3. The offense to break out of the “slump”
Earlier last week, owner Jerry Jones went on 105.3 The Fan to talk about his team’s offense. Here’s what he had to say about Prescott’s recent performance and the offense as a whole:
"“I don’t want to say that, slump, but that’s probably fair. But it’s such a multifaceted evaluation that I would say our offense is definitely away from where we were playing five and six games ago from the standpoint of production.”"
It’s not a surprise that Jones had this to say about the offense. Simply put, Dallas’ offense has been the opposite of elite in recent weeks. In the first six games of the season, the Cowboys’ offense was unstoppable. They averaged 30.7 offensive points per game including a season-high 44 points against the Giants.
More recently, the offense doesn’t quite look the same. In the past seven games, Dallas is just averaging 21.1 offensive points per game and is just 4-3 in those games. The whole offense has been poor during this stretch. The running game, led by running back Ezekiel Elliott, has been non-existent, and the passing attack hasn’t been solid either. In the past six weeks, Elliott has averaged just 40.0 rush yards per game. Not a great stat when you compare it to the 86.8 yards he was averaging in the first six weeks.
Even with the rushing attack declining, running back Tony Pollard has still been efficient with his carries, a sign that maybe he should get more work running the football. With his limited touches, Pollard has averaged 54.6 rush yards per game in his last five games. This is even with getting out carried 71-51 by Elliott since Week 9 (not counting Week 14).
Additionally, Prescott hasn’t been himself since Week 6, the game he injured his calf. There have been glimpses of excellence in recent weeks like Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons and Week 12 against the Las Vegas Raiders. However, in the other games, the former Mississippi State star has not looked like a $160 million quarterback. It could very well be that the calf strain that he suffered in New England is affecting his play. But when asked, Prescott always says he’s 100% healthy.
Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that this offense has the potential to be the best in the NFL. The Cowboys have the quarterback, running backs, wide receivers, and the offensive line to be elite. The talent is there, but the production is not. They just have to get back to their early ways and if they can do so, a deep playoff run could be in store.