tied Davis Mills for the NFL lead with 15 interceptions in 2022 and he did so in only 12 games. There was talk that Dallas should move on from Prescott as soon as his contract allowed because he threw so many interceptions and has yet to win any playoff games past the wild card round. Prescott is 2-4 all-time in the playoffs.
But now Prescott is at the forefront of the MVP conversation, leading the NFL with 28 touchdowns against only six interceptions. Prescott has three more touchdowns that Brock Purdy and Josh Allen with four games to go. Tua Tagovailoa is next with 24 touchdowns and he’s playing on Monday Night Football.
Waterfield is a legend for a number of reasons. Not only is he in the Hall of Fame and a two-time NFL champion. He went to Van Nuys High School and married high school sweetheart Jane Russell, one of the world’s first Hollywood starlets. When the Rams moved from Cleveland to L.A. in 1946 and took Waterfield and Russell back home, it was a match made in the stars.
Now it’s a different kind of “star” getting the attention, a Dallas star. Will a Cowboys quarterback be the next to do something so rare?