Dak Prescott harm: How Cowboys offense will evolve round Andy Dalton and Ezekiel Elliott


With Dak Prescott carried out for the season after struggling a compound fracture and dislocation of his proper ankle that required surgical procedure on Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys toss the keys to backup quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton obtained off to a rocky begin as soon as he stepped in towards the New York Giants within the third quarter, dropping a fumbled snap that added to the Cowboys’ giveaway woes. He would bounce again to finish 9 of 11 passes for 111 yards, main Dallas to a slender 37-34 victory to take the group to 2-3.

The win is bittersweet for Dalton, who needs it did not come at the price of Prescott’s well being.

“You completely hate it for Dak,” he informed media following the sport. “The way in which that he was taking part in this yr and all the things he is put into it; I hate to see that for him. It is emotional. You hate that accidents occur on this recreation, however sadly they’re a part of it. I am undoubtedly praying for him. It has been a number of enjoyable to be round him since I obtained right here, simply to see how he works and prepares. You possibly can see that by the way in which he was taking part in this yr, so I completely hate it for him, and I’m undoubtedly praying for him.”

A succesful starter within the NFL, Dalton just isn’t so arguably essentially the most certified backup QB the Cowboys have employed in a really very long time — the Tony Romo state of affairs in 2016 however. When Romo went down with a fractured clavicle on two separate events in 2015, the membership marched a carousel of unhealthy signal-callers onto the sphere who, as a collective, might muster a report of solely 1-11. 

Dalton is hoping for significantly better outcomes because the interim starter, however to get him began on the proper observe, the Cowboys may need to tweak the offense a bit. This is not to say they’re going to must revamp, as a result of that is not the case, however as a substitute to level out the chemistry that exists between the three-headed broad receiver hydra and Prescott wasn’t born in a single day. Timing, anticipation, belief and the like will now construct between Dalton and the bunch as he takes first-team snaps in follow, but it surely’s not a microwave state of affairs.

He’s already off to the races with one receiver although, and that is Michael Gallup — the 2 connecting on two consecutive game-changing receptions to place the Cowboys in place to kick the game-winning subject purpose. 

“He is so good at it,” Dalton mentioned of the efficiency of Gallup. “You simply put the ball up anyplace near him, and he is been capable of come down with them. On the primary one, I obtained out of the pocket and he did an important job of coming again and making an important catch on the sideline with two ft in. The play on the finish to win it, that was big. 

“For him to go up and make the play, that is what he does. We have seen all of it yr. We have seen him do it in different video games and we have seen him do it in follow, so no shock there. That is why you go to him in these moments.”

The harder process shall be shortly getting on the identical web page with an electrical participant like CeeDee Lamb and the incumbent No. 1 wideout Amari Cooper, who function primarily beneath and depend on timing and anticipation by the quarterback. That is one thing already refined by Prescott with them, and one thing Dalton should now polish himself. As that will get labored out over the subsequent a number of practices and doubtlessly a recreation or two, count on to see extra from two-time NFL speeding champ Ezekiel Elliott

Elliott has persistently been the regular hand when the Cowboys are taking part in out of types offensively, as once more evidenced within the timeliness of his two touchdowns and the way offensive coordinator Kellen Moore routinely makes use of him to settle issues down and management the time of possession. Now working primarily as a pass-first group, Elliott has been underutilized at instances and that is possible what’s fueled his odd and uncharacteristic stretch of turnovers in 2020, however when he will get going early — nice issues normally occur for the Cowboys. And it is for this added cause that proprietor Jerry Jones additionally needs to see extra of Elliott beginning on Monday night time towards the visiting Arizona Cardinals

“We very a lot must extra balanced — which implies extra working,” Jones informed 105.3FM the Fan on Tuesday.  

However that does not imply the Cowboys are going again to their days as a run-first unit. They’re assured Dalton has the arm and veteran NFL IQ to take full benefit of getting arguably one of the best and deepest WR unit in soccer, and so minor modifications will not equal a serious overhaul right here.

“Andy offers us the power to run our offense as we have got it structured proper now,” Jones famous.

That’s principally true. Dalton offers Moore the chance to maintain doing what he is doing in main an offense that averages 32.6 factors, however do not count on to see many — if any — run-pass choices like you have got with Prescott beneath heart. It is possible these performs now change into direct handoffs for Elliott and Tony Pollard, or oblique handoffs by means of bubble screens and fast hits to the flats. 

Both method, issues will not look precisely the identical in Dallas, however Dalton feels prepared for the duty at hand.

“There’s a number of expertise on this group, and we all know that,” he mentioned of the weapons surrounding him. “With the group of receivers that we have now — Zeke and everyone. This can be a actually gifted group, and it is good to have these guys on the market.”

To say it is “good” is kind of the understatement. It is fairly actually a quarterback’s dream. 



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