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Dallas Cowboys: Takeaways from Week 5

Dallas Cowboys: Takeaways from Week 5

The Dallas Cowboys ended their two-skid and beat the New York Giants by a score of 37-34. After falling behind once again in the first half, the Cowboys fought their way back to win.

The Cowboys are now 2-3 on the season and look to move forward without their star quarterback, Dak Prescott. Here are some key takeaways from their week 5 matchup.

Dak Prescott’s Career Year is Over

In the third quarter with 6:46 remaining, the Cowboys’ quarterback, Dak Prescott, ran a draw play for nine yards. However, as he was getting tackled, Prescott went down pointing to his ankle.

He was then grimacing in pain while clenching his right ankle. The medical staff came onto the field and put a boot on Prescott’s ankle immediately. He would then be taken off the field on a cart, balling his eyes out, knowing his season was over.

Prescott would be diagnosed with a compound fracture and dislocated right ankle. He was immediately taken to the hospital for urgent ankle surgery.

Prescott will miss the remainder of the season. He is out for four to six months looking to come back stronger than ever for the 2021 season.

Through the first five games of a season, Prescott had 1,856 passing yards which were second-most all-time, only behind Hall of Fame quarterback, Kurt Warner.

Last week, Prescott (1,690 yards) past Kurt Warner (1,557 yards) for the most passing yards through the first four games. He also past Tom Brady for most passing yards in a three-game span in NFL history (1,424). Finally. he is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 450 passing yards in three consecutive games.

Prescott has also become just the 14th NFL quarterback to throw for 17,500+ passing yards in just five seasons. After his receiving touchdown in the second quarter, he joins LaDainian Tomlinson (2007) as the only two players in the last 20 years to have a rushing touchdown, a passing touchdown and a receiving touchdown all in the same season.

Before his injury, Prescott was on pace to shatter the passing yards record. He was on pace for 6,760 passing yards with 48 combined passing and rushing touchdowns.

Andy Dalton is a Solid Replacement

After Andy Dalton got sacked on his first drop back of the game and fumbled early in the fourth quarter, all hope was lost for Cowboys fans.

However, Dalton bounced back nicely to lead the Cowboys to a victory

Dalton has plenty of experience as a starter in the NFL. He has started 133 games in his career for the Cincinnati Bengals from 2011-2019. He led the Bengals to the playoffs in four of nine seasons including five winning seasons with them.

Dallas Cowboys: Takeaways from Week 5
Image Courtesy of ClutchPoints

Dalton is also a three-time pro bowler, his most recent one being in 2016.

As for Dalton in Dallas, he comes into an offense that features all kinds of talent. For starters, he has an elite running back in Ezekiel Elliott. This is also the best receiving corps that Dalton has ever had in his career. Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb.

Although Dalton struggled at first, he showed glimpses that he can still be a productive quarterback in the league.

With 52 seconds left in the game and Dallas starting their possession at their own 12-yard line, almost no one thought that Dalton could lead the Cowboys down the field

Nonetheless, he marched 72 yards down the field in just 52 seconds setting up a game-winning field goal from Greg Zuerlein.

Early on it seems like Dalton’s favorite target is Michael Gallup, who draws similarities to Dalton’s former favorite target A.J. Green. Both Green and Gallup are vertical receivers, meaning they love to go deep.

On the last drive, Dalton connected with Gallup for a 19-yard and 38-yard completion.

He finished the day going 9/11 with 111 yards and adding another fourth quarterback drive victory to his name.

The Defense is Still Shaky

The Cowboys drew an extremely favorable matchup against the New York Giants.

However, they allowed the Giants to score 34 points (the most for New York this season). This was also the first time all season that the Giants totaled over 300 yards in a game.

Nonetheless, the Cowboys defense was much better than in previous weeks. For starters, they only gave up two touchdowns (both rushing). The third touchdown came from a Giants pick-six and the other 12 points came from Graham Gano field goals. They also forced a fumble, resulting in their first defensive touchdown of the season.

Furthermore, the Dallas defense delivered key stops including late in the fourth quarter when the Giants had the ball with 1:52 remaining in the game.

However, the Cowboys are still allowing big plays. They gave up 129 yards to Darius Slayton and Devonte Freeman showed his first flashes of potential against this defense.

The Cowboys need to better against the run as they have given up a total of five rushing touchdowns in the past two games.

The Dallas defense is trending in the right direction, but there is still lots of work that needs to be done.

Featured Image Courtesy of Dallas Morning News

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