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Cowboys' Dak Prescott passes Staubach, White in TDs but wants championships

On a night when the Cowboys posted the first 50-point game of the NFL season, it’s perhaps surprising to dive deeper into the box score and see that the winning quarterback threw for just 170 yards.

It certainly surprised Cowboys starter Dak Prescott.

Speaking with reporters from the podium following a blowout victory over Indianapolis, Prescott had to get confirmation of his stats in the middle of an answer about whether his own game was off in the 54-19 win.

“170? Geez, that’s it?” Prescott muttered. “Yeah, my game was… ugh.”

Three touchdowns is nothing to groan about, especially on a winning night when Prescott also passed franchise legends Roger Staubach and Danny White in career scoring passes.

But more on that in a minute.

Even though his total yardage is down this season, Prescott has been accurate overall. His 67.9% completion percentage is seventh-best in the league, and his touchdown throws per pass attempt rank third out of all NFL passers.

That said, it’s usually the misses that haunt him.

 

Prescott threw one interception on the night and needed a favorable replay review to avoid a second.

“The throw over there to the right, to CeeDee, obviously you want that back. Should’ve been picked. And then the interception, that’s another… Just trust, honestly. That’s a trust throw against a great cornerback who made a great play, and I went over to MG and said, ‘Hey, I’ll do that again. If you’re crossing face, I’m throwing it right there and just expect you to do that.’ That’s the confidence I have in myself , the confidence that I have in these receivers. Just didn’t throw it to my expectations. Luckily, we’ve got a great team and a great defense like this, and I’ll make sure I learn from this as I always do and respond.”

It was the Dallas defense who did a lot of responding Sunday night, recording five takeaways, scoring a touchdown of their own, and holding their ninth opponent of the season to 20 points or under.

“They played a great game all game long,” Prescott said of the defense, “giving us opportunities when we went three-and-out at times. I throw an interception; they hold them to a field goal. They played a hell of a game.”

And, as it turns out, they were also one of the reasons Prescott’s passing yardage wasn’t higher.

Of the team’s 12 offensive possessions, five of them started at the Cowboys’ own 40 or better. Hard to throw for a ton of yards when you’re working a short field for half the night.

“That’s what we have to do, honestly. When they’re playing that way, they’re getting us turnovers, getting short fields. We’ve got to go get touchdowns.”

And once the fourth-quarter onslaught started, putting the ball in the air became unnecessary. The Cowboys attempted just one throw in the final 10 minutes of play; the game’s final four touchdowns came on Malik Hooker’s defensive scoop-and-score and three runs from Tony Pollard, Ezekiel Elliott, and Malik Davis.

“That’s kind of the recipe for us, honestly,” Prescott told media members Sunday night. “When we’re able to get up a couple scores, allow that D-line to hunt, and they’ll just create turnovers from that and you’ll see a lot of points.”

Now third in touchdown throws as a Cowboy, Prescott will likely overtake three-time Super Bowl champ Troy Aikman before the season is out to take second place.

But Prescott knows names like Staubach and Aikman have something on their résumés that he is still lacking. And he’s focused on something far bigger than his own personal totals.

“The way the game’s played today is completely different from the way those guys played it,” Prescott told reporters. “Obviously, it’s humbling to be third on such a historic list, but I’m just worried about wins. Let me know when I pass those guys in wins. Or championships.”


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