Cowboys’ Prescott Focuses Beyond Fractured Thumb


Dak Prescott returns to the field after fracturing his thumb | Image by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott got back on the field on Sunday for the first time since fracturing his thumb in Week 1.

Following the game, Prescott told reporters he felt “fine” with his surgically-repaired digit. Fans and coaches hoped Prescott’s return would jump-start a Cowboys offense that has been struggling at times through the first seven games of the season.

Dallas sits at No. 27 in the league in passing yards per game at 183.3, which wouldn’t be terrible if the running game was more productive. The Cowboys’ running game comes in around the middle of the league at No. 14, averaging just 121.7 yards per game.

The team’s 19.1 points per game reflect an offense that is out of rhythm and a far cry from the league-leading 30.4 points per game recorded in 2021.

The general hope is that with Prescott back and settled, the Cowboys’ offense will return to the explosive unit that secured an improbable NFC East title last season en route to the team’s first playoff appearance since 2018.

It is no secret how the 2022 Cowboys have found themselves at 5-2 despite the loss of Prescott in Week 1 and a stuttering offense — the defensive effort has shuttered opponents’ opportunities to score or even move the ball effectively.

In last week’s victory over the Detroit Lions, the Dallas D took control of the game late in the second half, turning a tight 6-3 game in which the Cowboys were trailing on its head in a matter of minutes.

First, the interception by Trevon Diggs on the Lions’ first possession of the second half led to the Cowboys’ first touchdown of the day, a one-yarder from Ezekiel Elliott.

After both teams failed to move the ball and were forced to punt, the Lions went on a rampage, setting up a first and goal on the one-yard line after Micah Parsons stopped a touchdown by running down a Lions receiver.

On the next play, Demarcus Lawrence forced a fumble, and Anthony Barr recovered the ball to prevent the Lions from an easy score.

The next Lions’ drive met a similar fate as Jourdan Lewis made a spectacular diving interception but which cost him a broken bone in his foot. The Cowboys’ offense was gifted an opportunity they took full advantage of to the tune of another Elliott touchdown.

Leading at 17-6, the Cowboys had the Lions on the ropes. Sam Williams was golden on defense, earning himself a hat trick with the sack, strip fumble, and fumble recovery to give Dallas a short field. The payoff was Prescott’s first passing touchdown of the season, a two-yard pass to Peyton Hendershot that solidified the victory.

Aside from the important defensive plays which set up the scoring opportunities, the Cowboys were largely ineffective at moving the ball. Earning only eight first downs in the first half, they accumulated a paltry 132 yards in the game’s first 30 minutes.

Two of the five first-half drives ended in negative yards, while only three offensive drives covered more than 55 yards all game. Of those three, one was a field goal, one was a touchdown, and the other was an unfortunate fumble by Noah Brown on a huge hit.

Prescott’s longest pass of the day was a 24-yard completion to CeeDee Lamb in the first quarter.

With Prescott back in action and the Cowboys’ defense looking like the type of unit that wins championships, it will fall on offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to shake off the dust from the Cowboys’ playbook and find ways to score without defense layups.

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