1. Cut down on turnovers
This isn’t a Dak Prescott problem. This is a Cowboys problem. While Prescott made uncharacteristically reckless throws since returning from injury, and needs to take better care of the football, only half of his interceptions have been his fault. As much as he needs to clean it up, so do his receivers.
Whether it be dropped passes leading to turnovers, Prescott threading an unnecessary needle instead of throwing the ball away or hitting his check-down, or a rare fumble, Dallas cannot sustain its current turnover rate in the playoffs.
Turnovers just aren’t conducive to winning in January. It’s that simple. It affords the team an extra possession, flips the momentum (which matters!), and could turn a game on its head depending on where the turnover takes place. Over the last three years, teams that lose the turnover battle in the playoffs are 5-16.
Remember Prescott’s interception deep in Dallas territory against the Texans? The Cowboys will be hard-pressed to overcome a turnover of that magnitude in the playoffs. Same goes for the first pick against Jacksonville.
Furthermore, it negates having an opportunistic defense that’s generated the most takeaways in the NFL (32). Conversely, though, Dallas’ 21 turnovers are tied for fourth-most in the NFL. The Bills are the only other playoff team with more (24), and you feel a lot better about their chances to make a run than the Cowboys.
If even just two of these Cowboys New Year’s Resolutions come to fruition, they should still be playing football in late January.