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For starters as of late, Dak Prescott finding going a little slow

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Stephen A. gives a lot of credit to Prescott (1:21)

Stephen A. Smith explains why he has to give a lot of credit to Cowboys QB Dak Prescott after he led the team to a 10th straight win. (1:21)

FRISCO, Texas -- Dak Prescott has established himself as the Dallas Cowboys' closer of sorts for the last five games of the season.

In his past 11 fourth-quarter and overtime drives, Prescott has completed 30 of 33 passes for 325 yards with two touchdowns. He has also run for one score.

"I guess I've got three quarters under my belt at that point," Prescott said. "I know what they're going to give me for the most part. The rhythm of the game, I know my matchups, and I'm locked in at that point."

There really isn't much Prescott has not done well. He has 17 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. He has also tied a team record for quarterbacks with five rushing touchdowns. Most importantly, he has the Cowboys holding the best record in the NFL at 10-1.

But if you squint, you can see one area that could become somewhat concerning. As good as he has been as a closer, he has struggled some as, well, a starter.

On Thanksgiving Day against the Washington Redskins, he completed just two of four passes for 17 yards in the first quarter. He missed potential big plays to Terrance Williams, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.

Four days earlier against the Baltimore Ravens, the Cowboys had to punt on their first four drives after Prescott completed just four of 10 passes for 31 yards. He was also sacked once. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers he threw for 128 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter, but 83 of those yards -- and the touchdown -- came on a screen pass to Ezekiel Elliott. He also lost a fumble. In the second quarter he completed just three of eight passes for 30 yards.

"I need to get better in everything. I don't pinpoint starting the game or finishing the game more so than another," Prescott said. "You always want to get off to a fast start, but it's all about the end results. As long as we're winning, then it really doesn't matter. Some games we get rolling early and it's hard to stop us. Some games it takes a little bit of time. It's more just staying in the moment, don't worry about what's happened, don't worry about the next few plays; worry about what's at hand now."

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett's process-oriented approach might not agree with Prescott's end-results analysis, but Prescott and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan seem to find the answers to whatever leads to the slow starts, be they surprising defensive looks from the opposition to jitters to just poor mechanics and reads.

The offense hit a lull against the Green Bay Packers, but Prescott responded with a 97-yard scoring drive in 34 seconds. He struggled for most of the contest against the Philadelphia Eagles but then went 5-for-8 passing on a 90-yard drive to tie the score late in regulation; he also completed all five of his passes in overtime, including the winning touchdown pass to Jason Witten.

"Sometimes we come out and they throw something at us on third down or throughout the game that we didn't prepare for, but we come to the sidelines, get on the iPads, get the pictures and figure it out," Prescott said.

Rookie quarterbacks -- or even first-year starters -- aren't supposed to be able to figure things out this quickly. Kyle Orton is the other fourth-round pick to win 10 games as a rookie. He did it with the Chicago Bears in 2005, but he threw just nine touchdown passes and was intercepted 13 times. He had a 1,335-yard rusher in Thomas Jones and a tremendous defense.

Matt Ryan (2008), Joe Flacco (2008), Andrew Luck (2012) and Russell Wilson (2012) won 11 games as rookies.

The last rookie quarterback to do what Prescott has done is Ben Roethlisberger. In 2004, he won his 13 regular-season starts after taking over for Tommy Maddox and took the Pittsburgh Steelers to the AFC Championship Game, where they lost to the New England Patriots.

But that Steelers team was carried by its defense and running game.

Prescott is doing more, and he is responding, especially after the first quarter.

"I don't know if I necessarily put a time limit or necessarily snap into and say, 'This is the time,'" Prescott said. "It's more just taking it one play at a time. I've always believed in this offense, and we all believe in ourselves that we're one play away. Stay focused and treat every play individually and it will pop."