By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Pro Football Writer
OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — Dak Prescott was asked his favorite moment so far of his eighth training camp with the Dallas Cowboys and referred back to the topic from the first several minutes of his meeting with reporters Thursday.
“Probably the trash talking,” Prescott said. “Just being honest with you. I enjoy it. I really do. It gets the best of me. You got to be accountable from your words. I like to see other peoples’ reaction.”
The issue came up a day earlier in practice when cornerback Trevon Diggs was caught on video delivering an expletive-laced message to his quarterback after Prescott ran toward a pylon in 11-on-11 drills. The question, of course, was whether Prescott would have scored on the play.
Diggs, who last week signed a $97 million, five-year extension, was criticized by pundits for disrespecting his team leader. The reaction from the player tied for the NFL lead in interceptions through his first three seasons?
“Stay out of our business,” said Diggs, who led the league with a franchise record-tying 11 interceptions in 2021. “People don’t need to worry about what we’ve got going on, our relationship, my relationship with my brother. Dak is the leader of our team. I have the utmost respect for Dak. That stuff can never come between us.”
Not that Prescott needs anybody to defend him.
“I start a lot of it,” he said. “In the locker room, pre-practice, that’s a form of my leadership is I open the door and make people feel comfortable to talk trash to me.”
Prescott prides himself on knowing his teammates “more than just their jersey number,” and scoffs at the idea that quarterbacks should above such scrums.
“People aren’t going to put me in a box or try to paint me the way that they want to paint me because I play a position only because of what I do,” Prescott said. “I am who I am, and I will always stand on that.”
Diggs would make Prescott’s list of players willing to banter, along with safety Jayron Kearse and star pass rusher Micah Parsons.
The QB who got an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s degree in workplace leadership knows there’s another list of players who aren’t wired that way.
“I understand that some guys you got to talk trash to to get them to play their best and I want their best in practice,” Prescott said. “I don’t talk trash to a teammate or do anything that I know a guy that that doesn’t get them going.”
The trash talk isn’t even a blip for Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy.
“I don’t referee that,” McCarthy said. “It goes on in the lunch line. This is not like this is something new. It’s been going on as long as I’ve been in this league. It’s just part of our culture and guys competing.”
Diggs and Prescott making the morning talk shows doesn’t surprise the face of the franchise, because he knows the franchise is among the most visible in sports.
Just a week earlier, Prescott explained he turned down a documentary series that focuses on quarterbacks because, he reasons, the Cowboys get enough attention already.
“As far as what people say, how people perceive it, it’s honestly one of those things that you realize not a lot of people have competed or been in very heated competitions, whether it be with their family or with their brother, friend, teammate,” Prescott said. “Words don’t hurt me, never have hurt me.”
Ditto for Diggs.
“I feel like it makes practice fun, just coming out there, competing,” Diggs said. “I love Dak to death. It’s nothing behind it. It’s just competitive. That’s just what we do. We talk trash and just keep pushing.”
And giving the talk shows plenty of fodder.
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