COMMENTARY: McCarthy stellar in debut as Prescott shows he’s not worth $45 millionby Evan Abramson
AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - At the risk of making enemies all across the Texas Panhandle, I am completely confident and fine with saying that fifth-year Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was just okay in the Los Angeles Rams' 20-17 defeat of the Cowboys. He was the definition of mediocrity, the captain of decency, and based on that performance, is definitely not worth $45-million.
Attribute it to a new head coach (despite having the same offensive coordinator) or first game jitters, but I’m not sold on Prescott being worth that money he wanted, even if the market determines pay and not skill. I’ll tell you though, the market may determine pay, but the market doesn’t get you to a Super Bowl. A great coach and a great quarterback do that. The Cowboys have one of those in new Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
Running Back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown, catching another scoring pass, proving he is the right man to lead the backfield. Despite being locked up all night long in terms of limiting deep-threat opportunities, Wide Receivers Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup proved to be a dangerous receiving corp. The reason I give the receivers so much credit is because the Rams' defense looked spectacular is all facets of the game, and I firmly believe that they will be in the Super Bowl this postseason.
It’s why I’m not, nor anyone else should be upset at the result.... too much, that the Cowboys fell by just three points. Like it or not, the Rams outplayed the Cowboys, and Dallas was lucky the Rams were 2/3 in field goals.
At the end of the day, what cost the Cowboys their season-opener was not McCarthy’s fourth down call early in the fourth quarter. It was the right call, considering 12 minutes were left on the clock, as any reasonable coach would guess his offense would get at least 1-3 more offensive drives in the game. The play call on that fourth down conversion attempt was right as the execution was flawed.
Here are my thoughts on the game overall as they came to me throughout the game, starting with the first quarter:
- Rams superstar Aaron Donald is an unstoppable beast and in the first half, he kept great pressure on Dak. The Cowboys managed to contain him later on, but double teaming Donald to protect Dak left him vulnerable to other guys in the pocket, allowing the Rams to get three sacks throughout the game. Dak was obviously rushed numerous times, which is why Dallas was limited in taking shots down the field.
- This team needs disciple. Three neutral zone infractions is three too many, first game or not, and discipline is greatly needed if this team is going to have any shot of taking down tough opponents further down the season.
- Dallas' defense showed a weakness. They had trouble containing the Rams' quick offense that utilized the perfect bootleg multiple times, causing the linebackers to be stretched thin. The idea of stopping the bootleg that utilized wide reciever Robert Woods also allowed quarterback Jared Goff more time in the pocket to execute plays perfectly numerous times in the game.
- Once Lamb got that penalty in the second quarter, he came alive and finally got involved in the offense. His first catch of the game for about 30-yards showed off his promise as a receiver in this Dallas offense. He’s young. Give him time.
- If you can’t beat the fast offense, join the fast offense. Seems like in the second quarter, Dak and company adjusted on offense and had a couple of really quick drives as well, marching down the field at the exact moments they needed to in order to stay in the game.
If you disagree with anything I wrote, feel free to comment or send me an email at Evan.Abramson@newschannel10.com.