Stephen Jones: Cowboys’ Results Won’t Impact When Dak Prescott Returns from Injury - Joseph Zucker, Bleacher Report
The Cowboys would like to see Prescott have a full week of practice before playing for the first time since week one.
“At the end of the day, this is all about when he thinks he can go and when he thinks he can throw the football at a level that we need him to throw it at to have success and win football games,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Monday on 105.3 The Fan’s The K&C Masterpiece. “Certainly, you feel better about it when he’s not ready yet that we’ve been able to have these wins, you don’t want to be naive like that.”
Jones added that the team’s overall success may lead Prescott to be even more cautious.
“Cooper Rush and this team have all stepped up, all his teammates have stepped up and done their part to win three football games, and I’m sure it helps everybody,” he said. “It helps Dak … to not do something [when] he knows he may not be quite ready yet to go.”
For the Cowboys, this is the best possible outcome.
Rush hasn’t been prolific in place of Prescott, but he has already engineered two game-winning drives while avoiding the kind of costly mistakes you’d expect from a backup quarterback. He has completed 60.8 percent of his passes while throwing for 737 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. His 74.0 QBR is the fourth-highest in the league, per ESPN.com.
Did the Cowboys have a plan all along this offseason?
A lot has gone right for the Cowboys over the past three weeks and it is no accident, the roster that Jerry, Stephen, and Will McClay have put together is deep, complete, and proving fans wrong.
The powers that be inside the front office made unpopular decisions over the offseason. Trading away Amari Cooper, letting Randy Gregory, Cedrick Wilson, and La’el Collins walk in free agency, giving Cooper Rush the nod for QB2, and bringing back Brett Maher to kick just to name a few.
All of these were questioned by fans and media familiar with the team and so far, we have simply been wrong.
Cooper Rush has proven that he was the right decision going 3-0 in Dak Prescott’s absence and keeping the Cowboys’ season alive. Noah Brown, who was spoken very highly of in training camp, has filled the void of receiver depth. Without Randy Gregory, the Cowboys have the most sacks in the NFL and guys like Dorance Armstrong and Quinton Bohanna are stepping up on the interior of that defensive line.
‘I need to make a statement’: Cowboys WR Michael Gallup loud and clear despite limited duty in Week 4 win - Todd Brock, The Cowboys Wire
CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup looked ready to carry the Cowboys at WR against the Commanders.
“I definitely had jitters,” the fifth-year veteran said, speaking of his mindset before kickoff. “You’re supposed to. But I felt way better this week, just from a mental aspect.”
Gallup had been cleared to make his return to action in Week 4, in a primetime matchup against the Giants. But the 26-year-old kept himself on the team’s inactive list, telling coaches that he felt he needed one more week’s worth of practice reps before exposing himself and his surgically-repaired knee to full-speed enemy fire.
His first catch Sunday checked a lot of boxes: a jump to secure the ball, defender contact in the air, landing back on the turf, getting twisted down, and, most important… popping back up afterward.
“I know that my heart was relieved,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said following the win. “Everybody’s heart should be relieved. That’s quite a step mentally to come back from the type of injury that Michael had. That’s tough for any of these players to play through injury and get back, on a confidence basis, your strength or your ability to play the game. He’s been patient with himself. Obviously, as a team, we’re patient with him. But it was good to see him make that contribution out here today.”
CeeDee Lamb is tied for the league lead in receptions of 15 or more yards.
In Week 1, Brown led the team with five catches on nine targets for 68 yards. So someone was getting open, just not Lamb. On top of that, Lamb’s route running seemed to be lacking something.
Against the Bengals in Week 2, backup quarterback Cooper Rush got the start for an injured Dak Prescott, and Brown once again led the team in receiving with five catches on five targets for 91 yards and a touchdown in the winning effort.
Lamb seemed to be catching on with Rush under center, with seven catches on 11 targets for 75 yards. His route running seemed to improve a bit but still needed work.
In Week 3, the Cowboys beat the Giants in their first NFC East game of the young season, and Rush was once again in for Prescott. Lamb struggled in the first half of that game and had a significant drop or two.
But the second half was a different story. Lamb was a different receiver.
Lamb had a circus-catch touchdown late in the game that helped the Cowboys to victory, and he hasn’t looked back since. He finished the day with eight catches on 12 targets for 87 yards and a touchdown, leading all receivers.
On Sunday against another division rival, the Washington Commanders, Lamb seemed to continue his upward trend, leading the team again with six catches on eight targets for 97 yards and a touchdown in the 25-10 win.
Rookie Daron Bland saw his first snaps on defense against Washington.
2. DaRon Bland, CB
Consider this game DaRon Bland’s campaign to do more than just special teams. Starting Cowboys CB Jourdan Lewis sustained a groin injury in the pregame. Even though he had no injury designation going into the contest, Lewis was seen on the sideline without a helmet when the game began.
After a stellar preseason campaign, 2022 fifth-round pick DaRon Bland was next in line. The rookie cornerback took over the nickel position and traded off throughout the game with Israel Mukuamu.
Up until Week 4, Bland was only used on special teams, participating in 38 special teams snaps. The 23-year-old was thrust into the spotlight on Sunday and he made his presence known with three solo tackles, one pass defended, and a late interception to help the Cowboys seal the win.
The Fresno State product snatched his first career interception in his first defensive start. The pick gave Dallas the ball on the Washington 20-yard line and helped Brett Maher get another field goal to make the game basically unwinnable for the Commanders with four minutes left and a 15-point deficit.
Bland was an unexpected Hero in this game and was able to perform even with the last-minute nature of his start. Cowboys fans have been wanting to see Bland play on defense, but Lewis has been a regular starter for many games.
If Bland continues to play this well, he could make Quinn question that choice whenever Lewis is healthy enough to return.
Blogging The Boys Podcast Network and YouTube Channel
We offer a different show every single day on the Blogging The Boys podcast network, and on weekdays we offer two different shows every single day.
- Monday: 1st and 10 with Dave Sturchio, Tony Catalina, & Aidan Davis
- Monday: Hidden Yardage with Mark Lane and Sean Martin
- Tuesday: The Writer’s Block with Jess Nevarez and Brandon Loree
- Tuesday: BTB Roundtable with various BTB Staffers
- Wednesday: NFC East Mixtape with RJ Ochoa and Brandon Lee Gowton
- Wednesday: Talkin’ The Star with Connor Livesay
- Thursday: The Ocho with RJ Ochoa
- Thursday: Ryled Up with Roy White and Tom Ryle
- Friday: Girls Talkin’ Boys with Kelsey Charles and Meg Murray
- Friday: The Star Seminar with Danny Phantom and Rabblerousr
- Saturday: The World’s Team with Meg Murray and Paul Stewart
Also every single weekday features a roundup episodes of sorts similar to these news headlines that catches you up on everything that you need to know! Make sure to listen to Dallas Cowboys Daily hosted by Jess Nevarez from Monday through Friday. We also offer live shows every weekday afternoon on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel.
The Blogging The Boys podcast network is available on all major podcast platforms.