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Dak Prescott says shoulder wasn’t an issue, team tries to look forward to next week

What the Cowboys had to say after their devastating loss.

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys had their destiny in their hands but were unable to beat a Philadelphia Eagles squad that was without so many players due to injury. It was truly a sad state of affairs for the Cowboys as they got out-played and out-coached, and are now in limbo. They still have a game to play, they still have a slim chance of making the playoffs, and they still have Jason Garrett as coach.

So what did they have to say for themselves?

First up, Dak Prescott said his shoulder was not an issue during the game. Even though he didn’t look sharp and missed some wide open opportunities, he wasn’t going with a shoulder excuse.

“I missed some throws. I can’t say I had pain or felt it in my shoulder. It could be maybe a lack of reps this week, who knows. It definitely wasn’t my shoulder or anything I was feeling.”

He was even more specific about a missed touchdown to Tavon Austin late in the fourth quarter.

“That’s a touchdown if I put it on him,” Prescott said. “Just didn’t capitalize. And that’s on me.”

On the one hand, good for Dak for not creating an excuse. On the other hand, in the biggest game of the year he didn’t play well. Sometimes his receivers didn’t help with drops, but Dak was inaccurate most of the night.

That turned out to be a huge problem when the Cowboys couldn’t run the ball.

“They did a nice job of really kind of stopping the run (early), and then end of the first half and start of the second half we kind of found our rhythm and started to get something going,” guard Zack Martin said. “And then obviously had that turnover. And then fourth quarter we’re kind of down and got to throw. We’ve got to do a better job getting off to a fast start and establishing early. When you get down like that in a big game, it’s tough.”

The Cowboys still tried to run, to their detriment.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said, “Obviously, [Philadelphia] loaded up against the run. They did a good job. They came in with the idea that we weren’t going to be able to run the football. We tried to be persistent with the running game, and it wasn’t effective enough throughout. There were a couple of good runs here and there, but not consistent enough throughout the ball game.”

They finally decided to attack the weak point of the Eagles defense, the secondary, but Prescott’s troubles and some key drops doomed them.

“We had to attack in the passing game based on what they were doing. At times, we made big plays in the passing game, but other times we weren’t able to convert like we needed to.”

As for not having Amari Cooper in the game at the very end, there were reports it was because he was winded. Cooper dispelled that idea.

“I wasn’t winded, no,” said Cooper, who had 24 yards on four catches. “Some of the routes we have, a deep post or a go ball, and we usually rotate to keep our legs fresh and things like that.”

The choices made by the coaching staff seem as curious as ever.

As you might guess, Jerry Jones wasn’t too happy with the result, but he was kind of subdued in his after-game speech. His famous optimism failed him, and he couldn’t even be bothered to summon up some righteous indignation. He just gave into the moment of despair.

“When you get in this spot, you give yourself a chance to be real disappointed. We are,” Jones said. “The fact that we didn’t get any [touchdowns], the fact the game turned out the way it did -- they played well. Not a lot to say about anything else other than it’s very disappointing. We all expected to leave here as NFC East champs. We’re not.”

Prescott echoed the theme of blown opportunities.

“We’re too talented of a team and individuals to not make the plays, starting with myself,” Prescott said. “It’s disappointing. It’s frustrating, but we all take responsibility. It begins with me, and we’re too talented. We just didn’t execute the way that we’re capable of doing, and they did.”

He went on along the theme of a team that couldn’t take advantage, but did pivot to the one thing they have left. A slim chance next weekend.

“Frustrating,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “Sat here after every game pretty much, win or loss, and said the good part about it is we control our own destiny. That’s gone. That’s out of our hands. And that’s unfortunate. It’s very disappointing because we had the chance, right? We had the chance to control our destiny and be where we wanted to be. But now that it’s out of our hands, we’ve got to control what we can control, and that’s getting a win next week.”

Garrett jumped in on that idea of next weekend.

“We don’t control our destiny any more, but we do control our opportunity next week against Washington,” Garrett said. “We’ll get back in there, clean up this game, keep our eyes forward and do our part to finish the season the right way.”

That’s all that’s left. Play next week, accept their fate and then move on.

Let’s give the last word to Ezekiel Elliott, who summed the game up succinctly and eloquently.

“It hurts,” Elliott said. “They made more plays than us.”

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