William Shakespeare could not write a greater script than the one set to unfold on Sunday at AT&T Stadium. The phrases “revenge recreation” are tossed round fairly a bit in sports activities, with various levels of accuracy. Generally it is a participant returning to battle a group they felt wronged by, and different occasions it is a coach in the same scenario. Few revenge video games will ever include the poignancy, nuance and timing of the one heading to Arlington, Texas this weekend although, when Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys take the sector in opposition to the visiting New York Giants.
That is as a result of it was Week 5 of the 2020 season when Prescott suffered a season-ending compound ankle fracture that additionally in the end ended the Cowboys season as properly and, now, they will tackle the identical opponent, on the identical area, in the identical soccer week — 364 days later.
Prescott is in line to land some poetic justice if he can dismantle the Giants en path to a 4-1 begin, exorcising one ultimate demon in his restoration and return to soccer. In a battle between the Capulets and the Montagues, Prescott is taking part in the a part of Romeo, hoping to woo Juliet (i.e., his fourth straight win) into his embrace.
“I really feel like I’ve healed properly,” he informed media on Thursday. “The scars are fairly. I’ve bought a bunch of them and so they imply one thing, and so they remind me. As I’ve stated, it is actually what I am grateful for is the individual that I’ve develop into after the scar I’ve.”
Talking of scars, Prescott and the Cowboys offense are leaving loads of these on opposing defenses every week, and that is with out being entire as wideout Michael Gallup readies to return quickly from injured reserve. Presently, they’re ranked third in yards per recreation (420.8) and fourth in factors per recreation (31.5), behind solely the Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Payments and Kansas Metropolis Chiefs — second within the NFC in each classes. They’re additionally getting a ton of assist from a defensive unit that was a franchise-worst in a number of classes final season however has now been circled by defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who runs a unit .
And even after hanging 36 factors on the vaunted Carolina Panthers protection in Week 4, Prescott believes the Cowboys “left some meat on the bone”, and he is trying to ensure the bone is scraped to the marrow when when Giants take the sector. When requested if he feels as if he is in his bag proper now, Prescott answered, with no double-speak.
To be or to not be, that’s the query.
“Positive,” he stated. “I imply, yea, I’d say so. I put rather a lot into this. I’ve made an even bigger bag, I assume, and I will attain into there.
“At that time, this entire offense is. There’s a variety of guys which are taking part in the very best that they’ve performed. And as I’ve stated, it is what they’ve put into it. It is what they’ve invested into themselves and into this group, into this offense, and we’re in a position to lean on one another when perhaps we do not have one thing in our bag, I assume you may say. We will lean on each other and depend on the opposite man.
“I feel that is why we’re balanced proper now.”
Prescott was swept by the Giants as a rookie in 2016, however has since gained seven straight, together with the Week 5 contest final season that he did not end, however did begin. Now 7-2 in opposition to Large Blue and trying to stretch the streak to eight consecutive victories, Prescott harkens again to the aforementioned sweep as motivation for what drives him when he sees the Giants on the opposite sideline — including that to the extra prevailing gas of what came about on Oct. 11, 2020.
“I take into consideration [how they swept me as a rookie],” stated Prescott. “That was the primary group — they gave me a headache my rookie yr and I let that set in. I simply assume over the time, clearly having [offensive coordinator Kellen Moore], having the continuity, simply know that these guys are doing. That is a divisional opponent you get to play twice.
“Clearly, they have been by way of some totally different coaches. However general, the best way we have constructed this group I consider, and the best way that the entrance workplace has constructed it with the offensive line. We established the run in opposition to them time and time once more. We have taken benefit of our matchups exterior when we have to.”
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That final tidbit is not one thing the Giants will be capable of key in on although, contemplating Prescott made it clear earlier within the week he believes the Cowboys can defeat opponents with the go or the run, and so they’re proving it. In his final three outings, two-time NFL speeding champ Ezekiel Elliott has amassed 356 yards from scrimmage and 4 touchdowns, and he is averaging 4.2 yards after contact over his final two outings (4.95 YPC versus the Panthers defensive entrance).
“I imply, I’ve seen a variety of good Zeke,” stated Prescott. “And there is a lot left to be. I would say sure only for him being older, him being skilled, him understanding the entire offense and he may get again there and do the issues I have to do mentally from the best way he targeted and the way clever of a soccer participant he’s. You add that to the form he is in, every little thing he is put into this offseason and this season? Yeah, positively.
“There’s going to be extra of these performances to return.”
Plug within the dynamic skill of Tony Pollard to enhance that and the Giants could have their fingers full on that entrance, whereas additionally having to maintain up with Prescott, who himself is off to a blazing begin and now has a well-recognized Large-killer again within the combine as properly — specifically tight finish Blake Jarwin. None of that is to say the Giants will not/cannot make issues tough for the Cowboys this coming Sunday, however it’s to say they will must take the gloves off and prepared themselves for an especially motivated offense, led by a quarterback who nonetheless remembers his rookie yr losses from Large Blue, not to mention his season-ending harm a yr in the past; together with a protection that’s the finest within the league at taking the ball away.
It is a uncommon incidence that the Cowboys see either side play such complementary soccer and, till additional discover, they’re the frontrunners in a division. The Giants have an opportunity to ship a message by doubtlessly cracking their armor in Week 5, however Prescott is pushed and locked in like by no means earlier than. So in the case of sending a message of his personal to the Giants this week, he is trying to take action with a loud and noticeable “bang”.
The remaining is silence.