How Perfectionism Shaped Jake Ferguson’s Path To Becoming a Game-Changer for Dak Prescott

Jake Ferguson is becoming a reliable weapon for Dak Prescott. How has his perfectionist mentality paved the way for his production on the field?

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson is on the rise and continues to show how productive he can be as the team’s starting tight end.

Although the team has made it clear that no moral victories came from the Cowboys’ loss to the Eagles, there were bright spots that were difficult to miss in the game.

One of the most notable was Ferguson’s emergence into a reliable starting tight end for Dak Prescott.

A Career Day for Jake Ferguson

On Sunday, the second-year veteran tied his career-high receptions with seven but recorded a career-best 91 receiving yards.

His chemistry with Prescott is undeniable and on the uphill, becoming comparable to CeeDee Lamb’s chemistry with the veteran QB.

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After the game, Ferguson said his connection with Prescott is continually growing, but the production on the field comes from their preparation throughout the week.

Although he had his best outing of the season, the tight end quickly pointed out areas in his game that he could have been better at, especially with his two dropped passes.

Ferguson’s Perfectionist Mentality From a Young Age

Ferguson’s accountability and perfectionism come from his grandpa, Barry Alvarez, a legendary former coach and athletic director at the University of Wisconsin, and his dad.

The tight end said his dad was his youth football coach and took on the perfectionist mentality that seeped into the player Ferguson came early on.

He recalled moments growing up playing football where he wouldn’t play his best because of a dropped pass because of weather or other mistakes. But he always took accountability for those moments even then. 

“Like people have said all week, it’s a game of inches, and every little thing matters whether you’re doing it in the week or practice, whatever it may be, those little things matter. That ultimately can drive you to win or lose games, and I think that’s something I’ve embodied growing up,” said Ferguson. 

It’s something the tight end still carries with him in his NFL career.

Coaches Praise Their Starting Tight End

Cowboys offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer mentioned the young tight end is his most prominent critic.

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“He’s hard on himself. But to see him from the start of the offseason to where he’s at now, I wouldn’t say it surprises me, but he is playing at an elite level, and I think he is just scratching the surface,” said the offensive coordinator.

But Schottenheimer says Ferguson is playing at a high level and continues playing the game correctly.

Head coach Mike McCarthy described Ferguson as the “lead dog in the room” and echoed what Schottenheimer said, adding he loves the passion and aggression the 24-year-old plays with.

With this being Ferguson’s first season as the starting tight end after the team didn’t re-sign Dalton Schultz in the offseason, McCarthy says the most significant room for growth is getting used to the number of reps he can take in a game.

“That’s where he needs to continue to grow,” said McCarthy. “The conditioning that goes with that the physical, mental, and emotional. I think he does a really good job.”

Records Ferguson Could Break This Week

As for how Ferguson is scratching the surface in the record books, he is on track to break the following records starting on Sunday as the Cowboys take on the Giants for the second time this season.

Per Cowboys PR:

  • With seven more receptions and a total of 58, Ferguson could tie Billy Joe DuPree for the second-most receptions by a Cowboys tight end in their first two seasons. The only tight end to have more was Jason Witten in the 2003 and 2004 seasons, when he had 122 receptions.
  • Ferguson’s 502 receiving yards are already the fourth-most by a Cowboys TE in their first two seasons. But with 35 more receiving yards, he can pass Lee Folkins for the third-most.

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