The San Francisco 49ers face a Dallas Cowboys offense this week that comes into the game playing really well. It has not been enough to overcome a piss-poor defense, but the Cowboys offense is certainly carrying its share of the workload.
Dallas currently ranks No. 10 in overall offense at Football Outsiders, with the run game ranked No. 5 and the pass game ranked No. 13. Quarterback Dak Prescott got off to a slow start early in the season, but he appears to be back on track. He is on pace to surpass last year’s numbers, and the Cowboys offense seems to be rolling. Suffice to say, he’ll provide a serious challenge for a 49ers defense that has struggled when it comes to sacking the quarterback.
We took a few minutes this week to chat with Dave Halprin, from Blogging the Boys. He offered up these thoughts on the Cowboys quarterback.
Prescott started out a little slow this year. Even though the Cowboys dominated the New York Giants in the first game, the offense had problems converting in the red zone, and overall the offense was a little disjointed. Then they got totally blown out by the Denver Broncos, and there was a fear that maybe the "sophomore slump" was going to be a real thing. Even in the first half of the third game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys offense just wasn't the same as it was last year. Suddenly, things clicked in the second half of the Cardinals game and the offense has been on fire since then.
Prescott's issues early were partly self-inflicted, and partly a result of his offensive line. Prescott wasn't as accurate early in the season, a lot of passes were sailing high or wide, a real change from his super-accurate performance of last year. Prescott himself suggested that his footwork had slipped and that was throwing off his mechanics. He mentioned the same thing last year after one poor game and he quickly got it corrected. He has seemingly done the same this year. His numbers are now on pace to surpass last year's and things on offense are looking much better.
Some of the issues were out of his control. The offensive line was not playing nearly as well this season (they had to replace two starters), and that was limiting the effectiveness of the running game and allowing more pressure on Prescott when he dropped back to pass. Without an efficient running game, the Cowboys had to rely more on Prescott's passing. Then with so much more pressure from the pass rush, things were a little sketchy for a while. Fortunately, the line is starting to gel and play better, and Prescott has gotten back to the form we saw last year. So long story short, after a little bit of a slow start, Prescott looks as good as ever.