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Dak Prescott has Been Brought Back Down to Earth After Fast Start, Still no Need to Panic

The 2019 season couldn’t have started any better for Quarterback Dak Prescott. Week 1 against the New York Giants saw him set a franchise record for passing yards in a season opener with 405 and toss 4 touchdowns en route to a dominant 35-17 victory. The next game against the Washington Redskins was a continuation of that amazing start as he went 26 of 30 for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns leading the Dallas Cowboys to 2-0 in a 31-21 win. Week 3 wasn’t quite as impressive but it didn’t need to be as All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott and rookie Tony Pollard both rushed for over 100 yards. Prescott did, however, throw for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Cowboys improved to 3-0.

After three games Prescott had accumulated 920 passing yards and 9  touchdowns while completing 74.5% of his throws, and firmly placed himself in the early MVP discussion. Next, the Cowboys would travel to New Orleans to face the Saints in what was viewed by most as the Cowboy’s first real test of the season. Unfortunately for Prescott, the Cowboys offensive line was dominated from start to finish as they held Elliott to only 35 yards on 18 carries. This would force the Cowboys offense to be behind the chains on second and third down throughout the entire ball game.

He did, however, have a perfect drive to start the second half going 6 of 6 as a Elliott touchdown run gave the Cowboys a 10-9 lead with just eight minutes to go in the third, but unfortunately, it would be the last points they put on the board. The Saints would add a field goal and pull out a close 12-10 victory.

He finished 22 of 33 for 223 yards but didn’t produce any points through the air. That can be attributed to the fact that the Cowboys couldn’t get the run game going which made their offense one dimensional, and in the NFL, that will get you beat in most games.

Last Sunday’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers was supposed to be a heavy dose of Elliott to set up the play-action passing game considering the Cowboys were facing the league’s 26th ranked run defense. There was one thing that prevented that, though, and that’s turnovers. Prescott completed his first couple of passes as the offense gained 37 yards on it’s first three plays, putting them very close to field goal position. The drive would stall however as Prescott was intercepted deep in Cowboys territory setting up the Packers first touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

After connecting with Amari Cooper for 46 yards Prescott had the Cowboys in field goal range again but a sack on a third-down killed any chances of a scoring drive. Now down 14-0, Prescott came out in rhythm completing his first two passes as the Cowboys were in field range for the third consecutive drive. Unfortunately, Prescott was intercepted for the second time just outside the red zone, again wasting a potential touchdown drive.

Once the Cowboys fell behind 24-0 in the third quarter Prescott started to pick apart the Packers defense. He went 11 of 16 on the next three drives including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup as the Cowboys put 17 quick points. With an opportunity to cut the lead to seven in the fourth quarter Prescott threw his third interception of the game on a pass intended for Gallup, which caused some controversy due to an obvious pass interference call that was missed, leading to a Packer’s field goal and a 17 point lead, essentially ending the game. Prescott would have one last shining moment with a 53-yard touchdown to Cooper, but the Cowboys took their second consecutive loss 34-24.

Prescott did finish with a career-high 463 yards passing but his interceptions were critical in setting up easy scoring drives for the Packers. He himself wasn’t impressed with his numbers as he explained during a postgame media session:

“I don’t care how many yards I had or anything else like that,” Prescott said. “I had three interceptions and a loss. None of that matters.”

The game against the Saints the Cowboys couldn’t establish the run, making their offense easier to stop and Prescott’s job a lot harder. In the Packers game, the Cowboys offense moved the ball down the field several times into Packers territory but untimely interceptions from Prescott took points off the board. In the NFL these types of games happen to every quarterback. Currently, he’s still completing just under 70% of his passes while averaging 345 yards per game. The Cowboys are tied for first place in the NFC East with the Philadelphia Eagles as a showdown between the two in Arlington awaits in two weeks, which will be for sole control of the division. So don’t panic about a few bad games from Prescott, he still has this team in position to have a big year and his play should improve going forward.

 

 

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Matthew Lenix

Written by Matthew Lenix

I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.

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