Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott claims he was’solid enough’ to beat the Eagles, and Jerry Jones views himself as NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion.
What a year can do for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
According to him, he didn’t play his best football in the Cowboys’ 33-13 thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles on “Sunday Night Football.” In 2022, that would have most likely resulted in an interception. Prescott’s production of 271 passing yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-39 passing for a 99.4 passer rating in 2023 could have been much more explosive.
“Solid enough to get the win,” Prescott said after the game on Sunday. “I’m my harshest critic.” I don’t think I played, and it was clearly not my greatest game. I’m a completionist. I want to see completions and get things moving. There was a sequence of a few incompletions in a succession that felt like 7 to 10 or so. But then we got it rolling again, and we got it back on track. We did enough to win, but I always want to improve.”
While he did not throw an interception, he was strip-sacked by Eagles Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, resulting in 2023 NFL Draft top-10 choice defensive lineman Jalen Carter scoring on a 42-yard fumble return. That irritated Prescott because he saw a possible six-point play downfield.
“That was a touchdown play,” stated Prescott. “Right there, [head coach] Mike [McCarthy] dialed up a great play.” My gaze is directed downward. I’ll see if I can obtain a half-second, a third-of-a-second, or perhaps more. I was about to get the ball off and throw it with anticipation, so I had the ball kind of low and ready to fling down the field when Fletcher [Cox] grabbed me. I guess I was going for the tuck at the time and just trying to tuck it away when it came out. That’s how football works. I’m on the ground, watching it roll and the man sweep it up with a clean scoop.”As I mentioned tonight, my performance was excellent enough to win, but I hold myself to extremely high standards. We were putting up 50 points when I was at my best, and that’s not going to change. And I intend to keep pushing for it. That is the effort I put into this. That is the preparation I do.”
Prescott’s preparation since the Cowboys’ most humiliating setback of the season, a 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5, has resulted in the finest quarterback play in the NFL since Week 6, an eight-game streak that has propelled him to the top of the league MVP conversation. The Cowboys have won seven of their last eight games in the timeframe, and Sunday’s triumph avenged their one loss, a 28-23 loss to the Eagles in Week 9. Across his last eight games, Prescott has led the NFL in nearly every important passing category.
* Among 30 quarterbacks with multiple pass touchdowns in a row
|PRESCOTT STATS (SINCE WEEK 6)
Jerry Jones, the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, has frequently stated that his biggest regret as an owner is not getting a Tony Romo-led Cowboys team to the mountain top, and he has now stated that he would be just as frustrated if Prescott’s presence did not result in an eventual party with the Vince Lombardi trophy.
“Dak is a player who is qualified in every way to have a Super Bowl in his career,” Jones remarked after the game. “I would say he’s become the most valuable player right before our eyes in the last several months.”
The oddsmakers in Vegas agree with Jones. According to Caesar’s Sportsbook, the finest in the NFL, Prescott currently has +170 odds to win NFL MVP. His performances since Week 6 also place the 30-year-old quarterback in an exclusive group, as he is only the sixth quarterback in NFL history to throw 23 or more passing touchdowns and two or fewer interceptions in an eight-game stretch in a single season. At the end of such seasons, three of the five have been named league MVP.
NFL players with 23+ touchdowns, two or fewer interceptions in eight-game span (single season)
“He’s been the same guy since Day 1,” Cowboys left lineman Tyler Smith said after the game this past Sunday night. “Completely and utterly deserving of the title of true leader… He is engaging in his behavior. The offensive line room is a place where we take great pride in it. You will find that we safeguard Dak and ensure that he is able to perform his job duties by performing our own duties, which is something that is beneficial to you. There is a significant amount of leverage involved in this opportunity to play at the level that we are going to.
The level that McCarthy’s Cowboys are currently playing at is comparable to that of their predecessors from the 1990s who won the Super Bowl. There have been three straight seasons in which Dallas has finished with at least ten victories, and they have now reached their tenth victory of the season. Between the years 1991 and 1996, the Cowboys had a span of six seasons during which they won three Super Bowls (1992, 1993, and 1995). This was the last time they accomplished this feat. These are not expectations that Prescott is trying to avoid, despite the fact that the team has not competed in the NFC Conference title game since the final title season in 1995.
The statement that Prescott made was, “That is what I play for, and what this team plays for.” Talking about a shared objective of ours. I have said that on numerous occasions. When it comes to that, this group has their sights set on it. On the other hand, it is evident that we need to take things one game at a time…I mean, they did an excellent job with defense, that’s for sure. Make no mistake about it, it is a fantastic group of people over there, and they did an excellent job. A solid strategy that they had was to attempt to force us to go the long way, maybe taking the lead, and they had jumpers early on in the game, as well as tip ball. There were a few passes that were a little bit off. Just heard that, and although I do give credit to those guys, I also want to say that we did enough. Even though I did enough to win, I always want to play to the best of my ability since my expectations are centered on achieving that shared objective for this team.
According to Caesars, Dallas and the Eagles share the fourth-best chance to win the Super Bowl this season, with odds of +750. This places them in fourth place, after the San Francisco 49ers (+250), the Baltimore Ravens (+575), and the Miami Dolphins (+700). If Dallas (10-3) is victorious and the Eagles (10-3) lose a game, the Eagles have a chance to win the NFC East division and take home the championship. Based on these Super Bowl odds, it appears that the Cowboys have a genuine opportunity to achieve unending football success in the year 2023. On a daily basis, Prescott constantly thinks about those possibilities.
Prescott responded, “Every day, that’s part of running our own race,” when asked about the most recent time he ruminated on the possibility of emerging victorious in every aspect of the competition. “Every every day. In the course of my everyday activity, I am presented with a variety of reminders. Perhaps some of the things that I am aware of. I am the one who sets the alarms. Although there are a variety of things throughout, it just enables me to keep the objective at the forefront of my thoughts. It enables me to maintain self-control. There is talk of making sacrifices. You talk about doing something that you might not want to do at the moment, but doing it with the intention of turning it into something you enjoy. When you have those tiny reminders and stuff like that, it is helpful. It is simply like that. Simply engaged in and focused on the task at hand. We have a fantastic group of people working together, as well as a fantastic support system that is engaged in the same activities and acting out the role.
At this very moment, he is acting out the role of NFL Most Valuable Player. In the event that this level of performance continues, AT&T Stadium may once again witness what a Super Bowl champion looks like when a quarterback of the caliber of the league MVP is used to lead an offense led by Mike McCarthy.