The Dallas Cowboys face the New York Giants on Sunday in a game that feels important game for the Dallas Cowboys as a whole. The organization, after going 18-6 through a season and a half from 2016 to the first part of 2017 is now 4-5 in their last nine games. For Dak Prescott in particular, the pressure continues to rise after an underwhelming start to the 2018 season.
Many of us were looking forward to the beginning of the 2018 season as a way of erasing from our collective Cowboys Nation memories the mostly horrendous second half of 2018. Week one against the Carolina Panthers did nothing to help us forget some of the putrid play we saw late last season.
Week two is a huge week for Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys offense. Many of us thought Dak was a franchise caliber quarterback. Therefore, it shouldn’t be so obvious that having the ball in Prescott’s hands is the key to victory for an opposing defense.
Speaking to the media yesterday, New York Giants Safety Landon Collins admitted as much.
What Landon Collins said isn’t necessarily disrespect toward Dak Prescott, but that he’s willing to go on camera and say what everyone else is thinking is definitely a sign of what the league thinks about Dak Prescott. We all know that the key to stopping the Dallas Cowboys is stopping Ezekiel Elliott and the running game. That is their identity. What we don’t know usually hear from an opposing player is that they want the ball in Prescott’s hands.
Dak Prescott’s doubters seem to be growing. It’s a shocking turn of events from where we sat a year ago this time.
After week one last year, Dak Prescott had answered the “Can he beat the Giants?” question. He was on top of the world in the first half of the season having gone toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers in a loss where both teams scored 30+ points.
The growing chorus of “Dak isn’t a franchise player” is becoming too loud to ignore and it’s becoming exceedingly important for Prescott to reassert himself as the franchise quarterback that many in Cowboys Nation thought he was this time a year ago and think he is still.
The great thing about the NFL is that when things seem down, there is another chance to prove yourself right around the corner. Thankfully the NFL season is more than one game long and a team has more than one opportunity to prove itself.
However, in the NFL, teams that start the season 0-2 have made the playoffs only 10% of the time. The New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys both 0-1 heading into week two.
That makes this week two game very important to the playoff aspirations of the Dallas Cowboys and perhaps the career of Dak Prescott. Another poor showing could have this franchise beginning to look to the 2019 NFL Draft for its next signal caller.
The boo birds and the doubters are circling and the pressure is rising for Dak Prescott.
Dak, however, has always seemed to be the guy who performed best when the challenges were the greatest.
Dak Prescott stepped in as a rookie and helped lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 13-3 record his rookie season and home field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs. He did so with five fourth quarter comebacks and five game winning drives in 2016.
In 2017, he added four game winning drives.
After the Dallas Cowboys went down 21-3 to the Green Bay Packers in the 2016 NFC Divisional Playoff game, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys offense went on a tear and nearly completed an improbable comeback. Were it not for an incredible Aaron Rodgers to Jared Cook completion along the left sideline — after an uncalled hold on the Green Bay offensive line — and a big time Mason Crosby kick, the Dallas Cowboys would have been playing for the NFC Championship.
The New York Giants may want Dak Prescott to be the one to beat them come Sunday, but if we know anything about Dak Prescott, he wants to be the one to beat them. He hasn’t shied away from a challenge yet and when the pressure has mounted in his short career, he’s had enough moments where he’s risen above the pressures for us to believe that he can do it again.
Week two of the 2018 NFL season won’t be any different. The New York Giants defensive approach is probably the right one. Dak Prescott has struggled for seven of his last nine games.
However, knowing what we know about Dak, he’ll rise above it and put forth a performance that helps everyone forget about week one.
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