In 2022, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had the most interceptions and interception percentage of his career, despite playing only 12 games. With 15 picks in the regular season, he was tied for the most in the NFL with Houston Texans second-year quarterback Davis Mills and he added two more interceptions during the playoffs.
Head coach Mike McCarthy is understandably making it a goal to cut down on those numbers in 2023. During the NFL's owners meetings, McCarthy discussed how they plan to have less interceptions on the stat sheet.
"Definitely, we spent some time," McCarthy said (via the Cowboys' official website). "He was in for the captains workout [earlier this month]. So he came up and spent about four hours with Scott [Tolzien, the quarterback coach] and I. And we went back and looked at his decision-making opportunities and the interceptions and potential interceptions and just talking through it."
McCarthy added that "it's healthy" to go over the interceptions after the season.
The offense will have some different faces this season, with Brian Schottenheimer replacing Kellen Moore as offensive coordinator and Scott Tolzien replacing Doug Nussmeier as the quarterback's coach. McCarthy said in the past that he will be more involved in the offensive play-calling.
The head coach says increasing the run game and protecting Prescott better are two ways they plan to help the quarterback succeed next season. McCarthy said elevated defensive linemen have made things more difficult for offenses.
McCarthy gave credit to his former coaches and says there will be a change this year, as there always is when you bring in new people.
"I thought Doug [Nussmeier] did an excellent job with the quarterbacks," McCarthy said. "But you know, the room will be different. Any time you have a new coach in there and it'll be Scott's new opportunity, too. But Brian and I will be in there pretty much full time so they'll be getting that landscape laid too. But it's pretty fluid."
Last season, the Cowboys won their first road playoff game in 30 years when they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team that got into the playoffs with a losing season, and was far from high competition. They lost to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round and Prescott had two picks in the loss.
The Cowboys had a solid group, but the playoff curse they seem to be under remained even so. Prescott throwing less interceptions would certainly help their chances, as would the quarterback staying healthy all year.
"My goal is for Dak to play 20 games next year," McCarthy said. "If he plays 20 games next year, obviously we'll be right where we want to be."