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Cowboys lose game to Buccaneers, Dak Prescott to injury in disastrous opener

By David Helman

FOX Sports Dallas Cowboys Writer

It’s hard to assume what sort of 19-3 drubbing could easily get worse, but true to create, theDallas Cowboys pulled it off.

Sunday night’s abysmal loss toTampa Bay had been among this team’s ugliest of the final decade. But their expect a bounce back depends on the fitness ofDak Prescott, and that hope took popular late in the fourth quarter when Prescott exited the overall game after his hand collided with Shaq Barrett‘s helmet.

Talking with reporters following the game, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said that Prescott have to have surgery on his thumb and can likely miss weeks. Prescott himself said he’ll schedule surgery on Monday morning.

“Obviously, it isn’t what you would like to listen to,” Prescott told reporters. “It isn’t the worst thing that’s happened certainly to me. It’s yet another bump in the street.”

That bit may be true. But at the minimum, it is a significant problems for the most crucial person in the roster.

The rest concerning the Cowboys’ season is on pause until additional information are known, but it is a devastating loss at the tail end of a devastating loss.

Never to add salt to the wound, but Prescott left the overall game with 6: 02 to play and it’s really much less if the Dallas offense was functioning effectively when its franchise quarterback was healthy.

The Cowboys drove the ball 54 yards for a field goal on the opening possession of the overall game, and literally nothing else worked all of those other way. They finished with 244 yards of offense, 76 of these coming on the ultimate two possessions, once the outcome was obvious.

To place it in perspective, three points may be the worst tally in a season opener because the Cowboys were shut out, 28-0, by the brand new Orleans Saints in 1989 Jones’ first season as owner and general manager.

The difference is actually that the 1989 team was initially of a rebuild, having just selected Troy Aikman with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. That group finished 1-15.

This 2022 roster may be the one Cowboys brass selected to check out up a 12-5 campaign. This is the group that Jones said “have to be viable in the playoffs” to be looked at successful back on the initial day of training camp.

It is important never to overreact to 1 week of an extended season, but nothing concerning this Dallas offense looked viable in Week 1.

Nowhere is that more obvious compared to the performance of Prescott and the Cowboys’ skill players. The team famously traded away Amari Cooper in the spring, seeking to replace that production with veteran receiverJames Washington and third-round draft pickJalen Tolbert.

Washington broke his foot in the past in August, sidelining him for the near future. And after an up-and-down summer, Tolbert was a wholesome scratch for the growing season opener, leaving Prescott with journeymanNoah Brown and undrafted rookieDennis Houston as his primary options behindCeeDee Lamb.

To be fair to the receivers, Prescott played one of is own worst games as an expert. When he exited for the night time, Prescott had completed an abysmal 14-of-29 passes for 134 yards, lowlighted by way of a horrific interception that saw him make an effort to fit a third down pass into triple coverage.

To be fair to Prescott, the supporting cast was hardly helpful. Lamb, likely to create a leap in to the NFL’s elite during his third NFL season, was targeted 11 times on the night time but finished with just two catches for 29 yards. Of these other nine targets, he dropped two. Even though Brown did rack up yardage in the game’s waning moments, he and Prescott didn’t get on exactly the same page once the deficit was still close.

There’s more, as you may expect when an NFL team scores three points. The Cowboys’ offensive line, reshuffled followingTyron Smith’s knee injury fourteen days ago, endured a forgettable opener, aswell. Of the team’s 10 penalties on the night time, six were committed by Dallas offensive linemen. The group also surrendered four sacks to a swarming Tampa Bay pass rush.

Ezekiel Elliott also to some extent, the line’s run blocking was just as much of a bright spot as you may have the ability to muster. The running back averaged 5.2 yards per carry on the way to a 52-yard night, however the lopsided nature of the overall game took him out from the equation early in to the second half.

The performance unfortunately overshadows that which was actually a good showing by the Dallas defense, likely to do some heavy lifting in Dan Quinn’s second season as defensive coordinator.

True, theBuccaneers did rush for 152 yards behind an excellent performance fromLeonard Fournette. However the Cowboys flusteredTom Brady into just 212 passing yards and an ugly interception, and the Bucs did finish with just one single touchdown on the night time.

It looked for all your world likeMicah Parsons would write the narrative of the overall game. On back-to-back possessions in the next quarter, Parsons sacked Brady on two separate third downs, forcing Tampa Bay to stay for field goal attempts among that was missed.

Football romanticism could have you think Parsons was holding the rope until Prescott could rally the offense, nonetheless it wasn’t near to the case.

Instead, this Dallas defense may have a lot more on its plate. The Cowboys have work to accomplish on offense, and for the moment they’ll be attempting to correct it without Dak Prescott.

Joe Burrow and Cincinnati’s warp-drive offense reach AT&T Stadium in weekly. That is clearly a lot to determine if they’re likely to avoid the season from going the rails.

David Helman covers the Dallas Cowboys for FOX Sports. He previously spent nine seasons within the Cowboys for the teams official website. In 2018, he won a regional Emmy for his role in producing “Dak Prescott: A FAMILY GROUP Reunion” concerning the quarterbacks time at Mississippi State. Follow him on Twitter @davidhelman_.

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