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Cowboys News: Dak is back and playoff hopes remain alive for another week

The links for your Victory Monday morning.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys @ Giants: Dak is back in 30-10 win by Dallas - Tom Ryle, BTB

Dak is back, writes Tom!

More importantly, Dak Prescott had a much more effective game than he has had in over a month. He was 20 of 30 for 332 yards, three touchdowns, and a 137.1 passer rating. And he should have had more completions and yardage after some very catchable balls were mishandled by his receivers. This game should go a long way to quieting the worries about his worrisome performance the past few weeks, and that means so much going forward for the Cowboys.

One thing that came out in this game is how important emotion and attitude are in the NFL. After all the chaos in New York the past week, it looked like re-establishing Manning as the starter and the change to Steve Spagnuolo as the interim head coach gave the Giants’ players a real boost. They came out playing crisp, effective football. It certainly didn’t look like a 2-10 football team that had given up on the season. That may explain why Ben McAdoo just had to go. All evidence from this game showed that he had lost the team. It was a very different team than it had been all season. One major thing New York did that gave Dallas fits for much of the game was to go with a hurry-up offense, often catching the Cowboys trying to get personnel and assignments straight. It was another of those “failure to adjust” issues.

Cowboys find the big plays to keep playoff chances alive - Todd Archer, ESPN

The Cowboys got things rolling in the second half, keeping their postseason aspirations alive.

On Sunday, the big plays returned.

Dak Prescott threw touchdown passes of 50 yards to Dez Bryant, 20 yards to Jason Witten and 81 yards to Rod Smith in the Cowboys’ 30-10 win at MetLife Stadium. He also had a crucial 54-yard completion to Cole Beasley that set up Witten’s go-ahead touchdown with 7 minutes, 38 seconds to play.

“Those big plays were needed,” Prescott said. “Obviously they were great when they hit. They were fun to watch, to watch those guys run and do what they do best. Yeah, it was a grind, it was a grind early, it was a grind throughout the game, but we were finally able to get some momentum, get going and it got good right there in the fourth.”

Cowboys keep playoff hopes alive with 30-10 win - Charean Williams, PFT

Charean recaps the game.

The Cowboys knew they had to win to keep their playoff hopes alive. After being tied with the Giants 10-10 in the fourth quarter, Dallas did what it had to do.

Dallas moved to 7-6 on the season with a second consecutive victory, staying alive in the postseason race. The Cowboys, who are 4-1 in the NFC East, play at Oakland next week before Ezekiel Elliott‘s return on Christmas Eve in a home game against the Seahawks.

What Cowboys' win over Giants meant for Dak Prescott, Dez Bryant - Bob Sturm, SportsDay

Bob Sturm writes on Dak.

In your predictions, you said Dak Prescott needed a game where he could feel good about. How should he feel after this game?

Well, it is his career high in passing yards and while he wasn't flawless, he showed some real gains in blitz recognition and execution. They took what the Giants gave them and it was pretty clear that the Giants gave them a lot with some reckless blitzes and it bit them badly. The QB position is as much mental awareness as it is anything and he stayed within himself when his receivers were letting him down early in the day. I thought it was his best effort since Kansas City because he found some big opportunities and the yards after catch did the rest.

5 thoughts on Cowboys' 30-10 win over Giants: Dak Prescott is looking like his old self - Jon Machota, SportsDay

Machota gives five thoughts following Sunday’s win. Dak looks like the old Dak.

1. QuarterDak

Dak Prescott has had his share of struggles since Ezekiel Elliott began serving his suspension. He started looking more like his old self late in the Washington win. It carried over into Sunday against the Giants. Prescott entered the fourth quarter with 174 yards and a touchdown on 16 of 24 passing, posting a 101.7 passer rating. He finished with a career-high in passing yards with 332. A few of those incompletions in the first half were because of drops by his receivers.

Cowboys are still a longshot to make playoffs; Dak plays like Donovan McNabb - Matt Mosley, SportsDay

Did Dak regain his swagger? It sure looked like it.

** Dak Prescott may have regained his swagger with that performance. He overcame some of those bad drops and finished with a career-high 332 passing yards. That throw he ripped to Jason Witten up the seam was perfect. That play seemed to settle everything down. I thought one of Prescott's best moments was when he somehow shook off Olivier Vernon and then completed a short pass for a first down to Alfred Morris. That's why you hear so many comparisons to Donovan McNabb. In his prime, McNabb had so much lower-body strength that you couldn't bring him down. What really stood out to me on that play was Prescott absorbing the pressure from his blindside and refusing to go down. He extends so many plays that you almost start to take it for granted. I know maybe the long plays to Bryant, Beasley and Smith weren't incredibly difficult throws, but you have to make those routine plays. Prescott never lost confidence in his receivers despite several mistakes on their part.

Here's what stood out most about Dak Prescott's play in win over Giants, and it's not his stats - Jon Machota, SportsDay

What about Dak impressed Jon Machota the most on Sunday?

Those are some of his impressive statistics from Sunday's 30-10 win over the New York Giants.

But that's not what stood out most to the Cowboys quarterback.

There were times during the Cowboys' three-game losing streak last month when Prescott tried to do too much. Without star running back Ezekiel Elliott in the lineup, Prescott attempted more deep throws into coverage, looking to make the big play. That wasn't the blueprint that led Dallas to 13 wins in 2016.

Inside MetLife Stadium Sunday afternoon, though, Prescott took what the defense gave him. Even when the game was still knotted 10-10 with less than 10 minutes to play, the second-year quarterback was patient.

Dak Prescott proves he can be elite without Ezekiel Elliott - Patrik Walker, Cowboys247

“The star QB has finally proved his elite status isn't tied to the presence of Ezekiel Elliott”, says Walker.

Dak Prescott is back.

The last four weeks of football has seen the Dallas Cowboys' star quarterback suffer through the worst stretch of football in his life, with him openly admitting he'd never been as frustrated as he was in the month of November. His stat line dove off a cliff in the absence of running back Ezekiel Elliott -- currently serving a six-game suspension -- with Prescott scrounging to deliver only 602 passing yards to go along with two touchdowns to five interceptions.

That all changed in Week 14 against a New York Giants team who is usually able to keep his numbers under wraps, with Prescott effectively taking them to the woodshed, locking the door and setting it on fire.

NFL Week 14 Grades: Cowboys get an 'A' for routing Giants - John Breech, CBS Sports

The Cowboys aced Sunday’s challenge against a divisional opponent.

Cowboys: A

The Cowboys needed a win to keep their faint playoff hopes alive and Rod Smith delivered with with a career game: 47 yards and a touchdown rushing, while also catching five passes for 113 yards and another touchdown. Dak Prescott also had a huge game (20 of 30, 332 yards), throwing three touchdown passes and completing a total of three passes that went for 50 or more yards, including an 81-yard TD to Smith in the fourth quarter.

Six winners and three losers from the Cowboys win over the Giants - Dave Halprin, BTB

Who stood out on Sunday?

Rod Smith - Rod Smith steals the show. The little-used running back got a few opportunities and capitalized. He scored a rushing touchdown and had 47 yards on six carries, for a 7.8 ypc. Not bad. But it was his 81-yard touchdown catch that was truly memorable. He had 113 yards receiving on five catches. He also caught a tipped pass on the first drive that he ran for a first down, converting a third down that extended the drive and got Dallas their first three points.

Too many drops, though.

Wide receivers (drops) - Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley had a couple of big plays in the game, and Beasley’s in particular had a galvanizing effect on the team. But they were dropping passes early, and they just couldn’t seem to get open except for short, underneath routes. They rallied at the end, and they did have some key blocks on the long plays, but they have to quit dropping passes.

10 thoughts on the Cowboys win against the Giants - DannyPhantom, BTB

Danny gives his ten thoughts on the victory. When Dak’s passes were caught, big things happened.

6. Yards after the catch

The Cowboys offense spun it’s wheels for most of the day and it would have been a very inept performance had it not been for a few big plays. When the Cowboys receivers did manage to catch the ball, they sure made them count. Prescott would have a career high, 332 yards passing and a great majority of that was yards after the catch. Bryant, Beasley, and Hot Rod would all have 50+ yard catches where they did most of the damage with their legs.

NFC playoff picture: The path for the Cowboys is now pretty much defined - Dave Halprin, BTB

Other than the Cowboys’ win, things didn’t go great for America’s Team this week in terms of the playoff race; however, there is still a chance.

The Dallas Cowboys are doing their part, they are putting together a winning streak in an attempt to get into the playoffs. Dallas is now 7-6 after their win over the New York Giants, but still need to win out to have any hope. They also need help from some other teams, but things didn’t go so well on that front in Week 14.

But if the Cowboys can win out, get a loss from Green Bay and Detroit, and two from the Falcons or Panthers, they would be in.

Cowboys' DeMarcus Lawrence torches refs: 'Do your job' - Jay Busbee, Yahoo Sports

The Tank wasn’t too happy about the lack of holding calls on Sunday, to say the least.

“The refs [are] out there for nothing,” he said after the game at his locker. “I didn’t see a holding call the last five games. It’s ridiculous.” He claimed he’s getting “tackled” by offensive linemen as the referees just watch.

“I feel like it’s unfair,” he said. “If you’re trying to protect quarterbacks, you’ve got to protect me.” Lawrence is only saying, in stark terms, the complaint defensive players have had for generations: that officials protect the glory boys of the offense while letting the defense take lumps, unloved and ignored.

Eagles believe Carson Wentz (ACL) is out for season - Nick Shook,

Some major, major NFC East news that you never want to see. Get well soon, Carson!

The Eagles believe Carson Wentz's season is over after the quarterback suffered an ACL injury in his knee during Philadelphia's 43-35 win Sunday over the Los Angeles Rams, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the injury. Wentz exited the contest late in third quarter and was ruled out shortly after heading to the locker room. Nick Foles replaced Wentz under center for Philly.


Go Cowboys!

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