Cowboys lose sport to Buccaneers, Dak Prescott to harm in disastrous opener

By David Helman
FOX Sports activities Dallas Cowboys Author

It is arduous to think about how a 19-3 drubbing may worsen, however true to type, the Dallas Cowboys pulled it off.

Sunday night time’s abysmal loss to Tampa Bay was already one among this crew’s ugliest of the final decade. However their hope for a bounce again hinges on the well being of Dak Prescott, and that hope took successful late within the fourth quarter when Prescott exited the sport after his hand collided with Shaq Barrett’s helmet.

Chatting with reporters after the sport, Cowboys proprietor and normal supervisor Jerry Jones mentioned that Prescott might want to have surgical procedure on his thumb and can doubtless miss a number of weeks. Prescott himself mentioned he’ll schedule surgical procedure on Monday morning.

“Obviously, it’s not what you want to hear,” Prescott advised reporters. “It’s not the worst thing that’s happened to me. It’s just another bump in the road.”

That bit is likely to be true. However on the very minimal, it is a vital harm to an important member of the roster.

All the pieces else in regards to the Cowboys’ season is on pause till extra particulars are identified, nevertheless it’s a devastating loss on the tail finish of a devastating loss.

To not add insult to harm, however Prescott left the sport with 6:02 to play — and it is not as if the Dallas offense was functioning successfully when its franchise quarterback was wholesome.

The Cowboys drove the ball 54 yards for a subject purpose on the opening possession of the sport, and actually nothing else labored the remainder of the best way. They completed with 244 yards of offense, 76 of these approaching the ultimate two possessions, when the end result was apparent.

To place it in perspective, three factors is the worst tally in a season opener because the Cowboys have been shut out, 28-0, by the New Orleans Saints in 1989 — Jones’ first season as proprietor and normal supervisor.

The distinction is clearly that the 1989 crew was at first of a rebuild, having simply chosen Troy Aikman with the No. 1 general choose within the draft. That group completed 1-15.

This 2022 roster is the one Cowboys brass chosen to observe up a 12-5 marketing campaign. This was the group that Jones mentioned “need to be viable in the playoffs” to be thought of profitable again on the primary day of coaching camp.

It is necessary to not overreact to 1 week of an extended season, however nothing about this Dallas offense appeared viable in Week 1.

Nowhere is that extra apparent than the efficiency of Prescott and the Cowboys’ talent gamers. The crew famously traded away Amari Cooper within the spring, seeking to exchange that manufacturing with veteran receiver James Washington and third-round draft choose Jalen Tolbert.

Washington broke his foot means again in August, sidelining him for the foreseeable future. And after an up-and-down summer season, Tolbert was a wholesome scratch for the season opener, leaving Prescott with journeyman Noah Brown and undrafted rookie Dennis Houston as his major choices behind CeeDee Lamb.

To be honest to the receivers, Prescott performed one among his worst video games as a professional. When he exited for the night time, Prescott had accomplished an abysmal 14-of-29 passes for 134 yards, lowlighted by a horrific interception that noticed him attempt to match a 3rd down go into triple protection.

To be honest to Prescott, the supporting forged was hardly useful. Lamb, anticipated to make a leap into the NFL’s elite throughout his third NFL season, was focused 11 instances on the night time however completed with simply two catches for 29 yards. Of these different 9 targets, he dropped two. And whereas Brown did rack up yardage within the sport’s waning moments, he and Prescott didn’t get on the identical web page when the deficit was nonetheless shut.

There’s extra, as you may count on when an NFL crew scores three factors. The Cowboys’ offensive line, reshuffled following Tyron Smith’s knee harm two weeks in the past, endured a forgettable opener, as properly. Of the crew’s 10 penalties on the night time, six have been dedicated by Dallas offensive linemen. The group additionally surrendered 4 sacks to a swarming Tampa Bay go rush.

Ezekiel Elliott — and to a point, the road’s run blocking — was as a lot of a vivid spot as you may be capable to muster. The working again averaged 5.2 yards per carry en path to a 52-yard night time, however the lopsided nature of the sport took him out of the equation early into the second half.

The efficiency sadly overshadows what was really a stable exhibiting by the Dallas protection, anticipated to do some heavy lifting in Dan Quinn’s second season as defensive coordinator. 

True, the Buccaneers did rush for 152 yards behind a beautiful efficiency from Leonard Fournette. However the Cowboys flustered Tom Brady into simply 212 passing yards and an unpleasant interception, and the Bucs did end with only one landing on the night time.

It appeared for all of the world like Micah Parsons would write the narrative of the sport. On back-to-back possessions within the second quarter, Parsons sacked Brady on two separate third downs, forcing Tampa Bay to accept subject purpose makes an attempt — one among which was missed.

Soccer romanticism would have you ever imagine Parsons was holding the rope till Prescott may rally the offense, nevertheless it wasn’t near the case. 

As an alternative, this Dallas protection might need much more on its plate. The Cowboys have work to do on offense, and in the intervening time they will be attempting to repair it with out Dak Prescott.

Joe Burrow and Cincinnati’s warp-drive offense arrive at AT&T Stadium in per week. That is so much to determine if they’ll forestall the season from heading off the rails.

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports activities. He beforehand spent 9 seasons protecting the Cowboys for the crew’s official web site. In 2018, he received a regional Emmy for his position in producing “Dak Prescott: A Family Reunion” in regards to the quarterback’s time at Mississippi State. Comply with him on Twitter @davidhelman_.

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