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Dak Prescott on Cowboys’ struggles: We need to play smarter football

Vincent Frank
NFL Draft trade: Dak Prescott to the Jets?
Sep 27, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) returns to the locker room following pregame warmups against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

After putting up north of 4,900 passing yards last season, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is once again off to an historical start.

He’s coming off two consecutive games in which the signal caller has thrown for 450-plus yards. Prescott joins Jameis Winston as the only two figures in NFL history in that category.

Related: NFL Week 4 schedule, predictions

Despite this, Dallas heads into Week 4 against the Cleveland Browns with a 1-2 record. There’s been some major struggles on both sides of the ball under first-year head coach Mike McCarthy. Prescott touched on that following Dallas’ 38-31 loss to the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday.

Dak Prescott opens up about Cowboys’ struggles

“Continuously, looking at it the last three weeks, we’re only stopping ourselves,” Prescott told reporters, via the Cowboys’ official website. “We have to get out of our own way, be cleaner with the ball, play smarter football and find a way to start faster. Our coaches and these players are going to go back and figure out a way to get this thing right and clean it up.”

It’s really hard to argue against this. McCarthy has struggled at times in terms of in-game management. That was clear during the Cowboys’ Week 1 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

As for what we’ve seen throughout the first three games of the 2020 NFL season, there seems to be a trend. It’s not great for the Cowboys.

  • Dallas is minus-four in turnover differential through three games. It has turned the ball over a whopping six times over the past two games.
  • The Cowboys’ defense ranks 30th in points allowed (32.3 per game), 26th in total defense, 28th against the pass and 23rd against the run.
  • Shockingly, Dallas has also committed the second-most penalties in the NFL through three weeks. That’s not a sign of a well-coached team.

While Prescott will more than happily take on the blame, it really has not been for a lack of performance on the quarterback’s part.

Related: NFL MVP odds

Dak Prescott’s stats are eye-opening

In addition to putting up 450-plus passing yards in each of the past two games, Prescott looks every bit the part of an MVP candidate heading into Week 4. He just needs some help from the rest of his team, primarily the coaching staff and the defensive side of the ball.

  • Completions: 96 (#1)
  • Attempts: 143 (#1)
  • Yards: 1,188 (#1)
  • Completion %: 67.1 (#15)
  • QB rating: 98.5 (#14)

The reliance on Prescott has been a major issue with Ezekiel Elliott (3.8 yards per attempt this season) struggling to an extent. The good news for Dallas is that its schedule lightens up a bit over the next few weeks.

Dallas Cowboys schedule

Despite this, Prescott is dead on. The Cowboys simply need to get out of their own way if they are going to improve off this 1-2 start to the 2020 NFL season. The status quo is in no way sustainable, even in a weak NFC East.