Maybe Mark Sanchez sees something of himself in young Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Perhaps the Mexican-American quarterback can identify with the pressure of expectations in a big media market with demanding fans. For whatever reason, it's clear that since he arrived in Dallas, Sanchez has gone out of his way to mentor Prescott and assist him in many ways. It also appears that Prescott appreciates the help and has taken the advice of Sanchez to heart.
After the Cowboys' latest win, it was Prescott who sought out Sanchez in particular to celebrate with him the victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dak Prescott and Mark Sanchez seemed excited about the win pic.twitter.com/x7gZuc5EGA
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 14, 2016
The connection started soon after Sanchez arrived in Dallas in September. An NFL veteran of seven years, Sanchez took the initiative to advise Prescott on the sidelines. He also praised him after Prescott found success in the early going, pointing out specific plays where the rookie quarterback from Mississippi State performed well.
Dak Prescott hugs an excited fanhttps://t.co/eLXz77PfJN
— Not Tony Romo (@not_romo) October 16, 2016
Sanchez doesn't seem to care about how some Cowboys fans have questioned whether he should advise Prescott, given his lack of success as a starter recently, calling Sanchez a "fan."
"Somebody sent me the video that says 'Crazed fan attacks Dak after a touchdown' -- and it was me," Sanchez said to Dallas Sports Day's Kate Hairopoulous. "I jumped on him because I was so just happy for him."
Sanchez was especially pleased when Prescott had managed to recover from a fumble mistake to lead the Cowboys to a win over the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 16.
Sanchez has counseled Prescott to enjoy his rookie season, even as he deals with the pressure of expectations from rabid Cowboys fans. There's a personal connection behind such advice. Not only did Sanchez become a starter for the New York Jets in his own rookie season, just like Prescott, but he also has won four playoff games in his league career, twice as many as Tony Romo, the long-time Cowboys starter who has just recently recovered from the injury that pushed Prescott into the starting role.
Off the field, Sanchez and Prescott, a 4th round pick in the NFL draft, have a strong connection as well. They engage in friendly competitions around the Dallas facilities, such as playing H-O-R-S-E in the locker room.
When the Cowboys played the Cleveland Browns on Nov. 6, Prescott performed so well that Sanchez was sent into the game once it was safely out of reach. He completed his lone pass, securing a first down. That's unlikely to threaten either Prescott or Romo, but Sanchez has found a way to be a teammate and contribute.