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Mark Sanchez on Dak Prescott: 'This dude's cool'

Quarterback Dak Prescott's ability to pick things up and make adjustments has been especially impressive, says backup Mark Sanchez. Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

FRISCO, Texas -- If there is anybody who can appreciate what Dak Prescott has done in his first two starts as the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback it is Mark Sanchez.

In 2009, Sanchez started his New York Jets career with a 3-0 record, including a win against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. He had four touchdown passes and two interceptions in the first three games as well.

Prescott has yet to throw a touchdown pass, but he has run for one and more importantly not had a pass intercepted in the Cowboys’ 1-1 start.

Sanchez, the Cowboys’ backup, has been impressed with Prescott’s poise, like the coaches and other teammates.

“No matter what level (you play in college) there’s definitely an adjustment, and the thing that’s helping Dak is his personality,” Sanchez said. “Some guys are ready for that jump, I think, a little sooner than others. And then the team we have.”

Sanchez had an offensive line that featured Alan Faneca, Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Damien Woody and Brandon Moore. Prescott has an offensive line with three Pro Bowlers. Sanchez had a 1,400-yard rusher in Thomas Jones. Prescott has Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris, who have three touchdown runs in two games.

Prescott has better receivers and tight ends in Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams than Sanchez did.

“His ability to pick things up and to adjust and then also his mental approach and his demeanor, this dude’s cool, man,” Sanchez said. “He doesn’t flinch. And that’s tough for young guys, but he’s making checks. He’s adjusting protections. He’s changing routes. He’s signaling stuff. On the road, it’s loud, we’re down three in the fourth quarter and it’s like he’s doing it 100 times in practice. That’s really it. He’s taking the practice reps to the field and he doesn’t let the environment or anything else factor in to what he’s got to accomplish.”

Sanchez finished his rookie year with an 8-7 record and 12 touchdown passes and 20 interceptions, but the Jets made it to the AFC Championship Game. He said he did not feel the burden of carrying the team; the Cowboys hope Prescott isn't feeling that burden either.

“Don’t even get outside of your job right now because that’s more than enough,” Sanchez said. “He’s understood that. When you’ve got other veterans around him who know how to run routes, who understand spacing, who know that they have a route called into a coverage that’s probably not ideal, but, ‘OK, how do we make it work? How do I have him a passing lane in this coverage?’ It happened twice the other day where Dez slightly adjusts his route and it was just a veteran move for a young guy. He knew what to do and it was awesome. I’m really proud of him.”