Although this is one of the biggest sports clichés, the fact that the only thing stopping the Cowboys in the red zone is themselves, turned out to be true and it was best visible in the latest game against 49ers. The Cowboys ripped off four-straight touchdowns inside the 20-yard line but managed to miss their final two opportunities of the game.
You might ask, well why was that? The fact is that this happened because Cowboys passed up a 32-yard field goal with 2:57 to play and decided to give another chance to Cooper Rush. San Francisco attack was stopped quickly, and then they decided to kneel at 12-yard line so the clock would run out. Of course, some of you out there will point out the 49ers’ 0-7 record as a reason for the red zone efficiency, but that just wouldn’t be true. The real truth is that the Cowboys are destroying it this season, especially in the most crucial stretch of the field, and they’ve managed to score points on 14-of-17 trips into the red zone during the last month.
A statement from Dak Prescott confirmed this – “I wouldn’t say all cylinders, but we’re definitely going the direction that we want to go. As I’ve said, we’re playing up to our standards and our expectations of the way we expect to move the ball, the way we expect to get points.” But let’s take something else into consideration besides the sheer points, shall we? Dan Bailey is one of the game’s best kickers right? Well, the fact that he will miss out some matches because of the injury can’t be a thing that Cowboys are too glad about, even though they’ve had a slow start in September, and the offense hasn’t needed him as often. The latest touchdowns they’ve scored came from San Francisco and a couple of weeks before they’ve scored TDs on all four of their trips into the red zone while Bailey scored just one FG and it came from the 25-yard line.
The similar scenario was seen against the Rams and Arizona as they played perfectly once again. Prescott stated something on this topic as well, and he said “It’s hard to say there’s one thing that’s changed. If anything, we’ve just continued to keep faith and keep confidence in ourselves and continue with the same game plan we’ve been doing early and often this season. It’s just starting to pick up this season, and we’re getting into a groove and getting comfortable.” With this statement, Prescott is trying to remain humble and not put himself in the spotlight, but it is really hard to deny the fact that his talents have a lot to do with this. One of the proofs for that is his run for 104 total yards and three touchdowns in his last four games.
When you combine name like Prescott with teams rushing abilities and a red zone weapon like Dez Bryant, then you have a killer combo that can harm any defense in such small space. But Prescott continued by stating “It’s not just me running, it’s a bunch of different aspects. You name those guys that we’ve got out there at receiver, down in the red zone, that are hard to cover 15 yards and in. And then you’ve got the run game, when you’re adding my run to the read, as well — I mean, it’s just tough.” Prescott also added that “For me, it’s about not doing too much. Just trust in the play calling, trust in the players out there and just get them the ball and let them do what they do.”