The best way to describe the Dallas Cowboys’ 49-29 win over the Chicago Bears would be turbulent. It was akin to a roller-coaster. There were ups and downs throughout the course of the game. The lowest point might have been almost squandering a 21-point lead to a Bears pass offense that is middling at best. One of the highest points, one might say, was Micah Parsons recovering a fumble for a touchdown after Bears quarterback Justin Fields inexplicably didn’t touch him down by contact.
We handed out game balls among other things on the latest episode of 1st and 10 on the Blogging The Boys podcast network. Make sure to subscribe to our network so you don’t miss any of our shows! Apple devices can subscribe here and Spotify users can subscribe here.
For those familiar, in our separate ‘5 Stars’ column we highlight five key contributors of the game whereas in this column, we hand one game ball to one player. When the Cowboys play a game like this, it’s so difficult to decide who to give the game ball to. However, like the Highlander, there can be only one. Or in this case, four. After a stellar performance against the Chicago Bears that felt long overdue, this week’s game ball belongs to Dak Prescott.
The mobile package
A forgotten and seldom used element of Prescott skill set has been his mobility. Over his first four NFL seasons, Prescott was one the best threats inside the red zone. He totaled twenty-one touchdowns in that span along with an average of 300 yards rushing per season in that timeframe. Understandably, after hurting his ankle in 2020, Prescott and the team have opted to lessen his carries to preserve him for the good of the team. Still, it was nice to see the Prescott of old against the Bears.
Go head, Dak! Touchdown Cowboys!— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 30, 2022
Dallas with a beautiful drive to start the game capped off by a Dak Prescott TD run!
: FOX pic.twitter.com/QgklD9bMAR
On the opening drive of the game, the Bears were on their heels as the Cowboys marched their way inside of the red zone. Facing a 3rd and 2 from the Chicago 7-yard line, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore called a zone read for Prescott with a lead blocker. Prescott kept the football as the Bears front shifted to the right in the direction of Tony Pollard and he waltzed into the end zone for the first score of many for the Cowboys. However, the longest run of Prescott’s day came on a quarterback sneak where he maintained his balance running behind his offensive line and escaped out the scrum for a gain of 25 yards.
Risk vs reward
Save for an interception to close the first half, Prescott was near perfect. As we’ve come to expect, every errant throw, sack taken, or interception thrown by Prescott is going to be dissected. Yet, the interception thrown by Prescott is exactly why he elevates the Dallas offense in contrast to when Cooper Rush was playing in his place.
The best quarterbacks can minimize mistakes while maximizing their opportunities. Dak Prescott did that against the Bears on Sunday. He completed 21 of his 27 pass attempts for a 77% completion percentage, for three total touchdowns and a QB rating of 114.5. That was achieved by Prescott having the confidence in himself and his receivers to fit passes in tight spaces. The same confidence that saw Prescott draw the Bears offsides with his cadence on 3rd and 9, then deliver a strike to Dalton Schultz over the middle for a 30-yard gain.
As Prescott rounds back into form, you’ll start to see his traits take over. The mental acumen of his game has been undersold dating back to his rookie season, but time and time again Prescott is one mental step ahead. A great example was on one play where Bears defensive coordinator Alan Williams called a blitz against the Cowboys offense. Prescott, being an adept veteran that he is, threw right behind to find Schultz on a short pass in the middle of the field.
On arguably his best throw of the day, Prescott utilized the tools that make him so good. Once again facing a third down in the red zone, Prescott dropped back to scan the field. CeeDee Lamb, after being motioned from the other side of the formation, now has inside leverage of Bears safety Jaquan Brisker. A confident Prescott delivers a dart over the middle between Brisker and the help defender for his second touchdown of the day.
Heading into the bye, it looks like Prescott might have gotten his swagger back.