Brock Purdy vs Dak Prescott: Who’s the better QB?


With the 49ers and Cowboys both among the top teams in the NFC this season, a debate of Brock Purdy vs Dak Prescott seems inevitable. Obviously, they aren’t the only two good quarterbacks in the NFL, nor are they ready to be considered among the greatest quarterbacks of all time. But both have achieved great success after being overlooked coming out of college, so the Prescott vs Purdy comparison is a fair one.

Debating Brock Purdy vs Dak Prescott

Obviously, Prescott is a more established player while Purdy has taken the league by storm over the last season and a half. They are both legitimate MVP candidates in 2023 and neither would be considered among the worst Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks if they were to lead their team to a championship this season.

With MVP talk for both starting to heat up, let’s take a closer look at Purdy and Prescott and how they compare to one another.

The Resume

Needless to say, Prescott has a longer and more impressive resume than Purdy, He won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 despite being a fourth-round pick, leading Dallas to a 13-3 record in his first season. Prescott made the Pro Bowl that season while setting rookie records for best completion percentage and passer rating by a rookie. He returned to the Pro Bowl in 2018 and is likely to surpass 200 career touchdown passes by the end of the 2023 season.

Purdy hasn’t had as much time to put together a resume like the one Prescott has. Most of Purdy’s accomplishments are seen through the lens of being the last player selected in the 2022 Draft. However, Purdy did things early in his career that no other quarterback has accomplished. He was the first quarterback to win his first six starts while throwing at least two touchdown passes in each game. Purdy also joined Aaron Rodgers as the only quarterbacks with a passer rating of at least 115 in their first two career starts.

Creating Big Plays

There is no question that Prescott has created more than his fair share of big plays throughout his career. It’s why he’s thrown at least 22 touchdown passes every year except the 2020 season when he only played five games. He’s also averaged over eight yards per pass over a full season three times and undoubtedly has the arm talent to push the ball down the field.

Yet, Purdy is averaging over nine yards per pass over the first 17 starts of his career. He wasn’t selected until the final pick of the draft largely because he lacks the prototypical size and arm strength of an elite quarterback. But while Purdy is often considered more of a game manager because he was overlooked coming out of college and has a great supporting cast, the numbers say he’s a quarterback who creates big plays.

Minimizing Mistakes

Limiting turnovers is notoriously an area where Prescott has struggled, especially in big games. He has twice led the NFL in fumbles and also led the league in interceptions in 2022. In four of his first seven seasons in the league, Prescott threw at least 10 interceptions. He also has five career interceptions in six playoff games, adding to the perception that Prescott is careless with the football.

On the contrary, Purdy has been more careful with the football during the early part of his career. He owns a lower interception percentage than Prescott and didn’t throw any in his first three playoff starts last season. In fairness, Prescott and Purdy have thrown the same number of interceptions through the first 12 games of the 2023 season. However, Purdy threw five of his six interceptions this year during a three-game slump. Since he’s come out of it, Purdy has been reliable when it comes to ball security, which remains an issue for Prescott.

Winning Games

Ultimately, everything boils down to winning games, and Purdy has done nothing but win since becoming San Francisco’s starter. Including the playoffs, he owns a 16-4 record through the first 20 starts of his career. That includes the loss in last year’s NFC Championship Game after he got hurt.

In fairness, Prescott has won nearly 63% of his starts since coming to the NFL, which is nothing to scoff at. As mentioned, he went 13-3 as a rookie, following a year in which the Cowboys went 4-12. However, there have been years that Prescott and the Cowboys underperformed based on the standards he set for himself early in his career. Prescott’s 2-4 record in the playoffs also hangs over his head, especially when compared to Purdy, who won his first two playoff starts, including a head-to-head game over Prescott and the Cowboys.

The Verdict

In the current moment, the debate between Prescott and Purdy has to lean toward Purdy. Prescott obviously has the edge when it comes to experience and longevity. But while that helps him in some ways, it makes his struggles in the playoffs and with ball security harder to ignore. It’s also hard to ignore the fact that Prescott is starting to run out of opportunities to win a Super Bowl and cement his legacy.

On the other hand, it’s hard to leap to conclusions about Purdy because his body of work isn’t big enough just yet. He’s obviously had the advantage of playing alongside some electric playmakers with the 49ers and being supported by one of the NFL’s best defenses. However, everything about Purdy’s numbers, the eye test, and the way he plays the game say that his success isn’t a fluke. He’s done enough in his first 20 starts to be considered a better quarterback than Prescott and a serious MVP candidate in 2023.



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