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linchao · 5 years, 3 months ago
Jerry Jones called it “The Burning of Atlanta” but many of us just refer to it as “the day that broke Dak Prescott”. Last November , the 5-3 Dallas Cowboys walked into Atlanta a team that averaged 28 points per game and walked out a team that would average 16 points over the final eight games. It was an absolute disaster as the Cowboys fell to the Falcons 27-7 in their first of six games without Ezekiel Elliott.Perhaps the biggest absence was that of Tyron Smith because his replacement, Chaz Green, was charged with giving up six sacks. As a team, the Cowboys had allowed eight total sacks but the damage this game did to the quarterback’s psyche was even worse. Prescott would go on to be sacked 22 times in the final eight games versus only 10 in his first eight games. Dak’s touchdown to interception ratio feel from 16-4 previous to the game to 6-9 after. Prescott only reached 200+ yards passing in two of his final eight games. Heading into this year’s week four game versus the Lions, Prescott had gone nine of his last 11 games under 200 yards passing. Since that dreadful day, Prescott just hasn’t been the same quarterback that he was in his first 24 games, the disparity is inexplicable. At times, we’ve seen Prescott abandon clean pockets, hold the ball far too long, walk into sacks, lack anticipation in his throws, and the most cardinal sin has been turning the ball over. He has played clean games since Atlanta but the poised, unflappable, dynamic quarterback that made him a candidate to lead this franchise is seldom seen and never lasts. At some point, that clock strikes midnight and this offense reverts back to a drudging mess. Part of their offensive failures can be attributed to play-calling and his supporting cast but it doesn’t absolve Prescott of his crimes. There is hope on the horizon for Dak Prescott if they can make a successful second-half push.Last year’s loss to Atlanta ended up being detrimental to the Cowboys playoff hopes and this year’s rematch will be no different. Both teams are 4-5 and desperately need to stack wins together in order to keep pace in the NFC. The Falcons will duke it out with the Panthers for a wildcard berth but the Cowboys have one path, win the NFC East. There are reasons to believe that Dak Prescott can exorcise his demons. Though the Cowboys just picked up their first win after dropping their previous two, Prescott is actually slowly getting better since the bye week. Prescott has seen his completion percentage rise from 63% in the first seven games to almost 70% in the past two. The last game he passed for under 200 yards was in the 40-7 thumping of the Jaguars. Over the first five games, Dak’s passer rating was 83.2 but he’s averaging 101.5 over his last four games, the problem is that the Cowboys are only 2-2 in those games. Prescott has only thrown one interception in the last four games after throwing four in the first five games. There is clearly a correlation in Prescott’s improvement and the arrival of Amari Cooper to this Cowboys offense. Even in their first outing, a 14-point loss to Tennessee, Cooper’s impact was noticeable. As the season continues, the addition of Amari Cooper will allow the Cowboys to make a better evaluation of Dak Prescott. Cooper’s presence is not the only evidence that this team may be quickly improving as Prescott’s protection has improved, too. This line has struggled without Travis Frederick, especially in efforts to block thereally good defensive tackles they have faced. Well Womens Taco Charlton Jersey , being able to hold one of the best in check is a huge step forward. Fletcher Cox was held to just three tackles and zero sacks; that’s huge because Cox can destroy any offense’s plan. Give credit to Marc Colombo for getting this line to play much better on a short week and protect the quarterback. Tyron Smith looked like his old self again but they also plugged in Xavier Su’a-Filo at left guard. When was the last time this team shuffled the line and it ended up paying off in a positive way? Of course, this quarterback still has a lot of work to do, he needs to consistently step up in the pocket and fire the ball. Dak must also limit the fumbles as he has had six in four weeks and he was lucky to get half of them back. He also needs to continue to improve his reads, pocket awareness, and delivery. Prescott isn’t the natural passer that some wish he would be and he’s got to work even harder to improve on that. You hear guys like Bryan Broaddus praise him as someone who will always give relentless effort to be better.It doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still have moments of sloppiness in the pocket but this win over the Eagles was encouraging. Earlier in the first-half, Prescott missed multiple open receivers, held the ball, and stepped into pressure. By late in the second quarter, Prescott was in rhythm with his receivers, picking up 79 yards between five different receivers, and ultimately stretched the ball across the goal line to take 13-3 lead. This game with the Falcons won’t be easy though they have their own struggles. The Falcons were in a Super Bowl hangover last season and they walloped the Cowboys. These current Falcons have managed to score over 30 points in four their five home games. For Dak Prescott, his last visit to ‘Hotlanta’ was a painful one though you can argue it was due to variables outside his control. Now is the time for Prescott to expunge that nightmare from his memory. The Falcons are even worse than the Eagles in the secondary, 30th in pass defense. They are also 21st in run defense. Where Atlanta can beat you is with their own offense that is full of weapons at Matt Ryan’s disposal. Dak doesn’t need to concern himself with out-passing Ryan, it’s not likely to happen. Heck, Carson Wentz passed for 360 yards, almost 100 yards more than Prescott, but it feels empty when you end up taking the ‘L’. This Falcons game is huge for Dak Prescott’s confidence but one thing he’s never been short on is mental toughness. Keep in mind, after last year’s excruciating loss to Atlanta the Cowboys lost their next two games. They were outscored 92 to 22 in those three losses, averaging just over seven points per game. It wasn’t enough to get into the playoffs but Dak Prescott and the Cowboys won four of their last five games, outscoring opponents 21 to 12 on average. The Cowboys are going to have their hands full with a Falcons team scoring 88% in red zone at home. It’s going to take more improvement from this quarterback to make a late-season push possible. It starts with Prescott returning to Atlanta, almost a year removed from his last visit, and hopefully it ends with a much needed exorcism. Burn some sage or whatever is necessary in preparation for this opponent and then expel this haunting spirit for good.Jason Garrett: David Irving not at The Star today, plus long discussion on Dak Prescott’s accuracy Jason Garrett took his turn in front of the media on Wednesday as the Cowboys begin preparations for a tough home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here’s what coach had to say. (All Garrett answers are paraphrased and not actual quotes).David Irving is not at The Star on WednesdayThe Cowboys anticipate Irving being back with the Cowboys on Thursday. Jason Garrett said that physically Irving is ready to play, but also acknowledged that he wasn’t at The Star on Tuesday. When asked why he said that it appeared to be the same issue that’s been keeping him away since he’s been reinstated. When pressed on whether he would definitely be there on Thursday Authentic Sean Lee Jersey , Garrett simply noted that it was the information that he had been told.Brett Maher has done an excellent jobOne of the better decisions that the Cowboys made this season was to go with Brett Maher at kicker. Jason Garrett gave praise to the 28-year old rookie noting that he’s come through for the Cowboys.Troy Aikman made some comments about accuracy among quarterbacksTroy Aikman recently made some comments about accuracy and how it relates to Dak Prescott, the emphasis of them was that people either have accuracy or that they don’t. Garrett said that he believes you certainly are born with talent in different regards but that he believes a lot of things can be refined through practice.Garrett was complimentary of Aikman of the two throughout his answer even telling a story about their playing days together when they went to Jay Novacek’s football camp. He related the story of how little Jimmy wasn't throwing the ball at the camp how they wanted him to, so Garrett asked Aikman what they should do about it. Aikman said they should move him to wide receiver (laughter).More accuracy questions about DakJason Garrett was asked specifically about Dak Prescott’s accuracy to which he responded that, “When he’s in a really good position he can be a very accurate passer.” He also noted that the best QB’s can stay in position with their eyes down field in a busy environment, and that veterans are usually better at it than young QB’s. Said they need to continue to work with Dak on that. He said QBs can move around and climb the pocket in subtle ways. Growing as a quarterback is a necessary thingThere are obviously a lot of questions about Dak Prescott and his accuracy, and Jason Garrett did his best to talk around them. He cited Tom Brady as an example as somebody who’s obviously grown to a great degree (the best ever), but that younger players don’t have that level of experience quite yet. Younger QBs tend to look more harried in the pocket because they might not know the best reads or progressions based on a defense or because they are bothered by heavy traffic in the pocket. He noted you are always working on getting the ball out quicker. The key word is developmentAnticipation on throws is something people have discussed when it comes to Dak, and Garrett continued to hammer home that all things can be developed. It cones down to trust and cutting the ball loose. He thought more time on task with the receivers will always help that. Cowboys loved Jalen Ramsey coming out of Florida StateThe 2016 Draft feels like just yesterday in some respects, and Dallas obviously chose Ezekiel Elliott over Jalen Ramsey. When asked about the All-Pro cornerback Jason Garrett noted that Ramsey jumped off of the tape and that it was apparent how confident he was way back then.An update on injuriesIt’s Week 6 and that means there are some injury situations. In terms of Wednesday’s practice:Chidobe Awuzie, hopeful he can practice todaySean Lee, not expected to practiceMaliek Collins, hopeful he can practice todayTaco Charlton is expected to practiceHow does Jason Garrett define a No. 1 receiver?There’s been a lot of discussion about number one receivers lately. Here’s how Jason Garrett defines it.“It seems to be a term that people have used in recent years for the guy who was the marquee guy when an offensive team breaks the huddle and they give him extra attention, special attention. Difference-making guy who can beat you in a lot of different ways.”Have the Cowboys had that recently?In Jason Garrett’s words, “Absolutely. we’ve had some big-time receivers.”Randy Gregory is getting better and betterAsked if Houston was Randy Gregory’s best game since returning Jason Garrett only noted that Randy is getting “better and better.” Obviously Randy still has a long way to go, but he earned praise from the head coach.How do you keep things optimisticIt can certainly be difficult to stay optimistic and fired up when your offense isn’t performing, and that’s where the Cowboys find themselves these days. Asked how he keeps the Cowboys motivated and away from getting down on themselves Garrett reached for a classic line of his saying that, “you just keep banging away.”Cowboys liked Darian Thompson at the Senior BowlDallas likes their new safety and has for quite some time.Jourdan Lewis did a great job on SundayWhen you recover a fumble in a big-time game you get noticed. Jourdan Lewis had seemed to have fallen out of favor with the Cowboys coaching staff, but he played very well in Houston. Jason Garrett confirmed that.Patience doesn’t seem to be an issue with David IrvingIt would be understandable for a coaching staff’s patience to wear thin with a situation like David Irving’s. It’s obviously very difficult to prepare a game plan and not know if he’s going to be there. Irving has some personal issues he’s working towards and obviously everyone wishes him the best with them, but the Cowboys are trying to get their own work done.Asked if patience can wear thin with a situation like that Garrett responded quite calmly that, “Sometimes guys have issues that they have to deal with.” It seems the Cowboys are willing to wait, but they do have a break point. Garrett noted that during the week there comes a time (he didn’t specify when) where the team ultimately decides that because he hasn’t fulfilled certain requirements (like practicing, etc.) he won’t play in the game. Custom Kansas City Chiefs Jerseys 

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