Stud: Daron Bland, Cornerback
Daron Bland is having a rookie season to remember.
Drafted in the fifth round out of Fresno State, Bland entered this contest with four interceptions on the season already. He was also set to get more playing time with Kelvin Joseph being demoted. Like Nahshon Wright, he too had some highs and lows in this one but he made arguably the play of the game in the fourth quarter.
With the score tied at 34, Dallas needed a stop on third-and-four — something they had struggled with all night. This time, they not only kept the Eagles from converting but got the ball back as Bland wrestled a pass away from Quez Watkins.
For Bland, that’s now five picks on the season. He’s also had at least one in three of the past four games — and had two against Indianapolis.
Dud: Dak Prescott’s decision making
Dak Prescott deserves a lot of credit for making the plays he did. There was the aforementioned third-and-30 conversion where he hit T.Y. Hilton for a 52-yard gain. He also finished with 347 yards and three touchdowns. Throw in his 41 yards on the ground and it seems as though he had a sensational day — which he did.
The problem is, he continues to make it harder on himself and his offense than it needs to be.
For example, the first drive of the game ended with Prescott throwing a terrible pass right to Josh Sweat, who ran it back for a touchdown. That put Dallas in an early 10-0 hole they had to fight their way out of.
Then, on the very last drive, he had two huge gaffes that allowed the Eagles to try and claw their way back. First, on a 16-yard run, Prescott ran out of bounds with 2:01 left, allowing the Eagles to conserve a timeout. On the following play, he held onto the ball and was sacked for a nine-yard loss. This time, with it being at the two-minute warning, throwing it away would have saved the nine yards and had no effect on the clock.
Prescott now has 12 picks in just nine games — one away from his career high of 13 which he had in 16 games back in 2017. As the playoffs approach, he has to be smarter with the ball and needs to understand situational football.
A team with a better quarterback than Gardner Minshew might have made them pay, but instead, the Cowboys snuck out with a six-point win.