After last week’s game, several members of the Dallas Cowboys were under fire. There were miscues in the passing game, a leaky run defense, and puzzling coaching decisions. Perhaps no one had their feet held more to the flames than Dak Prescott.
There was a theme around the team this week. They were motivated to prove that what happened in Green Bay wasn’t indicative of who this team was. Several defenders had mentioned that they were angry with how they performed in their last outing.
Sure, we’ve heard the saying that talk is cheap, but this team wrote the check with their mouth and made a huge withdraw with their performance at US Bank Stadium, beating the Minnesota Vikings 40-3. There were several notable standouts but no one was more cash money than Dak Prescott, who takes this week’s game ball.
Numbers don’t lie
Dak Prescott was near-perfect against the Vikings, completing 22 of his 25 pass attempts (88% of his passes). Prescott could not miss, and as a result, the Cowboys’ offense remained on schedule. Prescott and the offense converted 12 of their 17 third-down attempts and you can attribute that to the way Prescott distributed the football. Prescott completed a pass to eight different receivers.
For the day, Prescott had a QB rating of 139.3 and a QBR of 93.3 Since we are speaking of the numbers, it’s important to note the statistics heading into the matchup. Before Sunday, the Vikings were one the best team in terms of interceptions and takeaways. You’d never know it with how well Prescott managed the game, maximizing opportunities while minimizing risks and having zero turnovers.
One key stat, however, that Prescott was able to exploit was the Vikings’ defense’s inefficiency in the passing game. The Vikings are one of the league’s worst teams in terms of opponents’ yards per attempt, at 7.2 yards entering the game. Prescott made that number look even worse, as he dominated the Vikings through the air for 11 yards per throw.
This is likely because Prescott saw a weakness in the Vikings’ secondary in the form of rookie Andrew Booth. In plays where Booth was in coverage on throws made by Dak Prescott, Prescott went six for six, for a total of 69 yards.
The best way to characterize Prescott’s day is precise. There were a few select throws made by Prescott that proved why he’s one of the league’s best. The pass he made to CeeDee Lamb in the closing seconds of the first half was a dart. On the move to his right and the ball is thrown in the perfect spot where only Lamb could catch it.
It hasn’t been a staple as it was in years past, but at one point Prescott was known as a top-tier passer on the run. That throw and the subsequent field goal made by Brett Maher were demoralizing to the Vikings. It’s a throw very few quarterbacks can make and a small example of what makes Prescott so special.
The highlight of the day for Prescott was his 68-yard touchdown pass to Tony Pollard. On 3rd and 14 on the opening drive of the second half, Prescott dropped back to pass. He held the safety in the middle of the field with his eyes, before uncorking a perfect throw to Pollard down the right sideline for the score.