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Cowboys news: Dak Prescott hears the criticism and knows he’s not playing his best right now

Plus other news and analysis from around the Cowboys.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott says he’s healthy but admits, ‘I’m not playing my best ball’ - Todd Archer, ESPN

The offense has clearly been out of rhythm for some time now, and its good to see QB1 take some ownership as they work through the issues.

“I do realize I’m not playing my best ball, haven’t been playing it, have made some poor decisions, you could say,” said Prescott, who has eight touchdown passes and six interceptions in his six games back since a calf strain.

“That’s kind of part of it. I wouldn’t say it’s slump material, but I’m definitely not up to my standards or expectations, and when you play at a high level, that’s what you create. So I’m glad people have the same expectations for my game as I do for myself.”

Prescott admitted he has heard some of the talk about his recent play and is using that as motivation similar to the way he used his fourth-round-pick draft status as a tool to overcome expectations.

“I’ve been doubted my whole life, said I can’t do this or can’t do that, so in a sense I’m kind of glad it’s actually come back,” Prescott said. “I’m glad that’s the way people feel and there’s a lot of that being said right now.”

Cowboys Could Have Multiple O-Line Changes - Nick Eatman,

Looks like another offensive line lineup change is on the horizon for Sunday.

His replacement is expected to be Terence Steele, especially since owner/GM Jerry Jones hinted that way earlier in the week. Steele has started in place of Smith already this year and is considered the swing tackle for both sides.

The Cowboys had an initial fear that La’el Collins could be suspended for this game after his fight and ejection in the last week’s game in Washington.

It appears Collins and Steele will start at tackle. Now the left guard spots could be up in the air as well. This week, both head coach Mike McCarthy and Cowboys VP Stephen Jones have opted not to answer about a possible switch with Connor McGovern and Connor Williams. The Cowboys have gone with McGovern the last four games but the offensive production has actually gotten a bit worse, especially in the running game.

The Cowboys were 7-2 in the nine games Williams started at left guard and just 2-2 in the four games with McGovern.

Veteran right guard Zack Martin said he’s not worried about whoever starts at left tackle or left guard.

Top 10 NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidates: Cowboys, Patriots duos shine - Nick Shook,

This defense has been balling and Micah Parsons has really shined.

Rank 2 Micah Parsons

Parsons flashed in the first professional game of his career, way back in August in Canton, Ohio. He wasn’t on the field long, but when he was, he demonstrated the sideline-to-sideline ability and high motor that was sure to make him an every-down linebacker. Parsons followed through on that promise, prompting Dallas to release Jaylon Smith and hand the full-time keys to the rookie, who has seized the opportunity. A reliable defender capable of cutting down running backs as they hit the edge, he’s also quickly become a lethal pass-rushing weapon, recording 12 sacks in 13 games played. His quarterback pressure rate of 20.1 percent is the highest single-season mark in the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016; minimum 200 pass rushes), and his sack rate of 5.2 percent is the second-highest. His 46 QB pressures land him eighth among all defenders this season. Parsons can do it all, and he’s quickly vaulting up the rankings of linebackers in the NFL in only his first season. A shoo-in for Defensive Rookie of the Year, he just might end up taking home the award we’re talking about in this list, too.

The Run Game Is Key for Cowboys’ Super Bowl Aspirations - Jack Lindsay, SportDFW

This offensive unit has always been tough to stop when the running game has been a focal point.

Ezekiel Elliot is quite the hot topic for Cowboys and football fans alike. One thing we can all agree on, is that Zeke is not himself right now. Since the bye week Zeke has been “fed” 83 times or an average of 11.9 attempts. With those attempts he is averaging 3.48 YPC and has three TDs.

There is a pretty clear problem with Ezekiel Elliot if you have been keeping up with Cowboys beat writers for the past two months. He has been dealing with a nagging knee injury which has not prevented him from playing but playing like he can? Well that is certainly a different story.

The offense has simply been inefficient because teams know they don’t need to worry about getting beat on the ground. Our offensive line according to PFF is ranked first in the league and yet the majority of the carries are 3-4 yard rushes that add little to the drive that is being put together. Teams are often not even stacking the box and the gains we get from running the ball are minimal.

Resting Zeke for a week or two wouldn’t be the worst thing for us right now. He looks slow and he’s not providing much extra on the gridiron at the time being. Tony Pollard is more than capable to handle the workload. Let him show himself off and we can see exactly what he’s capable of when he’s taking 90% of the snaps. He does great with less than 45%.

Cardinals @ Cowboys Week 17 Game Flexed to Later Timeslot - Jess Haynie,

The Cowboys won’t be looking past the New York Giants, but it doesn't mean we cant look ahead and adjust our calendars accordingly.

The NFL has updated the Week 17 schedule and the Dallas Cowboys have been impacted. Their home game against the Arizona Cardinals has been moved from an early kickoff to the late afternoon.

Originally scheduled for 12:00 pm CST, the former division foes and ongoing regional rivals will now kick off at 3:25 pm.

With Arizona currently 10-3 and Dallas 9-4 overall, both are frontrunners in their divisions and the conference. This game could wind up having significant implications on the eventual NFC playoff picture, establishing a head-to-head tiebreaker between them.

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