Does Josh Allen deserve the same heat as Dak Prescott for turnovers?


Josh Allen turned the ball over too often for Buffalo to win a Super Bowl. Were his mistakes as bad as Dak Prescott’s errors for the Cowboys?

Bills and Cowboys fans both understand that their star quarterback’s respective penchants for turnover cost their teams the chance to hoist a Lombardi Trophy this year. Interestingly, Dak Prescott seems to be getting a lot more negative press for his interceptions than Josh Allen.

That’s despite the reality that Allen turned the ball over 23 times this season. That represents the highest total for any single player in the last three seasons. The addition of a 17th regular-season game does factor into that statistic, but it doesn’t change the reality that Allen was much too loose with the football.

By comparison, Prescott threw 15 interceptions and lost one fumble for a total of 16 turnovers on the campaign. On the surface, that makes it seem like Allen deserves far more criticism than his Dallas counterpart.

Dak Prescott had a very different season than Josh Allen

It’s important to remember that Prescott only played 12 regular season games due to injury. That means he only attempted 394 passes this year. Allen’s total attempts total was significantly higher checking in at 567. That means Prescott’s interception percentage was 3.8% compared to Allen’s mark of 2.5%.

That statistic doesn’t instantly end the debate in Allen’s favor. He was fortunate to play with more weapons than Prescott enjoyed. Stefon Diggs is one of the best wide receivers on the planet. Gabriel Davis and Dawson Knox gave Allen above-average options at the No. 2 wide receiver and tight end spot respectively.

Prescott’s offense wasn’t devoid of weapons, but CeeDee Lamb is a clear downgrade compared to Diggs. Dalton Schultz is a nice target at tight end, but he’s not as dynamic as Knox. The wideout options in Dallas behind Lamb were a significant problem for the Cowboys all season long. Tony Pollard is a better pass-catcher than Devin Singletary but that was Dallas’ only meaningful advantage over Buffalo at a skill position.

Casual fans might be inclined to believe Allen should get credit because he pushes the ball down the field more often than Prescott. That actually wasn’t true during the 2020 season despite the optics of each offense. Prescott’s average air yards per target was 7.65 which was slightly higher than Allen’s average of 7.5 yards per attempt. That’s not an insignificant point in Prescott’s favor.

The bottom line is that both Prescott and Allen turned the ball over too often for their teams in 2020. Prescott’s significantly higher interception rate means he had the more damaging season, but that shouldn’t be comforting for Bills fans. Both highly-paid signal callers need to protect the ball much better next year if they want to achieve playoff glory.


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