OXNARD, Calif. — It’s still early in training camp, but Dak Prescott already has a favorite moment.
It’s been the trash talking.
“I enjoy it,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “I really do. It gets the best of me. You got to be accountable from your words. I like to see other peoples’ reactions. Sometimes they can take it, most of the time they can take it. I don’t talk trash to a teammate or do anything that I know a guy that that doesn’t get them going. To me that just shows you the passion within the practice and the comfortability and the connection that guys have across the ball, for myself anyways.
“It’s fun. It really is. The best teams I’ve been a part of have that, and have that in that healthy manner. I just think that’s a sign of that, honestly.”
A trash-talking incident from Tuesday’s practice received quite a bit of attention on social media because of the language Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl CB Trevon Diggs directed at Prescott after a play.
Cowboys defense getting chirpy with Dak Prescott pic.twitter.com/9pEcnXzWZx
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) August 1, 2023
“Shut your b—- ass up,” Diggs can be heard saying.
Prescott was not bothered by Diggs’ choice of words, joking Thursday on 96.7 The Ticket in Dallas: “I know I’m not a b—-.”
Diggs also downplayed the exchange after Thursday’s practice.
“I feel like it makes practice fun,” Diggs said. “At the end of the day, that’s my brother. I love Dak to death. There nothing behind it. It’s just competitiveness, it’s just football.”
What does he say to the people who think he doesn’t respect Prescott?
“Stay out of our business,” Diggs said. “People don’t need to worry about what we got going on, our relationship, my relationship with my brother. Dak is the leader of our team. He’s going to go out there and have a great year. I have the utmost respect for Dak.”
Dak and Diggs pic.twitter.com/xw92alvyWs
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) July 26, 2023
The whole thing was blown out of proportion, but because it involves the Cowboys and their franchise QB, it made for the perfect training camp talking point on social media, TV and radio.
“I’m just glad not everything that is being said is being picked up (by cameras and microphones),” Prescott said. “I’m the youngest of three boys. Words are just words. When you love somebody and you know who they are, you compete against them in everything you do, rock-paper-scissors, card games, football, you name it. Yeah, you’ve got emotions and you’ve got feelings about it. Words never have hurt me. I encourage it, honestly. … So when somebody says something, whether others may perceive it as disrespectful or this or that, that’s for them to go to sleep on.”
Prescott considers himself among the best trash talkers on the team. He acknowledged that safety Jayron Kearse is the best.
“I give myself second,” Prescott said. “He’s funny with it. I’m not always funny with it. I’m more of just to the point. JK is really good.”
A bigger focus for Prescott is getting acclimated to the offensive changes. At times that has appeared challenging as Dallas’ defense has consistently been showing why so many expect them to be among the NFL’s best this season. Diggs, Stephon Gilmore and DaRon Bland have been playing well on the back end.
Stephon Gilmore pic.twitter.com/TfGDBE0OX1
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 3, 2023
DaRon Bland pic.twitter.com/8lZHukxJUh
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 3, 2023
Up front, Micah Parsons has been getting to Prescott often. While those plays have almost always ended with Parsons running by the QB, he fell into Prescott’s legs, knocking him to the ground Tuesday. The coaching staff addressed it with Parsons. Prescott was not bothered by the hit.
“I mean, knock on wood,” Prescott said, “that’s really a testament to the way he’s trained, the way he’s prepared in the offseason. You can tell the drill work he’s done, how quick he’s able to bend in the corner, how fast he is. It’s just a result of him training that way and training the right way.
“Those are all sacks. It’s tough to say, ‘Hey, bend in that corner, but then peel off and run away from the guy.’ To me, that’s a little bit of a bad habit. So, in a sense, I deal with it. I try to keep my legs soft in the pocket at times when things like that come. That one the other day, I jumped, making sure I’m giving my legs a little bit in case it’s accidental. But it’s part of it. He does have one gear. And you want that because I know the best is going to come on (Sundays) and he’s not going to pull up on those other guys, so it’s great.”
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Saying “iron sharpens iron” is overused in sports. But it does seem to fit well with the current Cowboys roster. The defense has held the edge in camp, but the offense, particularly at the wide receiver position, has seen several players step up. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy noted this week that the talent on both sides of the ball played a factor in Dallas not scheduling a training camp practice with another team like it has in previous years.
“I love it,” McCarthy said. “We can’t get enough work. This is a perfect illustration of why we’re not practicing against other teams. I think the offense and defense, we will challenge each other at a very high level. So, you can see that we got off to a pretty good start with that (early in the week).”
The Cowboys have four more practices in Oxnard before returning to Dallas for their first preseason game. They will then return to Oxnard for three more training camp practices before playing their second preseason game, at Seattle on Aug. 19.
Expect the trash talking to continue.
“Trash talking is part of our environment,” McCarthy said. “I don’t referee that. I mean, it goes on in the lunch line. This is not like this is something new. It’s been going on as long as I’ve been in this league. I think that’s just part of our culture and guys competing.”
(Photo of Dak Prescott: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images)
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