The Dallas Cowboys aren’t the same team without Dak Prescott. As obvious as that statement might seem to some, it became even more evident on Monday night when the Cowboys took on the Arizona Cardinals at home and lost 38-10.
Prescott’s replacement, backup quarterback Andy Dalton, threw 54 passes in this game. He averaged 4.9 yards per attempt. He also tossed two costly interceptions. The touchdown late in the fourth quarter made the final score look more respectable, but for a lack of a better word, the Red Rocket was awful.
The rest of the team wasn’t much better.
Star running back Ezekiel Elliott added two more fumbles to his 2020 total and was held to just 80 yards on 20 total touches (12 carries, eight catches). He wasn’t very effective, and he didn’t seem very interested in overcoming his team’s struggles–or his own.
The defense did hold Kyler Murray to under 200 yards passing and allowed him to complete only 9-of-24 attempts for 37.5 percent. But the former No. 1 overall pick still totaled 262 yards and three scores. In other words, Murray helped his offense put up points, so the Cowboys’ defense really didn’t do much after all.
They also didn’t do much against the Arizona run game. The Cardinals rushed for 261 yards, 164 of which came from running back Kenyan Drake. The trio of Drake, Murray and backup running back Chase Edmonds averaged 7.5 yards per carry.
It could not have gotten much worse for the Cowboys.
It’s now been just over a week since Prescott’s injury against the New York Giants. Some thought that Dalton could help the offense get back to its traditional ways of winning: building a game plan around Elliott and allowing the offense to take pressure off the defense.
Well, that game plan didn’t work in the first game without Dak, the star QB from Mississippi State.
The Cowboys were already a mess before Prescott went down with a season-ending injury, but they somehow got even worse Monday night. First-year coach Mike McCarthy is now looking at a 2-4 record heading into Week 7.
Hopefully, Dalton and the rest of that offense can bounce back and get something going against a 1-5 Washington team.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.