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The Dallas Cowboys are trying to carry out something this January the hasn"t yet been accomplished in NFL history. Nobody has made it to the Super key -- permit alone winner the huge game -- with a rookie quarterback under center. After ~ 50 supervisor Bowls, we obviously have actually seen 100 starting quarterbacks, and also while there have actually been players that were almost rookies (like Tom Brady in 2001), no passer has finished his debut season in the NFL taking snaps on the game"s greatest stage.

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If ns were a Cowboys fan, I"d more than likely hear that and also be both worried and hopeful. Hey, 50 years of background is a long time and also a pretty an excellent sample size, and also there have been a lot of of great quarterbacks come come up quick without one future hall of Famer also eking his method through. I"d also probably be arguing Dak Prescott isn"t your typical rookie quarterback, with the phenom"s exceptional performance do him much more like a third- or fourth-year star than a mere pro freshman.

Dak Prescott is among the greatest rookie QBs we"ve ever seen, and he"s around to effort the unprecedented.Tim Heitman/USA this day SportsBoth those sentiments are fair. To figure out why Prescott"s reign would it is in unprecedented, we"ve got to take it a look at what has actually happened throughout the Super bowl era to watch why rookie quarterbacks room 0-for-50. Let"s ask and also answer a few questions and also get earlier to Prescott afterward.

Is it monster or surprising that us haven"t seen a rookie quarterback in the Super bowl by now?

Actually, yeah. The is.

I went with every season because the AFL-NFL merger of 1970, which pipeline out the very first four super Bowls, although they also don"t have any rookie quarterbacks. Ns picked the end all the quarterbacks who started at the very least seven games (so a minimum of fifty percent the season going back to the 14-game slate) and also threw at least 105 passes (for an median of 15 passes every game) and also split them all up through the year of skilled experience they had actually under your belt at the beginning of the campaign. Therefore Prescott is a rookie, when Marcus Mariota has one skilled season under his belt.

For every year of players through a provided level of experience, I determined how plenty of quarterback seasons it take it to typically get a passer to the super Bowl. There have been 152 qualifying second-year seasons because 1970 -- that would certainly be someone choose Mariota this season -- and also six of those guys have actually made it come the at sight Bowl, many recently Russell Wilson in 2013. That"s a rate of simply under 4 percent, or one Super bowl appearance because that every 25.3 seasons.

Most every various other experience level is in between 10 and also 20, through a couple of odd exceptions pertained to the relatively small samples. The numbers gain smaller as players gain into the teenagers of their careers, fan to an option bias: The quarterbacks who space playing in your mid-to-late 30s are typically extremely an excellent and more likely to make a supervisor Bowl 보다 a usual rookie.

Russell Wilson had the Seahawks in position for a at sight Bowl run as a rookie, but Atlanta obtained in the way.Otto Greule Jr/Getty ImagesSetting the cutoff for inclusion to 7 starts eliminates a most hopeless rookies who are just in the lineup because the starter is hurt (even if that"s also how Prescott got here). However that still leaves us v 98 qualifying periods that have turned right into zero Super key appearances. That"s remarkable, and also even if us assume rookies are everywhere the map in regards to performance, the difference in between rookies and second-year players isn"t that dramatic.

A an extremely conservative estimate would suggest that one rookie season in 30 must turn into a Super bowl appearance, which "should" have actually yielded three Super key starts by now. Yet, if Prescott comes up short, we"ll be looking in ~ our 99th continuous rookie campaign without a Super key berth. Kinda crazy, right?

Split an additional way, 22 rookies have thrown 15 or more passes in a playoff game, many recently Connor Cook, who was overmatched throughout an ugly loss come the Texans in the wild-card round. Those starters, likewise, space 0-for-22 in Super key trips. At other experience levels, usually in between five and 10 players make the playoffs for every Super bowl trip; second-year starters, for example, have actually made six Super key runs in 48 tries, an median of eight per trip to the large dance.

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We"re no "due" because that a rookie super Bowl run -- that"s the gambler"s fallacy -- but it"s a surprise we haven"t had at the very least a couple by now.

Is it since rookies beat worse in the postseason? do they choke? They must choke, right?

Well, sort of.

Everybody is worse in the postseason 보다 they were during the continuous season, thanks to the cold weather and also the likelihood of encountering superior defenses. There space two sub-questions to keep in mind. One is whether rookie quarterbacks space worse than typical passers in the regular season, and the other is even if it is they fall off more in the playoffs than their more experienced brethren.

The answer to both is yes. To get a basic gauge of quality, I supplied the pro-football-reference.com stat recognized as adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A), i beg your pardon is yards every attempt but with two other numbers included: passing touchdowns, which count for 20 yards, and also interceptions, which counting for minus-45 yards. This season"s beginning quarterbacks ranged from 10.1 AY/A (Matt Ryan) come 4.3 AY/A (Jared Goff).

Rookie quarterbacks, even the ones who qualify under the seven-start and also 105-attempt rule, are substantially worse throughout the regular season 보다 passers at any type of other endure level. With more than 32,000 pass attempts, rookies have averaged simply under 5.5 AY/A as soon as everybody rather is above 6 changed yards per attempt. They"re additionally the only team that throws more interceptions than touchdowns, together their cumulative interception rate is 3.9 percent.

We"re no adjusting because that era, for this reason our playoff team of rookies should more than likely be far better than we can think, provided that most of the playoff appearances have come over the past twenty years as quarterback stats have actually risen. Given that we"re likewise eliminating the truly devastating rookie quarterbacks that weren"t may be to make it to the postseason, there"s also reason come think rookies might actually be an exception to the playoff rule.

That"s every wrong.

Rookies have been an pure mess in the playoffs. Their changed yards every attempt falls to a borderline-unplayable 4.3, and also they throw interceptions ~ above 5.4 percent of their happen attempts. That"s favor Goff if the first overall choose threw four an ext picks on his 205 pass attempts this season. When rookie passers are collectively performing prefer Goff in the postseason, they"re no doing very well.

Miami dolphins QB Dan Marino to be a very great rookie, however it went southern in the playoffs.AP Photo/NFL PhotosRelatively, rookies room seeing your postseason AY/A decrease by 21 percent and also their interception rate skyrocket through 40.2 percent. Ns mentioned how everybody appears to gain worse in the postseason nevertheless of age, but those alters dwarf the competition. I"ve put the comparisons with each other for quarterbacks through their an initial 10 seasons in the league, and nobody drops off as much as rookies, also though rookies are beginning from the worst regular-season baseline:

The Rookie QB Playoff Drop-off

Experiencediff AY/adiff INT%
Rookies-21.0%40.2%
Second-Year-1.8%9.3%
Third-Year-4.7%25.7%
Fourth-Year-5.5%10.4%
Fifth-Year-2.4%7.6%
Sixth-Year-5.8%21.6%
Seventh-Year-7.2%18.3%
Eighth-Year-5.1%11.4%
Ninth-Year-8.7%25.1%
Tenth-Year-3.5%13.6%

Rookie quarterbacks additionally have the worst document in the playoffs, return it"s not by fairly as far-ranging of a margin. Rookies throwing 15 overcome or more (as the starter or in reserve) room 11-21 (.344) in the postseason ~ Cook"s loss critical week. That"s the lowest rate amongst players of any experience level, however it"s no all that much off indigenous third-year quarterbacks, who are 37-57 (.394), or eighth-year passers, who are 26-42 (.382). If Prescott provides it come the at sight Bowl, rookies would certainly be in a dead warmth with those frauds that waited eight years to reveal they couldn"t handle the pressure of the postseason.

What around the superstar rookies?

Maybe by comparing that to every rookies we"re not developing an ideal context for Prescott. Using pro-football-reference.com"s table of contents statistics come scale and account because that era, Prescott"s AY/A converts to a 123 AY/A+, i beg your pardon is the sixth-best rate because the merger under the previously mentioned seven-start, 105-pass criteria. Let"s look in ~ the males in his ballpark who made the playoffs and also see how they go after the continual season was over.

Pat Haden (1976 Rams, 134 AY/A+) simply qualifies for this list, with exactly seven starts and 105 overcome to his name. The didn"t do much in the playoffs, though. Los Angeles winner its divisional round video game 14-12 over Dallas, but Haden to be 10-of-21 for 152 yards with 3 picks prior to going 9-of-22 for 161 yards through two an ext interceptions in a conference championship loss to the mighty Vikings pass defense.Dan Marino (1983 Dolphins, 123 AY/A+) took end the beginning job for an excellent in mainly 5 and threw 20 touchdowns versus six picks during a standout rookie campaign. He to be then in line because that a rose playoff matchup against the Seahawks and their lousy happen defense, however he struggled. Marino threw 2 picks, and the Dolphins blew a 20-17 fourth-quarter result in lose.The only other qualifying player through an above-average AY/A+ is CFL legend Dieter Brock, who invested his lone season in the NFL posting a 107 AY/A+ as a 33-year-old rookie v the Rams prior to going 10-of-31 for 66 yards with a pick versus the "85 bears in the conference championship game, after i m sorry Brock retired with a back injury. Following Brock is Joe Flacco, who posted a 99 AY/A+ (average is 100) in 2008 and then went 2-1 in the playoffs despite averaging all of 140.3 happen yards every game. The Steelers harassed him into a three-interception job in the AFC Championship Game.

Many of this quarterbacks played favor stars together rookies and also turned into franchise quarterbacks after your rookie campaign. Almost all of them struggled to protect against giveaways against the tougher competition of the postseason, and also it at some point sunk most of your teams, v Wilson the lone exception.

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Prescott has actually avoided giveaways for most of the year. The only quarterback by this criteria with a better era-adjusted interception price (INT%+) is Marino, which represents really solid company. It seems unlikely the Prescott will have a three-giveaway day, something that didn"t happen even once come him as a rookie.