A Pro Football Hall of Famer thinks Dallas Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott has an ‘anger’ issue

Terry Bradshaw has thoughts.

On a variety of topics. All of those thoughts can come at you so fast that you need a recorder to be able to digest them all, and that requires multiple rewinds.

Ironically, the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback who is forever associated with the Pittsburgh Steelers now lives much closer to the team he tormented throughout the 1970s. Terry lives in Texas, not too far from DFW, where he among other activities breeds horses.

He also actively prepares for his one-man performance, “The Terry Bradshaw Show,” which is running in Branson, Missouri, and will soon be on the road.

Bradshaw, 75, remains in his role as a top studio analyst for the NFL on Fox. He probably watches far more Dallas Cowboys games than he does Pittsburgh Steelers games.

Some of his observations about the Cowboys sound like those from the rest of us. A lot of fans are numb to them. He offers one that struck the “right” note.

“I am a huge Dak Prescott fan. I believe Jerry Jones will do anything to win,” Bradshaw said this week in a phone interview. “Instead of being so kind and gracious, kind and lovable, I want Dak to go up there and say (bleep) you guys, and (bleep) all of you.”

He doesn’t mean this 100% literally. Well, this is Terry Bradshaw. He may.

Because it is hard to hear those words coming out of Dak Prescott’s mouth.

“You have to have an edge about you,” Bradshaw said. “You have to have some nastiness about you, because it will permeate through your entire team.”

Through every fiber of his body, Dak Prescott is a polite, decent man. The same could be said of Bradshaw’s former counterpart, Roger Staubach. There have been few leaders in any sport any better than Roger.

The leadership element is a component to Dak’s “game” that the Cowboys placed such a premium. His teammates, from Mississippi State to the Cowboys, all respect him.

Since Dak took over as the starting QB as a rookie in 2016, you don’t hear a lot of complaints lobbed at him from former teammates.

He’s 30 years old, and entering his ninth year in the NFL. All as the starter.

Something is working, and just amiss, in these nine years. Something that is a Dak problem, and a symptom of playing for the Dallas Cowboys.

“They lack the killer instinct, and that’s your fault; well, maybe not you specifically,” Bradshaw said, scolding members of the media.

“They are placed on a pedestal because every network wants the Cowboys on national TV because they get the highest ratings every week.”

No different than when Bradshaw played in the ‘70s. Bradshaw’s point has been uttered by a lot of former players, including Emmitt Smith and a host of ex-Cowboys. All of this Super Bowl-level adulation without Super Bowl-level results has an effect.

“What they lack is that (angry) attitude,” he said. “They lack that (really bad word deleted) attitude. Or they don’t answer, ‘Why when you get into the playoffs you play like dog (waste)?’ Where is that fear?”

There isn’t much fear. Or almost none.

As professional sports has evolved, and the distinction between performance and results versus entertainment and popularity are increasingly indistinguishable, a lot of athletes and teams struggle with that fear.

Hard to be scared with a $60 million guaranteed contract. Hard to be scared when your franchise is worth $1 billion despite a losing record.

“When I look at the Cowboys, where is that drive? I’m just thinking about (the Steelers), and our team was never satisfied,” he said. “When people said we weren’t any good any more, we went out and won two more Super Bowls.”

The Steelers won the Super Bowl in 1974 and ‘75. They reached the AFC title game in 1976, and the divisional round in ‘77.

The prevailing thought was that a team loaded with future Hall of Famers was still good, but maybe too old to win another Super Bowl. They won the Super Bowl in 1978 and ‘79. That team, and their standard, remains one of the best, and highest, in the history of American sports.

“I am not saying the Cowboys do not have the potential to do that,” he said. “But go back and look at Prescott’s last game (the wild card loss to the Green Bay Packers). He was terrible.

“Then you look at the stats and it says he threw for 400 yards, I don’t put any value in that. As a player, you do not win a Super Bowl without some serious attitude. Attitude that says, ‘We are going to win this game.’”

Maybe Dak Prescott needs to get a little mad.