The Dallas Cowboys have won three games in a row and are 10-4, tied for second in the NFC. Nothing to get crazy, about but the offense has sputtered in recent weeks, averaging well under their league-leading 400 yards per game. Dak Prescott has been a lightning rod for criticism as the offense struggles.
ESPN talking head Ryan Clark said Prescott was playing like an MVP in the beginning of the season but isn’t right now.
.@Realrclark25 let loose on the Cowboys 😳
"You can't win playing offense the way that they are! … Dak Prescott was an MVP candidate [in the beginning of the season] … We aren't seeing that anymore!" pic.twitter.com/Ph6znLuh2K
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) December 20, 2021
Quarterbacks get too much credit for wins and too much blame for losses. Football is the ultimate team game. Eleven as one. When one person or unit is performing poorly it puts stress on another individual or unit to pick up the slack.
Now, maybe that’s what great players and MVPs do. But not consistently all season and all playoffs. One player cannot carry an entire football team that long.
That doesn’t mean Dak gets to skate either.
Prescott has been inconsistent since his return to the lineup after injury, throwing only nine touchdown passes over his last seven games.
In the month of December the Cowboys’ offense has scored five touchdowns in three games. That’s not all on Prescott, and he’s expressed his frustration.
“It’s definitely frustrating,” Prescott said. “As I said, the defense is doing a great job giving us the ball, giving us the ball in plus territory. We’ve got to find a way to get in the end zone, simple as that.”
Zeke Elliott and the running game have also been inconsistent. The Cowboys are 12th and trending downward in rush DVOA.
The running game was better against the Giants this past Sunday, Dec. 19, totalling 125 yards. But head coach Mike McCarthy wanted to see consistency for four quarters.
Just as players shoulder some of the blame, so too do the coaches. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore received a lot of praise earlier this season. However, he’s made questionable play calls of late that should be criticized.
In that same Giants game the Cowboys opted to kick a field goal with time left on the clock when they could’ve tried for a touchdown and still come away with three if the touchdown try failed.
McCarthy explained his decision saying, “I wanted the three points. We have situations down there in the o-zone, what we call the o-zone.”
ESPN’s “Get Up!” crew of Rex Ryan, Dan Orlovsky and Marcus Spears got a laugh out of the term o-zone, as not one had heard of it. Spears suggested McCarthy doesn’t know what it is either and joked he was high when giving that answer.
Moore and McCarthy’s job is to put players in a position to succeed and execute the game plan effectively. The team is winning, but they aren’t playing as well offensively as they were in the beginning of the year.
All the players on offense and the coaching staff need to be better as the season winds down and this team gears up for a title run.
.@Foxworth24 says Dak Prescott "hasn't been himself."
"He's been uncharacteristically making some really poor decisions. … That's the problem right now, that there's so many problems on offense. … Dak normally has the ability to overcome all of that. He hasn't so far." pic.twitter.com/m5OL5knuwF
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) December 21, 2021
The defense has been great, and they’ve had 12 takeaways in the three December games. But that is not sustainable if this team wants to hoist the Lombardi Trophy come February.
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