Dallas Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy was not shy in diagnosing quarterback Dak Preston’s “tough and uphill” day that culminated in Sunday’s terrible loss to Denver.
McCarthy stated that after the AT&T Stadium defeat, McCarthy felt that there weren’t as many completions in the match man game. “I thought they did an excellent job pressing our tackles and challenging our perimeter.”
Prescott, who was under duress throughout the game, completed 19-of 39 balls for 232 yards and two garbage-time touchdowns. He also intercepted one pass. Prescott also took five hits and two sacks from an opportunistic Broncos defence — without Von Miller. Dak averaged 5.9 yards per pass, and had a 24.1 QBR — one of the lowest outputs in his six-year career.
The Cowboys were ten-point home favorites. They played like heavy underdogs. Their offense was inefficient on third and fourth downs (0-for-4), making them heavy underdogs. Dalton Schultz, their tight end, was their leading receiver. He managed only four receptions for 54 yard. Ezekiel Elliott, their running back, was their leading rusher and converted 10 carries to 51 yards.
To make matters worse, their most reliable pass-catchers, CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard, made crushing drops. To make matters worse, Denver was able to gain 407 yards total, including 190 on ground.
It was, according to beat reporter Clarence Hill a “terrible and horrible, no good day, very bad day” at Jerry World.
Prescott said that “they were more physically than us” in his post-game press conference. “It was the first year this year that we were not the more physically-minded team. To say they did something we didn’t expect or were not ready for… To claim that they did something in our way… They were more physically demanding than we executed as I stated. We didn’t throw or catch the same way we have all season. We didn’t execute on those third and fourth downs, and even that fourth down. I misthrew a throw, and we lost some passes. It all starts with me. We’ll learn from this and move on. These guys deserve credit.
Dak Emerges Physically Undamaged
Prior to kickoff, the main story was Prescott’s return. Prescott had to miss last week’s win over Minnesota because of a right-calf strain. Prescott, a $160 million field general, was eager to return to the field and he did.
McCarthy stated that he didn’t believe there were any setbacks in his post-game address. “I haven’t had a chance talk to Dak today. I didn’t visit him after the game. But I’m not aware of any setbacks today.”
Prescott was greatly affected by the inactivity of Tyron Smith, left tackle who is recovering from an ankle injury. The musical-chairs attempt to place Terence Steele in Smith’s spot, and re-insert La’el Collins at right-tackle was a complete failure. It forced Prescott to use his legs more than he preferred, but it also showed that his health is not in doubt.
“Held up fine. Prescott described his calf as “great.” Prescott said that he did a lot moving, did a lot more scrambling there, and got outside the pocket. No issues, hadn’t felt it. “I’m fine.”