The Dallas Cowboys are off to a disappointing start to begin the 2020 season that has put them in a tough early spot. Ironically, the Cowboys’ early struggles could actually help Dak Prescott. The franchise has moved into uncertain territory playing into Prescott‘s hand as he may have already made the best decision of his brief NFL career.
Cowboys’ defensive woes continue
The Cowboys entered the 2020 season with plenty of high expectations surrounding a possible Super Bowl bid.
Dallas has looked anything but that through the first month of the season behind their struggles defensively. They have dropped three out of their first four games, which has pinned much of the blame on their shortcomings on that side of the ball.
The Cowboys defense is playing at a historically bad pace giving up 36.5 points per contest, which puts them track to allow 584 points. That would become the all-time worst mark in league history and surpass the 1966 New York Giants average points per game allowed (35.8).
Dallas has already become the second team in NFL history to give up at least 38 points in three consecutive games. In Week 4, Dallas had no answer for the Cleveland Browns, allowing 49 points behind 508 total offensive yards rooted with a season-worst 307 rushing yards given up in the loss.
There is simply no way around it as the Cowboys defense has significantly contributed to their atrocious start in 2020.
Injuries continue to pile up in Dallas
Beyond the Cowboys’ struggles defensively, the team has continued to suffer numerous significant injuries.
In Week 1 alone, the Cowboys lost Pro Bowl linebacker Leighton Vander Esch to a broken collarbone while tight end Dalton Schultz suffered a torn ACL. The injuries have piled up that has taken a toll on their offensive line seeing starting right tackle La’el Collins declared out for the season due to hip surgery.
Center Joe Looney could be placed on the IR due to a knee injury for the next three weeks. All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith may potentially miss the rest of the season due to a neck ailment. It has also brought forth conversation concerning retirement as Smith has struggled to work past nagging injuries in each of the last four seasons.
The Cowboys are continuing to fall apart at the seams while Dak Prescott remains a massive bright spot.
Dak Prescott will have the Cowboys in his pocket
Throughout much of the offseason, the focus around the Cowboys centered on Dak Prescott’s long-term future with the franchise.
The hope was to get a new contract agreed upon, but the two sides failed to reach that point before the July extension deadline for players under the franchise tag.
The lack of a move has quickly paid its dividends as Prescott has showcased he’s the stability the franchise desperately needs. The Cowboys’ issues are not on the offensive side of the ball as he’s not only producing at a career-best pace but putting up historic numbers.
He’s the first player to notch at least 450 passing yards in three straight games, while his 1,690 yards through four games has him on pace for 6,760 yards. That would completely shatter the single-season record of 5,477 yards held by Peyton Manning. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are currently first in total yards (509.5) and passing yards (407.8) per game and third with 31.5 points per contest.
There is still much of the season to play, but it’s hard to ignore what Prescott has accomplished despite Dallas’ injuries and historically substandard play defensively. Yes, the Cowboys hold the option to place the franchise tag on Prescott again next offseason, but what he can show over the rest of the 2020 season is why the franchise needs him and must pay him accordingly.