Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott felt the heat all week following the teams 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. In what was touted as a measuring stick game for the team, Prescott and the Cowboys fell flat on their face. Eight days later on Monday Night Football, Prescott responded in a big way.
Describing the Cowboys performance against the Los Angeles Chargers as frustrating to watch would be an understatement. The Cowboys committed 11 penalties that accumulated for 85 yards, their highest this season. The offense was unable to get the run game going with running back Tony Pollard, who carried the ball 15 times for just 30 rushing yards. The Cowboys continued their plague of hurting themselves when a muffed punt in the fourth quarter allowed the Chargers to tie the game at 17 points. The Cowboys needed a big drive, and who better to turn to than the guy who had been giving them life on offense throughout the game? Prescott was ready to seize the moment.
The game started off concerning for Cowboys fans. The Cowboys offense opened the game with the ball, and failed to gain a first down. When the Cowboys defense went onto the field, Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert drove down the field and threw an easy touchdown pass to wide receiver Keenan Allen. It felt like the Cowboys were in for a similar experience to the one they endured on Sunday night against the 49ers. However, unlike last week, Prescott was able to respond.
On the team’s second offensive possession, Prescott was able to move the ball down the field, finding CeeDee Lamb early. On a key fourth down, Prescott kept the ball on an option play, running for an 18-yard touchdown.
Despite the touchdown, the Cowboys offense was unable to efficiently drive the ball down the field throughout the game. The lack of a running game, combined with miscues made it difficult to gain any momentum. One of Prescott’s best passes of the season was a deep shot to Michael Gallup that should have resulted in a touchdown. However, Gallup was unable to come down with the grab.
Michael Gallup HAS to catch this. pic.twitter.com/Dx76Enjq5O— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) October 17, 2023
The fourth quarter opened with a third-and-long scenario for Prescott and the Cowboys offense. The game was knotted at 10 a piece, and the Cowboys desperately needed momentum. After snapping the ball, Prescott faced immediate pressure from the Chargers defensive line. Despite this, Prescott was able to evade the tacklers and find Pollard for a huge 60-yard gain.
Tony Pollard is LOOSE for 6️⃣0️⃣ yards❕ pic.twitter.com/xk19SUSwU2— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) October 17, 2023
Prescott capped off the drive with an improbable touchdown pass to WR Brandin Cooks off of his back foot.
On the following drive after the Chargers tied the game at 17, Prescott led the Cowboys on a clutch drive. Prescott found Cooks again for a big reception on third down, allowing the Cowboys to keep the chains moving, and burn more clock while they got in field goal range. Kicker Brandon Aubrey was able to drill the kick, and the Cowboys took the lead. The defense ultimately stopped the Chargers offense, securing the win for the Cowboys. The team advances to 4-2 on heading into the bye week.
Prescott had a tremendous game on Monday night. He threw for 272 passing yards on 21/30 passing. He had one passing touchdown and zero interceptions. He added an impressive seven carries for 40 rushing yards and a touchdown with his legs.
Prescott did what many Cowboys fans have criticized him for not being able to do in previous games. He was able to put the team on his back, and lead the Cowboys to victory. Despite a non-existent running game, a multitude of penalties and mistakes, and a less-than-reliable receiving game, Prescott was able to make big plays and lead the Cowboys to a needed win. There are times when Cowboys fans should be critical of Prescott’s performance. Monday night is certainly not one of those times.