Dallas Cowboys: Is “Second Half Dak” a Real Thing?

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are currently sitting at 9-3 and look to be hitting their stride as both the offense and defense appear to be on the same page for the first time in what seems like decades.

Since Dak Prescott’s return in week 7 the Cowboys’ offense has been nearly unstoppable. They rank 1st in points per game (35), 2nd in yards per game (411), 1st in 3rd-down conversion percentage (56.6), 2nd in red-zone efficiency (87%), and 4th in explosive plays (56).

So why all the fuss about Dak Prescott and the offense needing to “come out of the gate hotter?”

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys struggle in the first half of games

Coming off a 54-19 explosion against the Indianapolis Colts, you would think Dak and company had their foot on the gas from start to finish on Sunday Night Football. That simply wasn’t the case as Dallas was only leading by 21-19 heading into their 33-point explosion in the 4th quarter.

On the year, the Cowboys’ offense scored seven touchdowns in the first half of games, with only three coming in the first quarter. With the Cowboys’ offense as a whole struggling in the first half of games this season, it is no surprise that Dak has struggled to start games as well.

Through seven games this season, Dak has been shaky in the first two-quarters of games.

  • 128 attempts
  • 65.6% completion
  • 822 yards
  • 7 touchdowns
  • 7 interceptions
  • 79.0 passer rating
  • 6.4 yards per attempt

As you can see, Prescott’s numbers in the first half of his 7 starts aren’t top-tier. Highlighted by his 1-1 touchdown to interception ratio, Dak appears to be forcing throws and taking higher risks in the first half that have often led to interceptions.

As the Cowboys prepare for the playoffs, he’ll need to cut down on his first-half interception rate (5.5%) if he hopes to lead this team deep into the playoffs.

The Dallas Cowboys and Second Half Dak Appears to be a Real Thing

I can’t place my finger on the reasoning for Dak’s subpar starts to games this year but when he comes back out of that tunnel after halftime, he’s arguably the best QB in the league.

Whether it’s his mentality, nerves, play-calling, or simply finding his rhythm Prescott transforms into an elite quarterback once the second half kicks off.

Through 14 quarters  of second half play Dak has completely annihilated opposing defenses.

  • 78 attempts
  • 73.1% completion
  • 701 yards
  • 6 touchdowns
  • 0 interceptions
  • 126.1 passer rating
  • 9.0 yards per attempt

If number four can figure out how to replicate these numbers in the first half, the Dallas Cowboys would be unseeingly unstoppable on the quest for their sixth Lombardi Trophy.

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What do you think is the cause for the Cowboys’ slow start to games this season?