The Cowboys started the season red-hot with Dak Prescott looking every bit as good as he did before the gruesome ankle injury that ended his 2020 season prematurely. Over the last few weeks, however, the offense has hit a bit of a skid.
Late in the Week 6 overtime victory against the Patriots, Prescott suffered a calf injury. The team was understandably cautious with its franchise quarterback. After a Week 7 bye, it held him out for Week 8 against the Vikings, a 20–16 win led by Cooper Rush.
The offense has not looked nearly as potent in recent weeks, since Prescott's return. During his appearance on 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday morning, owner and general manager Jerry Jones was asked whether Prescott is 100% recovered from the calf injury. Jones said he is, and pointed at the team's wide receivers—considered one of the most talented groups in the NFL—as a major source of the issues, particularly when it comes to route running.
“Yes, yes,” Jones said, saying Prescott is healthy. “The thing that you're seeing is sometimes the pass that looks errant is because the receiver, for instance, ran the route two yards, cut it off two yards shorter. He should be out two more yards before he makes his cut.
“It can make all the difference in the world with regards to his ability to separate. It has a relativeness to the other receivers. And so if you're not really crisp on the way the play was designed relative to how many yards you go the cut, the passing game can look really off. And that's one of the answers. Better routes.”
Through the first six weeks of the season, Dak Prescott completed more than 73% of his passes, for 302.2 yards per game, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. After the team's Week 7 bye, and his time out recovering from the calf injury, Prescott's numbers have trailed way off.
Since returning to the field in Week 9, Prescott is completing 64.5% of his throws for 271.4 yards per game, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. His touchdown rate is about half of what it was in Weeks 1–6. He's also been way less efficient, with his average yards per attempt down from more than 8.3 to 6.79 for Weeks 9–13.
After a 6–1 start to the season, with the sole loss coming by two at the Buccaneers in Week 1, the Cowboys have lost three of five games. At 8–4, they're now just two games clear of the Washington Football Team.
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