Did you enjoy that meaningless game? The Dallas Cowboys 36-35 win over the New York Giants started out with uncertainty about how the game would be treated, and ended in a barn-burner full of emotion. The Cowboys offense was a shell of itself with two starting linemen inactive and another lost to injury, plus the star running back was resting. But they did have Dak Prescott who ended up playing the whole game. And Prescott had Blake Jarwin, who went off like no Cowboys tight end has since 1973.
Jason Garrett said he was going to play to win. When he decided to make Ezekiel Elliott inactive, it seemed like that story was collapsing. Then he decided to play Dak Prescott for the whole game, even with backups across the offensive line by the end of the game except for La’el Collins at right tackle. Prescott rewarded the faith of his coach by turning in a monster game capped by another late-game, game-winning drive.
The numbers for Prescott: 27 for 44, 387 yards, four touchdowns and a 120.2 rating. All of that behind a makeshift offensive line and no Zeke. That is an incredible performance. He had no running game to speak of and it all relied on his arm. It’s often said Prescott is not the kind of quarterback and can put the team on his shoulders and will them to a win over a whole game, but he did on Sunday. Sure, it was just one game but the confidence boost for Prescott has to be substantial. Jason Garrett rolled the dice by playing him for four quarters, but in the end it paid off. The Cowboys offense went off and Prescott was one of the main reasons.
The other main reason? Blake Jarwin. The tight end has been talked about for a while as having the tools to be a weapon. Cowboys fans hadn’t really seen it yet, although over the last couple of weeks he was starting to assert himself. On Sunday, he blew through the door and exploded.
Jarwin caught seven passes for 119 yards and three touchdowns. No Cowboys tight end since Billy Joe DuPree in 1973 has had three touchdowns in a game. The Cowboys tight ends have become more of the game plan over the last few weeks with Jarwin and Dalton Schultz ramping up their production. But nothing had prepared us for the game Jarwin turned in against the Giants. Having that happen right before the playoffs could be a significant development. It could help solve the red zone issue.
While we’re here, a special game ball shout out to Cole Beasley. His production this year has been spotty and at times he’s appeared frustrated with his role. He has stuck with it and was rewarded today with six catches for 94 yards, plus an unbelievably clutch touchdown catch that allowed the Cowboys to win the game.
Much has been made of the Cowboys issues in the passing game on offense, with only Amari Cooper being a guy to fear. Dak Prescott has had his ups-and-downs this year and that has contributed to the issues. For one game, and it’s the game right before the playoffs, the Cowboys passing game was spectacular. Perfect timing.