Amid much scrutiny, Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Dak Prescott came up with his best effort of the season in a must-win game.
Okay, first thing’s first. Yesterday’s win was officially an Ezekiel Elliott joint. When you amass 240 total yards from scrimmage, there’s no doubt who fueled the Dallas Cowboys’ fortunes. It was a prototypical effort from the star running back that keyed a too-close-for-comfort comeback victory.
But in the true 2016 fashion, it was quarterback Dak Prescott who complemented the punishing rushing attack with poise and accuracy. He topped 200 yards passing for the first time this season. And if he’d gotten a little more help from his receivers, he would’ve flirted with the 300-yard barrier for the first time since last December.
If you watched the game, you understand they needed every one of those yards. Prescott’s consistency was evident all day long, but he saved his best for last when he hit Elliott on a picture perfect 34-yard wheel route to put Dallas in position to kick the winning field goal as time expired.
So even though it’s all warm fuzzies today, it also warrants mentioning that the Cowboys came dangerously close to losing. A six-point fourth quarter lead evaporated quickly as we all remembered that this Matt Stafford guy is a pretty darn good quarterback with very talented array of pass catchers. I can probably speak for a number of Cowboy fans when I say my blood pressure spiked as Golden Tate taunted his way to a passel of yards and two touchdowns.
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But as much as the Cowboys deserved heavy criticism after their two ugly losses, they deserve a good measure of credit for pulling it together and finding a way to win. Granted, they got pretty lucky when Prescott fumbled and recovered his own gaffe on their last possession. But he showed poise in picking up the ball and flinging it out of bounds. The end result was a relatively harmless incompletion.
While I’m at it, if we’re going to lambaste the coaching staff when they’re down, I feel compelled to praise Jason Garrett and company for a solid game plan this week. From the coaches on down, the theme of the day was workmanlike execution.
It worked–barely, but a win is a win.
To be sure, failure was not an option. This team could not afford to drop to 1-3 and still seriously harbor postseason aspirations. To that end, Prescott stepped up and came through with his most complete performance of the young season (17-for-27, 255 yds, 2 TD). Furthermore, the Eagles lost yesterday. So for all the vitriol and vinegar we’ve spat at the Cowboys to this point, they find themselves a half game back of the idle Redskins in the NFC East. For now at least, I’m choosing to look at the glass as half full.
Lastly, Prescott and the Cowboys didn’t consistently shoot themselves in the foot yesterday. That was crucial in not falling too far behind in the early stages of the game. Penalties weren’t a big problem, either. That really allowed the offense to stay ahead of the chains and pick up the slack when the defense got burned by a big play. It was nice to see the offense look like a bona fide NFL unit. If they can use this win as a foundation and build on it, they’ll have a chance to be a lot more competitive as the season wears on.
- Published on 10/01/2018 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 10/01/2018 at 10:59 AM