Sunday Night wrap-up: Dak Prescott leads Cowboys to impressive win

AP

There may or may not come a point when Dak Prescott has to win a game without Ezekiel Elliott.

And as much as at any point last season, it looked like Prescott is well-equipped to pull it off.

The Cowboys quarterback was his usual efficient self in Sunday’s 19-3 win over the Giants, but continues to show his development as a passer, which they’ll need if Elliott ever ends up serving his time.

He finished the game 24-of-39 for 268 yards and a touchdown, which was enough on a night when Elliott added 104 rushing yards.

Prescott was able to rely on Elliott and his line last year, but as he grows as a quarterback, he’s going to be asked to do more. Incorporating wide receiver Dez Bryant into the offense more effectively’s going to be central in that regard, and he was able to do just that. Bryant only had two catches for 43 yards, but he occupied Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins and left room for others.

Prescott’s always been mobile, and his rollout pass to Jason Witten as they were killing time late was a good example of the plays he’s always been able to make. But he’s making more and more kinds of passes, and that’s going to be necessary at some point.

Mostly, as Prescott gets more time under center, he continues to look more and more comfortable. That’s only going to help, regardless of Elliott’s status.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t break a sweat Sunday night, but he helped his bargaining position without doing a thing.

The Giants couldn’t do anything through the air without him in the first half, managing just 33 yards passing.

Of course, most teams without their best players tend to struggle in that area in a given game. But the Giants brought Brandon Marshall in this offseason to relieve some pressure, and he was only targeted once and didn’t catch a pass in the first half while the Cowboys were building a 16-0 lead.

For the game, the Giants had just 224 yards of total offense, the kind of anemic output no one saw coming, with or without their star receiver.

2. That being said, the lack of a consistent rushing attack didn’t help.

Even when Beckham returns, it’s a reasonable question how they’ll balance the offense, with a variety of role-playing backs.

Paul Perkins is probably the best of the lot in terms of chances of being an every down back, but he had just seven carries for 16 yards. Being in an early hole didn’t help the ground game, but the Giants have some fundamental issues on offense, and Beckham can’t fix them all.

3. It feels like so many words were written about Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith‘s NFL debut before it ever happened, there’s little else to be said.

But if anything, his presence may allow Sean Lee to make even more plays.

With Smith in the middle and Lee able to play in space, it puts another playmaker out there for a Cowboys defense that’s still short of elite personnel.

Lee’s proven his ability to carry things when he’s healthy, and if Smith’s out there healthy with him, it’s a big step for a defense that’s still under construction. While the knee injury that threatened his pro career may never allow him to return to his Notre Dame form, Smith didn’t look out of place in his debut.

4. Cowboys wideout Cole Beasley one-upped Beckham.

In the fourth quarter, Beasley caught one with his back, which is much harder than using the top of your helmet like David Tyree or anything.

Beasley pinned a pass with one hand against the nameplate of his jersey, and had the presence of mind of to keep his feet down after making the grab.

It was the kind of catch Beckham had to approve of.

Beasley caught 75 passes last year, so he’s made some highlights in his day, but nothing like this one.

5.  The Giants have stuck with left tackle Ereck Flowers, partly because of a lack of options. But so far, he’s done little to indicate he was the kind of turn-key left tackle teams hope they’re getting with a top 10 pick.

It’s possible that the 2015 first-rounder is better off on the right side, but the Giants don’t have the luxury of putting him there at the moment.

That’s going to require some game-planning to compensate, as he’s not going to be able to protect the never-exactly-mobile Eli Manning without some degree of help.

41 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Dak Prescott leads Cowboys to impressive win

  1. There was NOTHING IMPRESSIVE about the Danish Ham, DAK.

    This is exactly what he does when you don’t put pressure on him – he half steps his passes and really is not much of a threat. He was as underwhelming to watch as possible – if you removed him you could replace him with almost anyone and get the same results – he does nothing that cannot be replaced.

    Pressure him and he disappears – the New York Nightmaras were dominated by the Rump Rider defense and by their own pathetic playcalling – DAK had no impact on this game as evidenced by one touchdown drive and four phone it in field goal ones.

  2. I know Giants fans will be quick to say they lost because they didn’t have Odell. However they will leave out the fact that we lost without Romo who was our starter for the year. If you think Romo wouldn’t have made up for the 4 points total yall beat us by last year, than you’re just kidding yourself.

  3. The NFC appears to be a wide open race of mediocre teams. Popular preseason picks like the Seahawks, Packers. Falcons, Cowboys, Giants, Panthers, aren’t scaring anybody.

  4. I watched a good chunk of this game and have to say that I beg to differ on the confidence you have in Dak Prescott. His accuracy on easy passes (including an easy slant in the end zone) is terrible and he looks a bit lost trying to read defenses. He’s a big boy, I see his career ending up much like Dante Culpepper’s, basically disappointing and underwhelming

  5. laserw you’d say the same thing if he was 30 for 30 with 500 yards, 6 TDs and 0 INTs. He also threw 1 more TD and 1 less INT than the oh so great Eli. And he won so take your garbage to a post where it’ll actually make sense

  6. The Giants have absolutely no running game, so that will be a problem the entire year. People overreacting to Dak Prescott are forgetting the Giants were the toughest team he faced last year. They just run a scheme that causes him to struggle. But getting the victory is more important than personal stats. As Al Davis said “just win baby.”

  7. @cornerblitz the amount of audibles he was calling early on to adjust to the Giants defensive fronts negates your claim. And again Eli Manning: 0 TDs (against Dallas’ “terrible defense”) and 1 INT (against Dallas’ “young and inexperienced secondary”). Dak Prescott: 1 TD (against NYs “great defense”) and 0 INTs (against NYs “great secondary”).

  8. The Giants O-line is not good. However when this is the case, the coaching staff needs to adjust accordingly by leaving the tight end in to block or chipping the end before he runs his route. And then you can also do the same thing with the running back. I know it is not ideal but the Giants may need to have at least 1 extra blocker if not 2.
    Now Odell is a great wide receiver and his absence hurt. But that performance was awful by Eli and company. The Giants are supposed to have a solid wide receiver group. Seriously Brandon Marshall should at least be a quality number 2 and Sterling Shepard had a good 2016 season. So I was expecting the Giants offense to at least look competent.
    Lastly, credit to the Cowboys defense. Their secondary had a ton of turnover from the 2016 season. Also most of the starting defensive line is suspended. But they still turned in a pretty darn good performance.

  9. laserw says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:28 pm
    There was NOTHING IMPRESSIVE about the Danish Ham, DAK.

    So, I guess it doesn’t take anything impressive to run over the Giants D. Welcome to the next 10 years of being a Giants fan.

  10. pesh00 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:46 pm
    Bandwagon full. Thanks for stopping by.
    —————
    It took long enough to fill up the bandwagon again after the 90s.

  11. The lone TD pass came on a bogus PI call on Jenkins. Everything else was pretty pedestrian on BOTH teams!
    Wow, can the Giants offense be any worse?! And yet pundits had them ranked in the top ten, top five?
    Keep an eye out how much of a drop they give them next week.

  12. It may not have been a lot of touchdowns, but Dak was efficient. He played well. The key is he got the team in position to score. Just to note, Aaron Rodgers only had 1 touchdown too and Seattle’s defense is better than the Giants.
    Poor Eli, he’s either lost something in his ability or he’s just plain old.

  13. It was a good win. The defense played great. The O-line and Elliot did good .Dak did not look that good tonight. He had a number of bad throws. He can and must get better for the team to go far. I just think people need to pump the brakes on Dak. He was the weakest link tied with Dez who is over payed and overrated.

  14. tjacks7 says:
    September 10, 2017 at 11:34 pm
    The NFC appears to be a wide open race of mediocre teams. Popular preseason picks like the Seahawks, Packers. Falcons, Cowboys, Giants, Panthers, aren’t scaring anybody.

    #overreactionmonday

  15. Solid grind it out win for the Cowboys. Not overly impressive but, a good solid 1st game of the season. I loved how all (most. all but 1 here) the predictions, had the Giants winning this game. Keep it up. PLEASE keep hating the Cowboys.

    I’ll take grinders, & unimpressive wins all season. The offense will get better. If the defense gets better…..lol … look out haters…!

  16. Dak had time to take a nap in the pocket, Eli barely escaped with his life most of the time. This falls on Reese and McAdoo. When the Giants had a good O-line, Eli made mediocre receivers look good. Just bringing in more accomplished receivers won’t do squat if there’s no time to get rid of the ball. And can they run a few quick slants every now and then instead of waiting for receivers to get open on their routes?

  17. tjacks7 says:

    September 10, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    The NFC appears to be a wide open race of mediocre teams. Popular preseason picks like the Seahawks, Packers. Falcons, Cowboys, Giants, Panthers, aren’t scaring anybody.

    _____________

    And I’m guessing you thinking that the Vikings will?

  18. As a Cowboy fan since their inception, I’d be the first to admit that Dak Prescott could have certainly played better in the first half. He missed some easy throws, and a little off-target on some others. BUT, he took care of the ball. The offensive line was pretty solid against a tough Giants defense that was worn down by the Cowboy ability to keep them on the field much of the 1st half. Those overly critical of Dak? Perhaps you are ignoring his youth and overall experience (not that much). He’ll come around. The big story of the night was the Cowboy secondary. They covered quite effectively, and there’s reason to believe Dallas is going to be a tough team to beat throughout the season.

  19. Prescott was ONE of FIVE on deep passes. As a bus driver he is adequate, but without Elliott Dallas loses that game.

  20. nhpats says:
    September 11, 2017 at 10:06 am
    smarter than you says:
    September 11, 2017 at 12:14 am
    Dak > Russell Wilson

    ———–

    Let me know when Dak has won a playoff game….

    * Let me know when Wilson, and not his defense or Marshawn, has.

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