Last week, Dallas Cowboys lost to the Atlanta Falcons, and the defensive line struggled to protect Prescott who was hit and knocked down too many times. This week, the outcome was the same – only Dallas failed to convert third downs.
The Philadelphia Eagles came with a 37-9 win over the America’s Team and improved to 9-1. For Dallas, this was the toughest loss at AT&T Stadium ever. Their quarterback, young and talented Dak Prescott, who needs to lead the way now that Ezekiel Elliott is suspended, struggled and played one of the worst games in his career. Dallas converted only three third downs in 14 attempts, giving Philadelphia too many opportunities to score.
Prescott connected on three out of nine third downs, recorded one interception and one fumble lost. Moreover, he had a 30.4 passer rating which is his career low. He said: “The second one was just bonehead, simple as that. To me, I forced one pick. Other than that, it’s a tipped ball and a miscommunication. I’m not trying to make excuses, just got to play better.”
Ever since All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith got injured, in the last two games, Prescott had just 38/61 passes with zero passing touchdowns and six turnovers. Dallas Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett defended the star quarterback: “There were some decisions he made that hurt us in the game. He’s a competitor. He keeps fighting.”
He also added: “We haven’t been good enough, consistent enough running the football, consistent enough throwing the football. We haven’t been able to attack the defense in different ways like we have the rest of the year.”
Even though they had issues on the field, the Cowboys had a 9-7 lead at the half. However, no touchdowns indicated that a second half would be a different story and although Mike Nugent scored all nine points for the Cowboys, he didn’t even get a chance to shoot in continuation. He scored two of those three field goals from 47 and 48 yards.
Alfred Morris who replaces Elliott said: “We didn’t finish drives in the second half. And that came back to bite us in the second half.” Morris had a solid game with 17 carries for 91 yards.
Meanwhile, in the third, the Dallas Cowboys were forced to punt the ball twice, whereas the fourth quarter was even worse – Prescott threw a reckless interception and had a fumble recovered by the Eagles. At the last drive, coach Garrett decided to give a chance to backup quarterback Cooper Rush, who came in when the match was practically over.
And while Dallas couldn’t find their game, Philly kept the pressure on the quarterback and the entire Cowboys offense. Carson Wentz led the Eagles to another victory, and they dominated every segment of the duel. The clash on Sunday was difficult for Dallas, but they need to recover and prepare for the next encounter. Also, this match was the first time for America’s Team without an offensive touchdown since 2015 when they lost to Buffalo Bills 16-6. That was the notorious 4-12 season.
There are six games to go, and nothing is over, but with the 5-5 score, Dallas has reduced the chances for a wild-card playoff berth. Besides Cowboys, teams that are in the wild-card race are 7-3 Carolina Panthers, a franchise that managed to get back on the right track after a disastrous 2016 season and the team that you always want to avoid – Seattle Seahawks with 6-3.
The next game for the Cowboys is against the Los Angeles Chargers who won against Buffalo Bills, scoring 54 points in a game and incredible 27 in the second quarter.
Prescott says he is ready: “I’d play tomorrow if I could.”