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

Published:Mar 9, 202417:06

By David Helman
FOX Sports activities Dallas Cowboys Author

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

Sunday evening's abysmal loss to Tampa Bay was already one in all this workforce'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 common 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.

"Clearly, it is not what you need to hear," Prescott instructed reporters. "It isn't the worst factor that is occurred to me. It is simply one other bump within the highway."

That bit is perhaps true. However on the very minimal, it is a important damage to an important member of the roster.

All the things 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 damage, 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 discipline 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 for the reason that Cowboys have been shut out, 28-0, by the New Orleans Saints in 1989 — Jones' first season as proprietor and common supervisor.

The distinction is clearly that the 1989 workforce was to start with of a rebuild, having simply chosen Troy Aikman with the No. 1 total choose within the draft. That group completed 1-15.

This 2022 roster is the one Cowboys brass chosen to comply with up a 12-5 marketing campaign. This was the group that Jones mentioned "have to be viable within the playoffs" to be thought-about profitable again on the primary day of coaching camp.

It is necessary to not overreact to 1 week of a protracted season, however nothing about this Dallas offense seemed viable in Week 1.

Nowhere is that extra apparent than the efficiency of Prescott and the Cowboys' talent gamers. The workforce 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 manner 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 in all his worst video games as a professional. When he exited for the evening, 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 occasions on the evening 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 did not get on the identical web page when the deficit was nonetheless shut.

There's extra, as you would possibly count on when an NFL workforce scores three factors. The Cowboys' offensive line, reshuffled following Tyron Smith's knee damage two weeks in the past, endured a forgettable opener, as properly. Of the workforce's 10 penalties on the evening, 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 some extent, the road's run blocking — was as a lot of a vibrant spot as you would possibly be capable of muster. The operating again averaged 5.2 yards per carry en path to a 52-yard evening, 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 displaying 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 an exquisite efficiency from Leonard Fournette. However the Cowboys flustered Tom Brady into simply 212 passing yards and an unsightly interception, and the Bucs did end with only one landing on the evening.

It seemed 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 discipline purpose makes an attempt — one in all which was missed.

Soccer romanticism would have you ever consider Parsons was holding the rope till Prescott might rally the offense, nevertheless it wasn't near the case. 

As an alternative, this Dallas protection may need much more on its plate. The Cowboys have work to do on offense, and in the meanwhile they're going to be making an attempt 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 loads to determine if they will stop the season from heading off the rails.

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

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