3 Dallas Cowboys in Need of a Bounce Back Game

After a disappointing week one, the Dallas Cowboys now set their sights on the New York Giants who come to town looking to rebound themselves from a loss in week one to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Though both teams are coming into this game 0-1, the New York Giants have a lot more to feel good about heading into the week two matchup than the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys’ offense in particular really struggled against a strong Carolina Panthers pass rush that kept them out of sync all afternoon.

For the Dallas Cowboys to come away victors they’re going to need several guys rebound in week two. Here are three that need bounce back games for the Dallas Cowboys to be able to thrive Sunday night against their division rivals.

1. Dak Prescott, Quarterback

I don’t even really need to throw a lot of stats at you to convince you that Dak Prescott was average to below average last Sunday. However, if you aren’t sure he wasn’t good, here are a few stats for you.

  • While Dak Prescott completed 65% of his passes on Sunday, his yards per attempt was 5.9. That ranks 24th in the NFL after one week of football.
  • Pro Football Focus, who charts every game in the NFL and attributes pressures and sacks to the responsible player, put two sacks and five of the teams 14 pressures on Dak Prescott. He was also responsible for two penalties as well.
  • Dak Prescott held the ball an average of 3.1 seconds per pass attempt. That was the fourth worst time to attempt in the NFL, according to’s Next Gen Stats.
  • Again, per Next Gen Stats, Prescott on average through the ball 2.4 yards short of the first down marker. Only 11 quarterbacks in the NFL had a worse average.

Dak Prescott needs to make quicker decisions and get the ball out of his hands. He needs to get a bit more aggressive to force teams to back off. Teams are expecting him to throw short and hope for yards after the catch. If the Dallas Cowboys want to run the football, then Prescott is going to need to prove that he can throw further than ten yards down field on a regular basis.

You can find more numbers from Dak Prescott’s week one in this week’s Inside The Numbers.

2. La’el Collins, Right Tackle

The offense as a whole struggled on Sunday, the offensive line included. La’el Collins  was credited with four pressures, three hurries, a sack, and two penalties to the right tackle. That’s not good at all.

While Collins may have struggled in pass protection, he had a really good game run blocking.

Again, according to PFF, Ezekiel Elliott averaged 5.85 yards per carry — seven carries for 41 yards –when running behind the right tackle or to the right edge. Any other direction, Elliott only averaged 4.75 yards per carry.

Elliott’s only carry for greater than 10 yards came behind Collins as well as his touchdown. The only time the team was able to rush for a first down was when they went to the right.

I only point that out to say that it wasn’t all bad from Collins, but he needs to be better in pass protection. Dak Prescott didn’t seem comfortable in the pocket on Sunday and to beat a New York Giants team that is down Olivier Vernon, Prescott is going to need to be kept clean.

Inside The Star Staff Writer Kevin Brady took a look at the six sacks from Sunday in a film review that you’ll want to catch up on.

3. Sean Lee, Linebacker

It feels really odd putting Sean Lee’s name on a “need for a bounce back game” list, but that’s where we stand after week one.

Sean Lee did not have a good game on Sunday. Pro Football Focus credited Lee with four missed tackles while only having a solo tackle and two assisted tackles.

That’s not going to cut it.

For many years Sean Lee has been the leader and best player on the defense. He’s been an All-Pro player when he’s been on the field, but in week one in Carolina, Lee was not very good. Hopefully it’s a symptom of practicing very little in training camp and playing very little in the preseason and not an age-related decline in play.

The Dallas Cowboys need Sean Lee to play well and lead this team. His ability to go sideline-to-sideline and create negative plays in the run game gives a huge boost to the defense. Lee needs to rebound this week and reassert himself as one of the better linebackers in the NFL. With Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram coming to town, he’ll have his work cut out for him.

Rust or Age? See what Inside The Star Staff Writer Brian Martin had to say about Lee’s performance.

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Which players do you think need a bounce back game for the Dallas Cowboys to come out victorious against the New York Giants?

What do you think?


Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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