Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott joined the local Tampa media earlier this week for a conference call to talk about his upcoming matchup with Buccaneers. Below is the full transcript.

(On quarterback Jameis Winston)

“I definitely admire the work he does, just being a great leader. Being able to spend some time with him, we created a little friendship there at the [Peyton] Manning Camp and he’s an intelligent guy. He’s a guy that knows the game of football, who’s pretty smart and quick in thinking. But, yeah, I admire what he does.”

(On how he stays focused regardless of outside noise)
“I just really don’t pay attention to it. I don’t give it any thought. Playing for an organization like this, there’s always going to be talk and it just makes you better. It kind of allows that chip on my shoulder to grow, but for the most part, I really don’t pay attention to it. I just worry about going in there and doing my job and right now, that’s being the starting quarterback and helping my team win each and every week.”

(On whether jumping right into the fire at the beginning of the season helps him now handle negative outside noise)
“Yeah, I’ve been through a lot off the field in my life that’s allowed me to deal with controversy or negative issues or whatever you want to call it. But, definitely, since the time I’ve been drafted, there’s been doubts and there’s been all kind of talk and controversy from the time I was drafted to the time [quarterback]Tony [Romo] went down. So, yeah, it’s really never affected me. If it does anything, it allows me to allow that chip on my shoulder to grow and become a better player.”

(On his relationship with former Buccaneer Derrick Brooks)
“Yeah, I met with Derrick in the offseason in the training. We share a marketing agent, me and Derrick do, so we’re able to connect there and went and spent some time down there with him. We went to a little convention that he spoke at and it was a privilege for me just to be there and hear him talk about education and all the things that are important off the field that he allowed the platform of being on the field to help him to do those things. He’s a great man and idol that I definitely can learn from off the field.”

(On greatest thing he has taken away from knowing Brooks)
“Pretty much what I just said of using this game of football not really to be our whole life, but to use it as a platform to affect others off the field when it comes to education, when it comes to giving back to charity, when it comes to just being a person, being an everyday guy. How to use this platform of being an NFL player in this spotlight and transition that to helping everyday people to do better things.”

(On handling being the starting quarterback as a rookie)
“I don’t know if I can pinpoint one situation, there’s been a bunch, but overall, it’s just knowing how blessed I am just to be able to do something that I love and not taking anything for granted. It’s really just the overall thing that all the situations in my life allowed me to understand is take every day and use it to make yourself better as a player and a person and I know in doing that, I will get better.”

(On whether he expected to win 11 of the last 12 games when coming in as the starting quarterback)
“I can’t say I was planning on coming in and had my mind that we’re going to go on a huge winning streak, but I definitely have all the confidence in myself and the players in this organization and my coaches that we’re going to have a lot of success. Like I’ve said, I have a lot of confidence in me and I have high standards for myself. It doesn’t surprise me by any means of what we’re doing and coming off of a loss, it just makes us get sharper and get better and refocus.”

(On running back Ezekiel Elliott)
“It’s fabulous having that running game, having an offensive line like we do, gets credit obviously, but I don’t know if they can ever get as much credit as they’re worth. Then, with Zeke, just running behind them and finding all the holes and being great in the passing game as well. It’s allowed me to just go out there and make my job easier in some sort. It’s great and just being able to go through everything with a fellow rookie in the backfield, going through everything for the first time on and off the field, it’s been fun. Zeke’s a great friend and he’s like a brother, so it’s fun just having him around all the time.”

(On how the team has responded to the loss last week)
“It’s allowed us, like I said, just to sharpen up and refocus. You never say a loss is good. You never say you want to lose or anything like that, especially to an individual team. But, we can use this as motivation and get back refocused and do all the things that we were doing to begin with. We’ve kind of slacked a little bit on offense these last two weeks, so just to sharpen back up and get more focused and do all the things we need to do that got us winning in the first place.”

(On how the Senior Bowl this past January helped prepare him for the situation he is in now)
“Yeah, I’m so thankful to be able to go to the Senior Bowl. That was my first time in 11-on-11 going under center, so that was big for me just to get that exposure, to get those reps, to work with that. Like you said, just to get in front of all NFL coaches and most importantly, to see a playbook. You want to say all the time that your playbook in college compares to the NFL, but you really don’t know until you’re given that playbook at the Senior Bowl. It was great just to be able to see the comparisons, to be able to learn and see the plays and practice those long plays. Everything I did benefitted me and plays a big part in my early success in this league.”

(On the Buccaneers defense)
“Yeah, they’re fast. I think that is one word that just describes their defense is that they’re fast. They’re fast on the edges, they’re fast at linebacker, they’re fast in the secondary. They are a good defense. They are a great defense. They’re always around the ball. I don’t know if I’ve seen a team all season long just react to the ball as they do and get as many guys around the ball and that’s where their turnovers come. They all have high motors and they rally to the ball, they’re getting their hands on passes that are in the air and being able to tip them up and pick them. Then they’ve got guys that I’ve said, getting to the ball and pulling it out. Creates for a good defense. But, we’re excited for the challenge here this Sunday.”

(On whether he ever went against cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III during college)
“No, I never played Florida.”


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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at
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