It was the same story as last week: get out to a big lead, only to give it up in the second half. The Dallas Cowboys jumped out to a 21-6 lead in the first half, but they couldn’t hold it. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers quickly stormed their way back into game and took the lead when Terrance Williams failed to come down with the catch, allowing Packers corner Damarious Randall to pick it off and return it for six. The Cowboys would bounce back and score the following drive, but there wound up to be too much time on the clock for Rodgers. Again. Shades of this past January.
Nonetheless, our quarterback starred in FOX’s America’s Game of the Week. After defeating Rodgers in Lambeau and nearly leading Dallas back from a 21-3 deficit in the playoffs, Dak Prescott again went toe-to-toe with one the greatest gunslingers of this generation. Dak put the team on his shoulders and did all he could to lead his team to victory heading into a very important BYE week.
It was fascinating to see Dak go play-for-play with Aaron Rodgers. Probably won’t be the last time. https://t.co/NCzenSTsSw— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 9, 2017
Dak put the offense on his shoulders throughout the game, as the Green Bay Packers were committed to stopping the run and forcing Dak to beat them with his arms. Did he ever. The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year had his best performance of his second season on Sunday, as he shredded Green Bay’s defense all afternoon long. It began with an impressive deep shot to Brice Butler on the first drive, and it ended on a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter with his feet.
The second-year face of the franchise put on a show in front of a national audience inside AT&T Stadium on Sunday. Prescott completed 25 of 36 passes (69%) for 251 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with eight different receivers throughout the game — Jason Witten eight times for 61 yards, Butler twice for 57, Dez Bryant five times for 52 yards and a score, Cole Beasley four times for two touchdowns, Terrance Williams twice, and Ezekiel Elliott and Rod Smith each one.
Cole Beasley's emergence was huge for Dak. The talented slot, who has been called uncoverable, has been quiet through the first four weeks of the season. Teams have made it a priority to take Bease out of the game. However, the sauce was loose on Sunday. Beasley was able to get open and Dak rewarded him on two occasions for scores.
Once on the opening possession:
And again on this beautiful RPO design:
Dak has been finding his groove in recent weeks, and it showed on Sunday. Prescott spread the ball around, found the open man, and even connected with Dez for six. He was able to make the defense pay with his legs by escaping from pressure and on play designs. Dak added 37 yards on four carries and a touchdown on the ground to go along with his impressive 105.2 quarterback rating.
Dak's mobility and escape ability in full effect once again. pic.twitter.com/fqdWB637Ap— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 8, 2017
Dak’s biggest score of the game was potentially the game-winner, before Rodgers and company drove right down the field. Dak and Zeke used the ground game to burn the clock on the Cowboys’ final possession. Zeke found open running lanes throughout the drive, and the offensive line was able to get a push. Dak, knowing the defense would key in on Zeke, read the defense and kept the ball himself and scored the final points for the Cowboys on the day.
It may be easy to say he should have slid or fell down to take more time off the clock, but that is just plain wrong. First of all, it would be hard to tell any player to fall short of the goal line when there is nobody there to stop them — especially in a game-winning situation. Second of all, and this is the most important factor, there is no guarantee they would score. It’s easy to assume they would have considering how worn out the Packers were, but then again, Ezekiel Elliott was nearly stopped short of the first down marker on a fourth down play just a few short moments earlier. You could also get a penalty that knocks you back, or you could have a turnover.
When you have the chance to score a touchdown when you’re down by four and there is less than two minutes left, you do it. There is just no question about that.
Dak played a helluva game. He nearly led his team to victory and played lights out all game long. A week after his accuracy was all over the place, Dak rebounded in a big way.
And the pick wasn’t his fault.— David Helman (@HelmanDC) October 9, 2017
Waste of a hell of a day from No. 4. pic.twitter.com/eLFV56tyGu
Jerry Jones told me despite loss he thought this was Dak Prescott's best game.— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) October 8, 2017
Our own DannyPhantom wrote on his performance:
Dak Prescott threw three touchdowns and rushed for another one, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. There were times that the Cowboys young quarterback put the team on his shoulders and carried them. He would make some great escapes that would lead to some big plays. He would also make some strong throws when the defense is hanging all over him.
Most impressively, the way he led the Cowboys final drive was a thing of beauty. He would make great decision after great decision to keep the chains moving. It’s tough that the Cowboys lost this game, but it feels good to have such a great young quarterback on the team. He’s a good boy, loves his mama. He loves Jesus and America, too.
There’s no sophomore slump here, folks.
Man. Look at Dak’s sophomore slump.— ✭ DCBlueStar ✭ (@DCBlueStar) October 9, 2017
112 of 179, 62.5% comp, 13 TOT TD, 4 INTs, 1192 yards... 10.64 yards per comp.
This week’s game ball goes to the kid, Rayne Dakota.