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'It’s about turning the page' | Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott ready for fresh start in 2023

“It’s behind me,” Prescott told reporters. “If I’ve ever given credit to people's opinion, I wouldn't have made it this far — in my life, in this league."

ARLINGTON, Texas — Suffice to say, last season was one to forget for Dak Prescott. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback threw a league-high 15 interceptions in the regular season -- and did so in just 12 games played.

He then added two more picks in the NFC divisional playoff-eliminating loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Not every interception was his fault — some dropped passes and fluky plays were to blame — but many were.

As the franchise quarterback for the world’s most valuable sports franchise, criticism comes with the territory whether it’s deserved (or undeserved).

Naturally, Prescott drew ire from some fans and hot take some pundits throughout his league-worst season.

“It’s behind me,” Prescott told reporters on Thursday. “If I’ve ever given credit to people's opinion, I wouldn't have made it this far — in my life, in this league." 

On Sunday night in New Jersey, the 2016 fourth round pick begins his eighth season as the Cowboys starting quarterback.

The 2022 slate has been wiped clean for 2023.

“Dak, to me, is the ultimate professional,” noted Cowboys All-Pro right guard Zack Martin. “He comes in and does it the right way, every single day. And that hasn't changed since the moment he stepped in the building."

Professional athletes, especially those in the brightest of spotlights, are held to high expectations.

It makes you wonder: what do they do (if anything) to reconcile that pressure and prevent it from being self-consuming?

Prescott has been open about discussing mental health and admitting to his own battles in the past.

On Thursday, WFAA's Jonah Javad asked Prescott how he centers his mind and emotions off the field. 

“I’m thankful. And every day I remind myself that. No matter what I’m doing, I don’t take anything for granted. Just a very grateful person. I think that’s where my balance comes from: giving thanks. I think when you’re thankful, that’s your visualization. You’re able to reflect on where you’ve been. How far you are now," replied Prescott. 

"I don’t know if I necessarily meditate in the yoga style with my hands up, but I’m a big spa person. I’m gonna find my me-time. No darkness retreats yet, though.”

While Prescott is not going on darkness retreats like future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers — at least, not yet — they do share one similarity now: quarterbacks in an offense play-called by Mike McCarthy.

(With the offseason departure of former offensive Cooridnator Kellen Moore, McCarthy has taken over the play-calling duties for the first time since being named Cowboys head coach in 2020.)

“I think [Dak’s] discipline and approach to life, let alone professional football, is top notch,” McCarthy said Thursday.

Now at age 30, Prescott’s perspective is near-poetic.

“It’s about turning the page and writing a new sentence,” Prescott asserted. “The pen's in our hands and we're ready to do that."

Perhaps Natasha Bedingfield sang it best in 2004, “Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten.” 

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