Jerry Jones defends Dak Prescott amid Skip Bayless criticism
Skip Bayless ignited a firestorm this week by arguing that Dak Prescott’s admission about struggling with depression earlier this year was a sign of weakness unbecoming of an NFL quarterback.
Not surprisingly, Jerry Jones has entered the fray to defend the Dallas Cowboys quarterback amid commentary from Bayless.
Prescott recently opened up in an interview about his mental health struggles that started at the onset of coronavirus pandemic and worsened when his older brother, Jace, committed suicide in April.
In the wake of Bayless’ criticism that was almost universally condemned, Jones argued that Prescott’s candidness demonstrated strength, not weakness.
“Dak’s willingness to be transparent and share his difficult times and share it with such stature and class,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, per Ed Werder of ESPN. “… it just, you always go back to that word ‘leadership.'”
“When you have thoughts that you’ve never had, I think that’s more so than anything a chance to realize it and recognize it, to be vulnerable about it,” Prescott said in an episode of “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” that will air this weekend, per ESPN. “Talked to my family, talked to the people around me simply as I did at the time. Some of them obviously had dealt with it before, was able to have those conversations and then reach out further just to more people.
“I think being open about it and not holding those feelings in was one of the better things for me.”
Bayless, it merits noting, has all but doubled down on his inflammatory rhetoric from Thursday, saying Friday on FS1’s “Undisputed” that his original comments were “misconstrued.”
Before Bayless went on air Friday, FOX Sports had already issued a statement distancing itself from the polarizing sports commentator’s stance.
Fox Sports’ statement on Skip Bayless: pic.twitter.com/VtioudOob4— Bobby Burack (@burackbobby_) September 11, 2020
Prescott has also responded Bayless’ arguably dubious and tone-deaf hot take.
“I think being a leader is about being genuine and being real,” Prescott said, per SI.com. “If I wouldn’t have talked about those things to the people I did, I wouldn’t realize that I, my friends and a lot more people go through them, and they are as common as they are.
“… I got the help I needed, and I was very open about it,” Prescott said. “Emotions can overcome you if you don’t do something about it. Mental health is a huge issue and it’s a real thing in our world right now … I think it’s huge to talk, I think it’s huge to get help and it saves lives.”
While all the principals have since weighed in on the controversy, there’s no doubt much more will still be made of both Prescott’s honest disclosure as well as Bayless’ questionable criticism of it.