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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Dak Prescott is not special

The Cowboys pocket collapses Sunday against the Seahawks defense, just as their season will collapse unless big-money QB Dak Prescott can find a new gear.
The Cowboys pocket collapses Sunday against the Seahawks defense, just as their season will collapse unless big-money QB Dak Prescott can find a new gear.
Photo: Getty

Well, at least, Dak Prescott is consistent. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback can’t beat the NFL’s good teams.

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That trend continued on Sunday.

And to think some people actually picked the Cowboys to get to the Super Bowl this season. Worse, some NFL experts and fans also thought that Prescott was en route to being an elite quarterback in the league.

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And don’t let the numbers fool you. It’s not about stats. Gaudy numbers don’t always tell the full story.

Sports has a short menu: wins and losses. And who you beat also matters.

The Cowboys lost to the Seahawks in Seattle, 38-31.

Yes, we know how hard it is to win on the road in the NFL. We also know that Seattle is one of the toughest places to play, especially when the fans are in attendance and they are loud as hell.

Prescott had three TDs and threw for 472 yards. Sounds like winning stats until you realize that he also had two interceptions and a fumble in the loss.

His last INT came in the end zone, sealing Seattle’s victory.

“We’ve got to get out of our own way, be cleaner with the ball, play smarter football, find a way to start faster, whatever it is,” Prescott told the media after the game. “We’re going to figure out a way to get this right and clean it up.”

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The Cowboys are now 1-2, losing to the Los Angeles Rams (2-1) and Seahawks (3-0). Their one win came against the hapless Atlanta Falcons (now 0-3). Then again, everybody beats Atlanta.

This is the Cowboys all over. They beat bad teams and lose to good teams. The numbers back up this claim. They picked up from where they left off last season.

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In 2019, Dak’s team was 1-6 against playoff teams and 7-2 against the non-playoff teams.

Yes, they feast on the beatables and pile up the eye-popping stats.

That’s great for padding the record. And there’s nothing wrong with beating the cupcakes. But if you want to make the playoffs and have a chance to win Dallas’ first championship in 25 years, you have to beat the good teams in the process, too.

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After all, they are the teams that will be in your way en route to a championship.

Of course, it’s not all Prescott’s fault. Along the way in this current rut, there have been defensive issues, bad coaching and a few bad breaks. We get all that.

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Still, there’s a pattern that’s hard to ignore. Last season, the Cowboys went 8-8 while Prescott threw 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

But 22 of those touchdowns — and three INTs — came against the Charmin-soft competition in the schedule. In winning just one of seven games against the playoff elite, Prescott had just eight TDs and eight INTs. Not a pretty picture at all.

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And it wasn’t always like that. In fact, it was the exact opposite when Prescott broke onto the scene his rookie season. In 2016, Prescott threw 13 TDs and just four interceptions against above .500 teams and compiled a 6-3 record, including the playoffs.

But since then — and not counting the first three games of the 2020 season — his touchdown-to-interception ratio vs. above .500 teams is 25-25 and his record as a starter 6-17.

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These numbers might be the reason the Cowboys refused to give into Prescott’s contract demands. He wanted a four-year contract instead of five. Now, Dallas has him playing on a franchise tag salary. All of his QB contemporaries have been locked up with big-buck deals.

For sure, some of the bad performances against better competition would scare most owners and front office people.

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Easily, the Cowboys could be 0-3 and in trouble of not making the playoffs for a second straight season. They were coming off a Christmas gift in September courtesy of the choking Falcons last week. A win in Seattle could have been a statement game and a jumping off point to being the talented team most believe the Cowboys to be.

Last season, the Cowboys started the season 3-0, beating the league’s also-rans. That start should have been enough to secure you a playoff spot, especially in the NFC East.

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Nope.

If Prescott doesn’t start winning big soon, the Cowboys will find themselves home again come the postseason.

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