Cowboys Week 13 vs. Saints: The good, bad, and ugly

Dallas Cowboys, Michael Gallup (Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys, Michael Gallup (Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports) /

Cowboys vs Saints: The bad

We all know that quarterback is the most important position in all of football. Unless you have an all-time defense to lean on, you’re not winning it all with just “okay” play from your signal-caller. Unfortunately, the last month has not been great for quarterback Dak Prescott and Thursday night was not much different.

Against the Saints, Prescott registered his third game in his last five with a quarterback rating under 80 (his career passer rating is 98.0 for reference). Prescott was only able to muster 238 passing yards against a team in the lower third of the league against the pass. His 14 incompletions also marked the fifth time in his last six games with that or more incompletions.

For someone with a career completion percentage knocking on the door of 70%, clearly, something is off with the quarterback. In past games, you could say that the Cowboys missing receiver Amari Cooper and, for a game and a half, CeeDee Lamb was the cause. Both were back for this game, however.

The offensive line and their lackluster play are also not helping but ultimately, one has to wonder if Prescott’s reluctance to re-incorporate the rushing element of his game is not also part of the problem. It just seems like that his gruesome lower leg injury last year is still in his mind at times when in the pocket.

Removing that element, almost entirely, may seem like the safe thing to do but it also shows up on tape. If teams do not believe you will use that aspect of your repertoire, they will come after you differently. It also would eliminate some of the seemingly forced throws into traffic that end up incomplete, or worse, intercepted.