The common narrative during the Dallas Cowboys’ back-to-back blowout losses has been injuries. But quarterback Dak Prescott is certainly not blameless.
The Dallas Cowboys have looked like a shell of the team that went 13-3 last year and earned the number one seed in the NFC. Their offense has only scored one touchdown in the last two games, and their defense doesn’t have enough firepower to pick up the slack for a non-existent offensive attack.
They have certainly had their fair share of bad luck with arguably their best three players out in Sean Lee, Ezekiel Elliott and Tyron Smith, but every team has to deal with injuries and adversity at different parts of the season. Just look at Carson Wentz, who has also lost a Pro Bowl left tackle in Jason Peters, an electric third-down running back in Darren Sproles, and one of the best young middle linebackers in the league, Jordan Hicks.
His Eagles are now 9-1.
So while the coaching staff deserves a large chunk of the blame for not putting their players in the best position to succeed, Dak Prescott should be held accountable for his sub-par play as well.
Let’s face it– if Tony Romo strung together back-to-back stinkers like Prescott has, the majority of Cowboys nation would be calling for his head. And the Elliott, Smith and Lee excuses don’t work with Romo, because, quite frankly, he had to do more with a lot less.
Obviously, you have to keep in mind Prescott is a second-year quarterback, so he’s bound to make errors. But that shouldn’t totally exonerate him.
While Elliott is undeniably a transcendent talent, the Cowboys have actually managed to run the ball well in his absence. Morris has run hard filling in for Elliott and churned out 91 yards on 17 carries against the Eagles before the Cowboys had to give up on running the ball. That production
should be more than enough to effectively run play-action.
But the Cowboys offense has stalled mainly because of its predictability. Jason Garrett said the Cowboys wouldn’t do anything different in Elliott’s absence, and he was certainly not lying. The Cowboys might be able to get away with their mundane play-calling when Tyron Smith and Elliott are in the lineup because they are just that good, but it’s a different story when the onus falls on Prescott to make plays.
The problem is, some of the playcalling is a product of the coaches’ lack of inventiveness, and some of it, is frankly, Dak’s limitations as a quarterback. He’s still not a great deep-ball thrower in year two and much too frequently resorts to his check-down options. This could also result from a lack of playmakers on offense, but it’s still troubling, nonetheless.
While Prescott has proven to be a phenomenal thrower on the run, having your quarterback run bootleg and waggles all game becomes easy to defend for defenses because it limits Prescott to one side of the field to make plays.
Obviously, the Cowboys have a plethora of problems they need to figure out before they right the ship. And I’m not saying Prescott doesn’t have the chops to be the Cowboys’ franchise quarterback.
I’m simply saying he deserves more of the blame for the Cowboys’ recent skid than most people are willing to admit.