Dallas Cowboys: 3 positive takeaways from the loss in Philadelphia

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys takeaway No. 3: One Dak Prescott away

Dak Prescott is making his way back from injury and is fully expected to be QB1 this week against Detroit. To say that’s a game-changer is an understatement. Dak’s last five full games at the helm he led a top-5 offense (+0.154 EPA/play) while Rush’s last full five they were 20th ranked at -0.008 EPA/play.

Looking at Sunday night’s contest, it’s crazy to think how close this game was and how correctable the issues are for the Dallas Cowboys. The most correctable being the return of Dak Prescott. Cooper Rush has a notoriously weak arm and the Eagles played him accordingly. They had no faith in his ability to deliver prompt passes outside the numbers and cheated inside.

The Eagles secondary was able to get a leg up by cheating inside and playing inside out. They didn’t respect outside passes and played the situation perfectly. They deserve major kudos for understanding their opponent but won’t be able to repeat the strategy against Dak.

The Eagles wanted to stop the Cowboys run attack and dared the Cowboys to beat them through the air. Even still, the Dallas Cowboys outperformed them on the ground and stand to dominate when Dak returns and demands them to play more coverage-heavy.

The return of Dak Prescott should more than make up the difference and will swing the advantage far into Dallas direction by late December.

Top-to-bottom, the Eagles are a great football team with little-to-no weaknesses. But the Dallas Cowboys have proven to be far better than expected this season and Dak Prescott gives them the greatest positional advantage on the field.

The loss stinks and even if I expected worse, I’m still salty about it. The standings hurt as well, the Dallas Cowboys will be hard-pressed to make up the difference given the two schedules that sit ahead. But with Dak Prescott back in the lineup, the Cowboys immediately become the better team. Their model is sustainable and proven and it’s because of that Cowboys Nation can feel good about the rest of the season.