By: Greg Rector
Dallas Cowboys 37 New York Giants 34
The Dallas Cowboys beat the Giants on Sunday, however, it came at a huge cost. The moment Dak Prescott didn’t get up was an ugly scene at AT&T Stadium. Prescott’s right ankle was dislocated and he also suffered a compound fracture requiring surgery last night. Our thoughts are with him and everyone wishes for a full recovery. I am old enough to remember the hit by Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson on Joe Theismann in 1985, that was gruesome, as was Prescott’s injury.
As has been the case in EVERY game this season, the Cowboys were horrific from the get-go. As I said the last time I was on The Full Monte Sports Show with Monte Perez on September 20th, this is simply the most infuriating aspect of this team. I was a huge critic of the previous coach for not having the team ready, and guess what Mike McCarthy? I am unimpressed with your performance in this regard. I don’t care if 36 guys are on injured reserve or any other factor. When it’s kick-off time, that means the players need to perform for the next SIXTY MINUTES!!! Yet once again the Cowboys looked terrible in the first quarter in every phase of the game. Just as with the previous regime I feel the locker room is simply way too comfortable. There’s no fear of getting cut or traded, and it shows with starts like we have seen 5 straight weeks.
Once again they were facing an opponent they should have beaten soundly, instead of after a very sluggish 1st quarter they were down 14-3. That’s on the coaches plain and simple, they’re job is to have the team READY to play, it’s also on the players I agree, however they do it going forward the brutal starts must stop now. There’s no more Prescott there to lead a comeback. Indeed come the 2nd quarter that’s exactly what had to be done yet AGAIN. The Cowboys put up 21 points and took a 24-20 lead into halftime.
I debated whether or not to show the injury, but decided that yes I would add it to this article because this is a franchise-changing moment for the Cowboys. The moment he went down in the 3rd quarter a season that was on pace to be historic for a quarterback ended. A streak of 69 straight starts was halted. The leader of a franchise with so much turmoil already was done for the season. How the team responded at first was understandable, they looked and played shaken up, however then things turned around.
As I wrote in my preview for this game I called out Lawrence and Smith on defense, I called out the lack of causing turnovers by the defense, well Jaylon answered the moment. He was everywhere, busting up screenplays, making open-field tackles, and causing havoc. Lawrence for the first time since Week 9 last year against these same Giants had a sack. The Cowboys defense finally looked like a unit.
The saving grace for the day was having veteran quarterback Andy Dalton as the backup. For the 25th time in his career Dalton led a comeback, he was very efficient going 9 of 11 passing and despite losing a fumble. his poise was evident. The Cowboys indeed completed the comeback with Zuerlein’s 2nd game-winning field goal on the season. A win by one point or 21 still counts the same. Cowboys at 2 and 3 lead the NFC Least and are still 48% favorites to win the division.
Going forward the Cowboys must do a lot more of what they did to complete the comeback yesterday. The offense was much better balanced as Elliott had 91 yards and 2 TDs. Dalton is a decent quarterback and despite those comeback wins the team simply cannot afford to trail opponents and pray for a last-second field goal to escape with victories. If the Cowboys fail to understand the situation they are now in and do not rise to the occasion collectively, then there’s going to need some serious discussions about moving parts of this team elsewhere. Yes folks this is still a business, and she can be a cruel mistress.
If this group keeps struggling with the 2nd easiest schedule in the league, very quickly the who stays and who goes talks will need to happen. You all know I don’t go for the names on the backs, I support the Cowboys. Get ready for deals folks, including guys who you might love. Prescott’s injury is long-term, generally, 6 to 8 months to “recover.” The business side of this going forward could be personally costly for him sadly. I was disappointed the two sides didn’t reach an agreement on an extension. Well, guess who holds more power in negotiations? The Jones family does.
If the team doesn’t come together in the face of more turmoil, make no mistake I can see names like Lawrence, Smith, Cooper, and Elliott, being used for even more draft capital in 2021, which is again a deep draft class according to many. For Prescott, his injury playing under the franchise tag may be very costly personally.
Job one in week Six? Be ready to go against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals next Sunday night. They have plenty of weapons, and falling behind them will be fatal.
As always you can find me on Twitter @GregCowboys
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott getting carted off. Joneses embracing. Garrett goes over to McCarthy
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) October 11, 2020