Mike McCarthy might be the last hold out. He isn’t ready to use the word slump to describe his quarterback, Dak Prescott.
Most notably, McCarthy was asked if his quarterback was working through a midseason slump – a notion he shot down.
“It’s different in football. A lot of things go into it. I don’t think Dak is in a slump,” he said. “I think everything has not gone the way we would like to go are things we can improve on. That’s the focus this week.”
McCarthy is doing the right thing by protecting his quarterback. And it’s not like Prescott has been awful, he’s just been middling, an also-ran at quarterback during this recent slump (and yes, he is in one), rather than the $40-million-a-year franchise QB he was paid to be.
But even Jerry Jones, who has been known to be too candid for his on good, basically acknowledges the slump.
“I don’t want to say ‘slump,’ but that’s probably fair,” Jones said. “But it’s such a multi-faceted evaluation that I would say that our offense is definitely away from where we were playing five and six games ago from the standpoint of production. What the opposing defenses has to do with it needs to be considered.”
Jones said that Prescott is healthy and that he doesn’t think there’s “merit” to the idea that his mechanics are out of whack as a result of time missed due to injury over the summer or in the season. He also said he has “real confidence” in Prescott and the offense putting everything back together.
“He will figure it out,” Jones said. “That’s the key thing here. He has no superior in working on it, studying it, taking it to the practice field, repetition. He’s as good or better than anybody I’ve ever seen and so he will mentally and physically rep this through.”
Obviously the Cowboys’ woes on offense are not all on Dak. The running game has disappeared with only a tiny revival against Washington, the offensive line has been shuffled a few different times, and injuries to skill players have diminished their effectiveness. Then there is the play-calling of Kellen Moore, which after a period of “can do no wrong” has come under suspicion. Add it all up and you got an offense that is struggling.
Prescott played six games before the demarcation line which is the calf injury/Broncos game, and six after including the Broncos game.
In those first six games, he was completing passes at roughly 73%. In the six games since, it is roughly 63%.
In those first six games, he threw for 16 touchdowns. In the six games since, he has thrown for eight.
In those first six games, his QB Rating was roughly 114. In the six games since, it is roughly 83.
It’s not all on Dak, but there is no denying his play had plummeted from the lofty heights of the early part of the season. Now the question is how does he get out of it?