Sunday Night wrap-up: Dak Prescott doubles backup win total from 2015


Dak Prescott is still just a rookie.

But he’s already twice the quarterback that Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden and Kellen Moore were last year.

Prescott led the Cowboys to an easy 31-17 win over the Bears, looking nothing like a first-year player in the process. He was efficient enough passing, but is able to move in the pocket and keep plays alive and run and get back up again, things that Tony Romo can’t always do (especially that last one).

Prescott finished 19-of-24 passing for 248 yards and a touchdown.

He’s played so precociously that it’s almost a surprise that his fourth-quarter touchdown to Dez Bryant was his first touchdown pass, but the fact we’re still waiting to see his first interception speaks to what makes the Cowboys love the almost-afterthought fourth-rounder so much.

It would be as irresponsible to suggest that he’s going to make Romo obsolete as it was when some were getting moon-eyed over Jimmy Garoppolo in New England the first two weeks of the season. But Prescott walked into a situation nearly as attractive as being coached by Bill Belichick when he got to take his first NFL snaps behind the Cowboys’ offensive line and surrounded by such skill-position talent.

That gives them two wins in three games without Romo, which is double what the Cowboys won in 12 non-Romo starts last year (Cassel had the one). There are plenty of people contributing to that, but unlike past situations, the Cowboys feel like they have a chance with Prescott at the helm.

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

1. Prescott’s been good, but fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott is helping to make it easy for his quarterback.

Elliott finished with 30 carries for 140 yards,  dramatically improving his totals. He went for 51 yards in the opener and 83 last week, and after a slow preseason, this was the first time he flashed star quality. As a pro, at least. His hurdle of Bears safety Chris Prosinski gave him a poster-worthy shot, and may have summed up the evening for both sides.

The idea behind drafting the Ohio State running back fourth overall was to help Romo-proof the offense anyway, and his ability to keep chains moving is going to be of assistance when the old guy comes back too.

2. On the other sideline, we probably should have seen this coming.

The Bears walked in the door undermanned and on a short week, after an embarrassing loss to the Eagles last Monday, with backup quarterback Brian Hoyer.

While it’s uncertain that Jay Cutler would have made things any better, there’s a certain hopelessness that descends with veteran backups of Hoyer’s ilk. But the Bears were in a transitional phase anyway, and then kept getting hurt.

To recap: In addition to starting Cutler, the Bears were without pass-rushers Lamarr Houston (IR) and Pernell McPhee (PUP), and center Hroniss Grasu (IR). That doesn’t even get into the recent injuries, including defensive tackle Eddie Goldman and linebacker Danny Trevathan, who were inactive because of problems of shorter-term nature.

3. While the lack of punch of the Bears offense was certainly a factor, the Cowboys’ defense looked almost competent at times.

They’re still short on pass-rushers, and will be for another game until DeMarcus Lawrence returns a week from now after his four-game drug suspension.

But considering they get the punchless 49ers next week, they might be able to survive the wait.

4. The Cowboys are going to be at their best when they can play from ahead, especially until Tony Romo returns.

But the way they got up on the Bears would have allowed many quarterbacks to have looked good.

The Cowboys had more first downs (19) than the Bears had plays (18) in the first half, leading to a 24-7 lead at the break.

5. There were some bright spots for the Bears.

Sort of. OK, not many.

Tight end Zach Miller caught a couple of touchdowns, but we already knew he was pretty good.

Rookie running back Jordan Howard popped a 36-yard run in the first half, and might have had more if they were in a position to run more often.

The fifth-round pick from Indiana (via Alabama-Birmingham) has shown some promise, but may need some time to gain traction because Fox is generally averse to playing rookies unless he has to.

Maybe he has to.

24 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Dak Prescott doubles backup win total from 2015

  1. The Bears D Line got crushed tonight. I knew it was gonna be rough without Lamarr Houston and Eddie Goldman but the lack of strength and athleticism in their backups was really exposed and their one healthy starter (Hicks) was invisible. Cowboys weren’t even at full strength with their OL or it would have been even worse.

  2. Prescott is the real deal. Congratulations cowboy fans. You found your franchise qb. Prescott makes this Cowboys team very dangerous. They should make the playoffs and go deep. Sorry romo, your not getting your job back. You’ll be traded at the end of the year and Cowboys can use that money to strengthen the team while Prescott makes less than 1 mil a year on his rookie contract. I wish niners had Prescott. Cowboys are very lucky.

  3. Is it just me or has it seemed like nearly every time Cutler has been replaced by a backup for the last 4 or 5 years or so that the backup has outplayed him, but the team continues to go back to Cutler for some reason.

  4. Between Dak,Carson, and even the nice game Cody Kessler had a few years down the road this may just be one of the better QB drafts in the last several years

  5. Matt Cassel, Brandon Weeden and Kellen Moore didnt get to play the bears defense. They make every backup/rookie QB look like Montana. Bad team with an even worse coaching staff.
    How do the cowboys ever lose with the refs giving them free yards on every play. With only 3 challenges you can only correct so many.

  6. Looks like the Bears will be holding up last place in the NFC North this year. Lions are twice the team they are. Packers are hit and miss. Vikings D is on fire!

  7. At the risk of being compared to Captain Obvious, the Bears season is just about over and it looks like Fox is losing them. Pace has shown nothing and rebuilt nothing. The FA signings are not rebuilding. They’ve missed on almost all of their high draft choices. The Bears are no better than they were under Trestman. Right now we are arguably the worst team in the league, and what’s worse, is that we are trending down. It’s deeply troubling

  8. The lack of the pass rush will hurt Dallas in games against tougher opponents. The secondary is actually playing well but you can only ask that unit to hold up for so long, if you give the quarterback time to read a book in the pocket the receivers WILL get open.

    But overall there is reason for optimism, for the first time a window past Romo appear to be open. That was a big problem for the future of this team. Learning from Tony, one of the better QBs when it comes to football knowledge, will serve Dak well.

    And don’t kid yourselves, no way Tony gets traded. Even if they wanted to, and if there were teams looking for a gray haired QB, his contract makes that near impossible.

  9. As a long time Cowboys fan, its great to see Dak making a statement as our QB. The period between when Aikman retired and before Romo became the starter had been a major struggle for the position. Now if we can get some front 7 defensive help, I think we could really make a run this year. I like how guys like Collins stepped up last night. As for Romo, it will be very interesting to see what happens once he’s a full go. Romo has been our resilient field general and I respect him but Dak Prescott has really shown he can become our LONG AWAITED future!!!

    Let’s go Cowboys!!

  10. This time TWill just cost us 7 pts, instead of a good chance of winning the game, or we could be 3-0..smh.. I love Dak, but I love Tony more! Make no mistake about it, there is NO q/b controversy in Dallas. This is Tony’s team, until it is not! Tony is mentoring Dak and Dak is doing a fantastic job of executing 🙂 Dak gives us the opportunity to let Tony fully heal. To those who always post that JJ rushes Tony back, you could not be more wrong!! Romo is a competitor and has to be reined in by the Drs., JG, and the entire organization!
    However, our need for pass rushers was on full display!!

    The subtle digs at Romo in this article were quite tacky, btw!

  11. “The Cowboys had more first downs (19) than the Bears had plays (18) in the first half, leading to a 24-7 lead at the break.”

    It was 24-3 at the half. Proofreading and fact checking is hard.

  12. Why would anybody want Romo back at this point? All he’s going to do is the same thing he’s done his entire career, put up big numbers and fold long before they can get to a Super Bowl.

  13. Dak has zero turnovers in three games. Romo would’ve thrown three or four picks and had two or three fumbles to go with them. I’m appreciative of Romo’s guts and he has been a warrior all these years but he’s put no time in the weight room it seems over the years. Therefore, I think his body is finally done. Leave him as our backup to Dak and let’s roll into the future.

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