Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott vs. Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes: Best traits, challenges faced, more

6:00 AM

The Dallas Cowboys and the Kansas City Chiefs will play a game on Sunday, and it will be a battle of quarterbacks. Two of the three $40 million quarterbacks in the league will meet for the first time in their careers.

Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said he would watch the game on Sunday if he was a fan.

Both teams are considered threats to make deep playoff runs and both quarterbacks enter the game coming off their best performances of the season.

After throwing for just 166 yards in a 13-7 win against the Green Bay Packers, Patrick Mahomes threw for 406 yards and five touchdown passes in a 41-14 win against the Las Vegas Raiders. After committing 12 turnovers through the first eight games of the season, Mahomes committed no turnovers for the second week in a row.

McCarthy said that he thought that the last game was where the offensive player of the week was going to be. He's played at that level for a long time already and that shows you what he can do. He's established himself in the league as an elite quarterback and we're preparing for him.

After completing just 48.7% of his passes in a loss to the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys quarterback, and former Mississippi State star, Dak Prescott, had his best game of the season, throwing for

"He's not just a good quarterback, he's a really good one," said Steve Spagnuolo. He's a good quarterback. He can make you look bad. He can do all of the things you need to do as a quarterback. I'm looking for a weakness.

With plenty of anticipation ahead of Sunday's game, Adam Teicher and Todd Archer of the Cowboys and the Chiefs take a look at the struggles each quarterback has had to overcome as well as the qualities that make each special.


The illustration is by the sports network.

The other voice in the locker room that everyone listens to is that of safety Tyrann Mathieu. Last year, the Chiefs made Mahomes the highest-paid player in the league with a 10-year, $450 million contract extension, and his leadership skills were not an insignificant factor in their decision to do so.

Clark Hunt, chairman of the Kansas City Chiefs, said that one of the things they have seen in Patrick in his young NFL career is how well he works with different groups of people.

Josh Gordon, who had been suspended six times since the 2013 season (five for some form of substance abuse) and was returning to the NFL after a two-season absence, was welcomed by the locker room.

"We'll bring him into this family we've built with him in this locker room and try to get the best out of him, obviously on the field, but off the field as well," he said. We want him to succeed in life more than just on the field, so we'll do the best we can.

It's known how the Cowboys feel about him. His leadership is his strongest quality. He gets guys to believe in themselves. He does his work before and after practice.

What is a former teammate's opinion? White was with the Jets for a couple of seasons.

White said last week that he thought that the relationships that the quarterback has with every single person in the locker room and in the building were what made him so successful. When I first arrived in Dallas, I noticed that he operated that way. He's got a relationship with everybody, whether it's starting receivers or the practice squad backup corner, I try to emulate that.


In his first three seasons as a starter, he was excellent at the risk-reward balance. His touchdown to interception ratio is very high.

That changed this season. His 10 picks were the most through Week 8. Some were the result of bad luck and some were the result of trying too hard.

The situation came to a head against the Packers. With the Chiefs struggling to get any sizable gain, Mahomes bypassed an open tight end in the middle of the field to try a deep shot to wide receiver Mecole Hardman. The incomplete pass was a sign of how difficult it was for Mahomes to control his instincts and go for a big play at the right time.

The results of reviewing his decision-making process and making changes have only recently been shown, but that's only because of the many times he's talked about it this season. His longest such streak this season is two games, where he hasn't thrown an intercept.

He has been careful with the ball since he was a fourth-round pick. He has four picks in 17 games this season and is on pace for nine. It doesn't come at the expense of getting the ball down the field.

It would be the second-most yards per attempt of his career, and he is completing 70% of his passes, which would be a career best. In eight starts, he has 34 completions of at least 20 yards.

McCarthy said that he would put them in the more aggressive category. We're not a fast offense. I think it shows you the type of player he is and just the kind of year he is having, with his completion percentage. I think his decision-making has been excellent. I think he's very smart with the football, but the intercept ratio is a little higher than you think.

Arm strength.

He has a big arm and has proven it many times. He threw a touchdown pass in a preseason game that traveled 69 yards in the air. He threw a ball out of the stadium while working out. He has talked about a throw-off with Josh Allen, another strong-armed quarterback.

Mahomes has found other ways of using his arm. He had to throw across his body while on the run. He uses side-armed passes to avoid pass-rushers who were in the traditional passing lane. He switched the ball from his right hand to his left to avoid a pass-rusher.

It's difficult to imagine a quarterback more confident in his ability to make a throw than Mahomes, because of his strength in the passing arm.

When people talk about Prescott, they usually don't mention his arm strength, but he has a strong arm and can make all of the throws. He has a plus arm.

"I'm strong," CeeDee Lamb said.

How strong? "He jammed a couple of fingers catching the passes," Lamb said. It's not nice. You have to get back up and run it. Is he going to hit it the same way? You never know. His arm strength is amazing.

His strength comes from his mechanics. His throws come from the ground. He has worked with Jon Beck and 3DQB for almost his entire career and their focus has been on getting his legs and hips in sync with the upper body. The pre-game warm up has become famous.

Overcoming challenges.


Louis Riddick thinks that the Chiefs need to do something to stop the Cowboys.

He dealt with the first slump of his career earlier in the season. During a three week period, Mahomes had a QBR of 23.7 with a long pass of just 25 yards. He forced a number of throws.

The Kansas City defense, ranked 26th in the country, created additional pressure on the offense. The opponents were scheming to eliminate the deep ball.

The breakthrough was last week's win over the Raiders. Three passes of 30 yards or more were thrown by the Chiefs. Hill said that the shorter throws made the offense work and noted the big receiving game by running back Darrel Williams (9 catches for 101 yards).

"Teams are trying to take the deep shots away from us and Pat has learned how to take what's given to him," Hill said.

Each of Tom Brady's Super Bowl appearances has been given a first-hand account. Man in the Arena: Tom Brady will be broadcasted on the Disney Channel.

A year ago at this time, Prescott was less than two months removed from surgery to repair a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, hoping there would be no infections that could impact his rehabilitation.

During the first week of training camp, he strained his right latissimus and missed all of the preseason games. He threw for over 400 yards in the season opener against the defending champion.

He was out of the Cowboys' Halloween game against the Vikings because of a calf strain. His return to action against Denver did not go well, but he looked like himself last week against the Falcons, completing 77% of his passes.

"I think it came from practice and everything that I wanted to get back to working on, just getting ready to play again, using my hips, just getting everything that I knew would pop out of my hands," he said. "So there wasn't a throw in the game, but I was able to get out there and get back to the player I believe I am."

The quarterback is on the QB.

He said he tries to incorporate parts of the game of Prescott into his own.

Mahomes, who grew up in Texas rooting for the Cowboys, won't be a fan of the team on Sunday, but he is a fan of the quarterback.

He's a great leader, first of all. Even if you're just watching as a fan, you can see that. He has been a starter for a long time. He's athletic. He can make a lot of big-time throws and you can see that by the way he played in college. They have a great offense and a great team so it will be a challenge for us to go against them this week.

Rivera's take on the game.

Rams are moving in the wrong direction.

Aiyuk is emerging for the 49ers.

The Bucs are looking to stop the skid.

The Packers built an elite defense.