NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Football

Why Dak Prescott and the Cowboys Met with Navy SEALs to Prep for the 2023 NFL Season

Dallas's star QB takes a page from the Special Ops playbook to gain that extra mental edge.

By Benjamin Bullard

Discipline, toughness, and nailing the smallest details; for a team that’s looking to break past a recent playoff wall and finally claim their spot in the Super Bowl, it’s that last bit about the details that has quarterback Dak Prescott and his Dallas Cowboys especially amped to kick off the 2023 NFL season.

As the Cowboys get set to officially take the field on NBC this weekend for the first time since their NFC divisional playoff loss in January, Prescott and his cadre of receivers are entering the season keyed in mentally, thanks to a summer bonding session Prescott personally organized just to achieve that extra edge.

RELATED: How to Watch Sunday Night Football on NBC and Peacock

In July, Prescott booked a bespoke three-day stay at Lake Ocone in Georgia for himself and more than a dozen of the Cowboys’ passing skill position players. As Yahoo Sports reports, it wasn’t a vacation, but a pre-training camp getaway aimed at helping the group enter the season with a mental advantage that the seven-year NFL veteran felt they’d need to seize the league's ultimate prize.

Leading the getaway was O2X Human Performance, an achievement-minded consulting firm founded by a trio of ex-U.S. Navy SEALs. Their mission, as the report states, was to help the Dallas offense form even tighter ranks around heightened team chemistry before the Cowboys' actual training camp even started — all with the goal to “incrementally get 1% better.”

In between outings on the water and evenings spent talking personal goals over cigars, O2X’s sharp former military minds probed Prescott’s desire to level up the Cowboys’ mental game.

Football player Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys on the football field after a game

“I don't wanna just be culture, culture and how to build a better culture because we're good on that — it’s more about how to use your culture,” Prescott explained. “It doesn’t mean anything if guys aren’t telling us what they’re sacrificing or what they’re trying to get better at, and if other guys aren’t holding them to that.”

What the Navy SEAL's taught Dak Prescott and the Cowboys

The former SEALs reportedly kickstarted things by making sure the teams’ overall focus — to reach and win the Super Bowl this season — stayed top-of-mind right from the start. Entering the getaway with “February 11, 2024” firmly fixed in their heads, the group moved through three days of alertness-sharpening drills, exercises, and distraction-deflecting techniques based on “strategies that special operations units employ to thrive in high-threat situations,” per the report.

RELATED: Who Are The Tallest and Shortest Quarterbacks in the NFL?

From quick-paced drills that sharpened the group’s eye for the smallest detail to slower, more reflective exercises aimed at quieting outside mental noise, the workshop, Prescott told Yahoo Sports, gave players new insights into staying focused as a unit — a skill he thinks can serve the offense all season long.

“It’ll be a way to block out whatever the situation is and understand: ‘Hey, this is what we do. Resort back to the training. Resort back to everything that we put in it,” he explained.

Though the retreat wasn’t part of the team’s official preseason preparations, the players bought in on Prescott taking that extra measure of pre-season initiative. “I think it’s very smart,” Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I think every quarterback in the league should do that. I don’t know how many people do it but it’s been a big plus for us, especially the rookies who get to go. They got to see how we operate. See how we move, and when we come into training camp, they’re ready to go.”

That attitude can’t come a moment too soon, as the Cowboys get set to begin the 2023 NFL season on the road against fellow NFC East rivals the New York Giants. The game marks the official start of Sunday Night Football on NBC for the 2023 NFL season, with the Football Night in America crew beginning pregame NBC coverage at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, September 10. Kickoff time is slated for 8:20 p.m. Catch all the action on NBC, as well as streaming in simulcast on Peacock.

How to Watch Sunday Night Football on NBC and Peacock

Sunday Night Football kicks off each week with the pregame show Football Night in America, which airs on NBC beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The games then kick off at 8:20 p.m. ET each week, airing on NBC and simultaneously streaming on Peacock. 

NBC is available through over-the-air antennas and through cable, satellite, and internet TV providers everywhere. If you're looking beyond the broadcast version, you can stream every Sunday Night Football game (as well as two exclusive games late in the season) through NBCUniversal's streaming service, Peacock. Peacock is available starting at $5.99 per month for an ad-supported Premium plan, or you can upgrade to a Premium Plus plan, with no ads, for $11.99 per month. Then, when you're done with football, you can check out the hundreds of hours of content on the service, from sitcoms to hit movies and beyond. 

Read more about: