And there it was. The Dallas Cowboys had been in enemy territory exchanging haymakers with Invoice Belichick and the New England Patriots — piloted by first-round choose Mac Jones — and it got here down to 1 query and one query solely: does Dak Prescott belong within the NFL MVP dialog? After serving to to drive additional time at Gillette Stadium by means of placing kicker Greg Zuerlein in place to exorcise his earlier miss, Prescott marched the Cowboys down the sector and standing on the Patriots 35-yard line, he seen one thing previous to delivering what could be the ultimate haymaker of a back-alley brawl.
He seen the Patriots had been in formation to promote out for working again Ezekiel Elliott on first-and-10, so he and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore as an alternative dialed up a deep crossing route for CeeDee Lamb, on a play that additionally despatched tight ends Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz into beneath flats as decoys to maintain give Lamb area excessive.
Snap. Rollout. Throw. Landing. Ballgame. Goodbye wave.
Reply key: Dak Prescott deserves to be within the NFL MVP dialog.
“Yeah, I believe at the moment simply confirmed our resiliency time and time once more,” mentioned Prescott in his post-game press convention.
That resiliency was prevalent in all three phases of the sport for the Cowboys.
From Zuerlein making up for a missed kick by making the following one to tie the sport towards the top of regulation, to the protection stopping Jones and Co. in additional time after negating Trevon Diggs‘ second pick-six of the season by permitting a 75-yard landing instantly thereafter, to Prescott and the offense pushing via brutal penalties known as in opposition to left guard Connor Williams within the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, to Lamb shaking off a drop or two earlier within the sport to complete with a monstrous 149 receiving yards and two touchdowns that included the aforementioned knockout punch in additional time.
Prescott additionally needed to overcome an interception within the pink zone to start out the second quarter and a fumble later in that very same session, however a sack fumble by Randy Gregory put the ball again within the fingers of the Cowboys offense following the latter, yet one more instance of how Dallas discovered methods to delete errors on Sunday; and overcoming the added adversity of a number of controversial officiating calls and non-calls.
“Protection making performs — clearly they got here out their first two sequence and received some touchdowns and for them to dig in, actually step up and make performs,” added Prescott. “For the protection to get an interception return in a second the place you want it, for the offense to chunk itself within the butt all sport lengthy, my turnovers down within the pink zone, lacking out on factors, however simply to have the possibility to tie the sport, to have the possibility to win the sport, and we had been ready to do this. I believe it simply speaks to the resiliency of this bunch and this that group and the bond we have created. We’re not going to surrender.
“All we want is an opportunity, and I believe that that confirmed tonight.”
The victory was almost overshadowed by concern although, when Prescott was seen limping after the ultimate play of the sport and being helped to the locker room by Elliott. He’d stroll onto the rostrum sporting a boot on his proper leg, after struggling what’s been described without any consideration calf pressure by the Cowboys. Sporting an enormous smile, nevertheless, Prescott says he is not involved in any respect concerning the problem, and significantly with the Cowboys having a bye this week.
“I figured once we weren’t taking part in for every week, so I’d provide you with guys one thing to speak about and speculate on this time,” mentioned Prescott, playfully. “So there you go. … Yeah the final throw, simply got here down humorous. That is what it was. It will likely be checked out.
“I will be tremendous, I can promise you that. Nice time to be going into the bye week. As I mentioned, you all can have enjoyable with it this week.”
The 2-time Professional Bowler is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday however sources inform CBS Sports activities there is no panic surrounding the doable consequence. Prescott himself hinted at this by making it clear he may’ve stayed within the sport if the play to Lamb wasn’t the ending transfer.
“It was slightly ache, however, no, for positive I’d’ve been capable of maintain going,” he mentioned. “Clearly, the adrenaline would’ve been up and will not have even felt it on the time. I believe the time you loosen up you are like, ‘Oh, there it’s.’ … However as I mentioned, it was one thing we’ll take a look at and I may have stored taking part in if I needed to, and I will be tremendous.”
The Cowboys do not play once more till they meet the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 31, giving Prescott loads of time to relaxation his calf. Very similar to the Week 6 combat in opposition to Belichick and the Patriots, Prescott sees the sport as a microcosm of what he is needed to overcome his complete life: adversity.
“Life retains throwing punches, and I will maintain throwing them again,” he mentioned. “Yeah, it is a part of it. It is a bodily sport. As I mentioned, I will be tremendous. I’ve received numerous confidence in myself and the medical group, and as I mentioned I really feel good. This [boot] is a precaution. However, yeah, simply extra so desirous about the landing. Did not damage as dangerous whenever you rating and win the sport. All that could be a plus. Credit score to CeeDee [Lamb] proper there and simply the play name only for us to get in that second, and to have the ability to go rating and capitalize on that, and nice name by Kellen [Moore].”
Now sitting at 5-1 due to a five-game win streak and homeowners a three-game lead atop the NFC East, and with reinforcements approaching each offense and protection after the bye week, are the 2021 Cowboys presently making good on Prescott’s promise in June that this might be a “very, very particular 12 months”, or his promise in Could that they’d “gentle up the league” this season?
“We all know we’re for actual,” mentioned Prescott. “I do not suppose we’re out right here attempting to ship a message to anyone, extra so than we’re exhibiting it to ourselves. Simply holding one another accountable to our requirements and expectations. That is what we’ll proceed to do as a group, offensive as a unit, protection as a unit, particular groups as a unit.
“All collectively — coaches all the way down to the gamers, now we have excessive expectations and understandings we stay by, observe by, play by. That is all it is about, is popping out right here each day and proving it to 1 one other.”