December 12, 2016
Dak Prescott is http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=1-18261724">0-2 against the New York Giants but 11-0http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=1-18261724">1 against the rest of the NFL teams that he has faced. The Dallas Cowboys score an average of 28.5 points per game but have scored just 26 points against New York in two games.
Prescott might have played his http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874656">worst game as a professional against the Giants on Dec. 11. He went 17 for 35 on passing, gaining 165 yards with one touchdown, but had the first two-interception game of his career.
The former Mississippi State University star also http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874656">fumbled once, but the Cowboys were able to maintain possession. Prescott has gone http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/gamelog/_/id/2577417/dak-prescott">three straight games without passing for 200 yards.
As a whole, the Dallas offense converted just one third down for the second game in a row. The Cowboys went http://www.espn.com/nfl/matchup?gameId=400874713">one for nine on third down against the Minnesota Vikings and http://www.espn.com/nfl/matchup?gameId=400874656">one for 15 on third down against the Giants.
Dallas has lost http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874574">two games http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874656">against the Giants by a total of four points. If the Cowboys go on a winning streak like they did after their last loss to New York, it would end in a Lombardi Trophy.
Prescott and the rest of the team must put this lost behind them quickly. The http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/schedule/_/name/tb">Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the http://www.espn.com/nfl/team/schedule/_/name/det">Detroit Lions lie ahead, and both teams are on five-game winning streaks.
With Prescott at quarterback, Dallas is going to have to live with rookie moments or games like those against the Giants. The returns have been too good to panic since Prescott has http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/2577417/dak-prescott">20 touchdowns and only four interceptions in 13 NFL games.
The 11-game winning streak has given the Cowboys a cushion if Prescott continues to struggle. In the loss to the Giants, Prescott wasn’t the only one at fault, either.
Receivers dropped passes, and the offensive line struggled at times in pass protection. The Giants sacked Prescott http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874656">three times and pressured him eight times during the game.
One bright spot has been the play of the Dallas defense. That unit harassed New York quarterback http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874656">Eli Manning all game long and forced him into mistakes. The Cowboys’ defense finished http://www.espn.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400874656">strong against the Giants’ running game.
Dallas was undone by a 61-yard touchdown catch and run late in the third quarter from Odell Beckham Jr., which ended up giving the Giants the win. Take away that one big play, and the Cowboys win the game.
The Cowboys have another luxury other teams don’t possess in quarterback Tony Romo. If, say, Prescott hit a rookie wall, Dallas could make a change to a Pro Bowl quarterback and hope Prescott regains his magic if Romo gets hurt.
There is a real possibility that other teams are starting to get a better handle on Prescott. At this point, there are 13 game tapes on the rookie, and it is becoming easier to know what he does well and what he struggles doing.
As Prescott develops and gets better chemistry with his receivers, it will be harder for defenses to take away plays. He still might not make it through the season without being benched for Romo.
Out of the two games against New York, http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/2577417/dak-prescott">Prescott is 42 of 82 for passing, gaining 392 yards and a passer rating of 58.6 with one touchdown and two interceptions. Against everyone else, http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/_/id/2577417/dak-prescott">he is 218 of 313 for passing with 2,747 yards, a passer rating of 114.3, 19 touchdowns and two interceptions.
There is a chance at redemption for Prescott against the Giants. If these two teams meet in the playoffs, Prescott will get a chance to win against New York when it truly matters the most.