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Cowboys at Chargers: Dak Prescott needs to quiet the noise in Week 6

Monday night presents an important opportunity for Dak Prescott.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

This week hasn’t been easy for anybody in Cowboys Nation, and frankly after their embarrassing defeat to the San Francisco 49ers, it shouldn’t have been an easy one. However, with the takes all been said, the negativity spread throughout, it’s time for the Dallas Cowboys to turn the page and focus on getting back on track in Week 6.

That process starts with the man who most of the tough talk and negativity was directed toward. Dak Prescott probably wants Monday night to come quicker than anybody else. An opportunity to silence the critics for maybe just a moment, and to get his team back on the right side of things will not only be crucial for the team, but him personally as well.

Cowboys Need Dak to Be Dak in Week 6

Nobody played well Sunday night and that included Prescott, but the idea that it all Dak’s fault on offense is debatable. A look at his stats this season tells a mixed story added by a tough Week 5 outing, and one that may seem intwined with the offensive scheme and play-calling.

Difference in opinion is what fuels passion, education, and healthy conversations within the community. And there is a conversation going on about Dak Prescott, so let’s talk about it. An unapologetic warning up front, we’ll be taking the positive view of Prescott here.

Dak has been efficient this season as he plays into the new system with his completion percentage being just under 70%. Last Sunday he ran into a buzzsaw that is the 49ers defense, even while understanding his three interceptions were unacceptable, that performance has been the exception and not the rule so far in 2023. Before that game, he had a 4-to-1 TD to INT ratio. Even after Week 5, Dallas is second in the league for third-down conversion percentage under his play.

Things got out of control quick on Sunday night and making sure the game does not get away from them will be a key to getting back on track this week. If Dak is able to just go out there and be his usual efficient self, and McCarthy is willing to expand upon his concepts and maybe even push the ball down field a bit, this offense can be just fine.

Regardless, Week 6 is an opportunity to get back on track and a chance for this Cowboys team to show they are as good as we all thought they were at one point. A chance to show that, yeah maybe they aren’t on 49ers level right now, but they are very much a factor in the NFC playoffs with hopefully another shot to right their wrongs a fourth time.

Offensive Struggles Are Fixable

The start of the ‘Mike McCarthy as play-caller’ era has been a rough one. A once potent-looking offense has been reduced to underneath throws, elementary route concepts, and a nickel and dime approach to yardage. Dak is averaging his lowest ‘yards per attempt’ among other similar stats in his career. It has worked against lesser talent, but it will need to be elevated more frequently or they will continue to struggle like they did Sunday night.

Prescott has shown he is capable of hitting big plays, and he is unafraid to take shots down the field throughout his career and it may be time to incorporate that more into this year’s version of the offense. McCarthy has to see if they are able to get Brandin Cooks and company going sooner rather than later.

This Cowboys offense can be saved, and it wouldn’t take all that much to do so. It starts with trusting your QB and weapons you have collected a little more, as Dak has earned that in his eight years, as well as giving your playmakers such as Cooks and Gallup a chance down field to loosen up defenses.

It won’t all come in one week, and even if they play well Monday night, odds are that it won’t be perfect. However, if Dak plays well, and McCarthy elevates his play-calling, the season will get back on track and maybe the temperature around the Cowboys will cool down for just a day or two.

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