Has Dak Prescott proven he can win with his arm?
By Richard Ball
The Cowboys lined up in an empty backfield with three receivers, Cooper, Randall Cobb, and Witten to the right and Michael Gallup and Elliott to the left. The Vikings countered with a two-high safety look.
At the snap, Prescott glanced right to Cooper but it seemed he was intent on Elliott. Vikings corner Mackensie Alexander gave a five-yard buffer to Cobb at the snap and backpedaled even farther to the five-yard line when Cobb made his break at the ten-yard line.
Prescott’s decision to throw to Elliott obviously didn’t work out. Had the ball been thrown inches more towards the sideline, Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks can’t make the deflection. But the risky throw should never have been attempted with a wide-open Cobb making a first down and possibly a touchdown with an easy uncontested catch.
The story on the failed drive was the play calling and the run game failure on second and third down. What has not been discussed is Prescott’s accuracy and decision making which equally prevented the Cowboys from picking up the first down.
Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman was asked about the play-calling on the much-discussed series. While Aikman defended the play-calling, he was a little more crisp with his thoughts on the play execution.
"“We saw it last night and we see it every week, all the games pretty much come down to the last couple of minutes and what teams make plays and what teams don’t.”"
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, they failed to make the plays, running and passing, at the critical time of the game. Aikman’s thoughts on the fourth-down play reveal the missed opportunity.
"“So the two places where you go with the football, either to Elliott or Randall Cobb. And had you stayed front side to Randall Cobb it’s probably a touchdown, at least a first down.”"
Can Dak win without a running game threat? The pro-Dak crowd feels Prescott has answered the question. DallasCowboys.com staff writer Rob Phillips shared his thoughts on the subject:
"“But for anyone still holding onto the ‘make Prescott beat you’ theory, it’s time to put that one to bed.”"
Unfortunately for Dallas, the end result is clear. The Cowboys lost the game to the Vikings and Prescott was not able to salvage a win on a night when the running game was stuffed over and over.