The game of football is predicated on “moving the sticks” to achieve a new set of downs. And Dak Prescott’s ability or inability to move the sticks is a key driver of the Cowboys’ W/L record.

We measure QBs by all sorts of real and made-up stats, but there is no readily available stat that measures a QB’s ability to move the sticks.

The simplest way to do that is to add up a QB’s passing and rushing first downs and divide them by his number of dropbacks and runs.

The resulting QB first-down percentage (or 1D%) may not be perfect, but it removes some of the inconsistencies that plague some other stats, i.e. it does not reward a QB for completing a 15-yard pass on 3rd-and-16, nor does it reward the QB for throwing a screen pass the RB takes 80 yards for a TD. On the downside, because it’s about first downs, it tends to undervalue QBs from big-play offenses, and tends to reward QBs who are able to sustain long methodical drives.

Randy O.Posts
The game of football is predicated on “moving the sticks” to achieve a new set of downs. And Dak Prescott’s ability or inability to move the sticks is a key driver of the Cowboys’ W/L record. We measure QBs by all sorts of real and made-up stats, but there is...