Three quarters into Sunday Night’s game, it appeared that the Tony Romo/Dak Prescott debate was about to settle itself.
As good as Dak had been through six weeks, this moment appeared too big for the rookie sensation. Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was putting the heat on Prescott, forcing him into bad throws, questionable decisions, and flat out confusion.
Outside of two long completions to Dez Bryant in the first half, Dak looked bad. Really bad. Bad enough that even the stringiest Romo hater and/or Dak Prescott supporter was wondering just how healthy Romo was while he stood on the sidelines.
This game is fracking BS, Romo was ready but team playing to the fans. Hot hand my ass. I have said I never buy into the hot hand theory.
Bad enough that the always respected and reliable scout @Birddog26 tweeted that he believed Romo was ready to play midway through the game!
Tied at 10 and threatening to take a touchdown lead going into the half, Dak missed Dez on a well-defended fade route to the corner of the end zone. Then, he made the absolute worst decision/throw he has made all season, trying to force the ball to Brice Butler and having the pass intercepted by Jordan Hicks.
Later in the game, Terrance Williams made one of the smartest plays of his career, commiting offensive pass interference to keep the ball away from an Eagles defender in the end zone. The pass, forced to Williams by Dak, was ill-advised and out of character.
This interception-saving play came right after Dak completely missed a wide open Dez Bryant in the end zone, costing the Cowboys 7 points.
Even as the Cowboys defense made stop after stop to keep this prolific offense in the game, Dak Prescott just could not make the plays to take advantage of their opportunities.
Then, when it mattered most, Dak Prescott came through.
With just over 3 minutes left in the game, Dak found the dearly missed Dez Bryant in the corner of the end zone for the game tying score. Dak gave his best receiver a chance, and Dez made the play to get Dallas right back into the game.
In overtime, channeling his inner Tony Romo, Dak spun out of the pocket and found a wide open Jason Witten for the game winning touchdown. While it has been the youthful offensive players getting all the glory as of late, it was veterans like Jason Witten and Dez Bryant who came through to help this young quarterback win a pivotal division game.
On the game tying and winning drives, Dak was a combined 10-13 for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. Despite all of the poor throws, despite all of the uncharacteristically bad decisions, Dak Prescott found a way to get it done when he absolutely had to.
Yes, last night was rough at some points, and it was down right ugly at others. But there is something to be said about a team which plays its best football when the chips are down and plays need to be made.
In the past, Cowboys teams have always carried the stigma that they “choke” or crumble under pressure. This year, you know where they can all shove their stigma and narratives about the Cowboys. Because this team is different, and this team might be special.