Dak Prescott’s play was at times shaky in the first half Thursday night and stellar in the second.
Having protracted a career-long interception streak to six games, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback also led his team to its sixth win in its last seven games with a 27-13 road victory against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. With his Cowboys standing at 12-4 and having collected two wins in six days, Prescott isn’t dwelling on the interceptions or worried about style points — just the victories.
“To be able to play this position, you’ve gotta have a short-term memory,” Prescott told reporters after the game. “Whether the interception you feel is your fault, not your fault, whether you throw it to the guy and lose out on points before half or not, you’ve gotta be able to turn the page and just move on. That’s something that, honestly, I take pride in. Obviously, you’re not trying to have that adversity or cause that adversity, but good or bad, I’m on to the next play.”
At the conclusion of Thursday’s win, Prescott had thrown for 282 yards on 29-of-41 passing with a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Dalton Schultz. He’d also accounted for three first-half turnovers, including a pair of interceptions that increased his season total to 14, which is tied for the league high with Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
Roughly 1,200 miles west of Dallas, Carr was benched earlier in the week in Las Vegas. But nobody’s calling for Prescott’s job despite the same number of INTs.
“He’s wired the right way, our players are wired the right way,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said. “Unfortunately you go through ups and downs in this league, that’s the beauty of how competitive this league is. This is a game we needed to get and we got it done, so whether we don’t get any style points, that’s OK, we’re still at 12 wins.”
Prescott, as aforementioned, has thrown an interception in six consecutive games.
Prescott set a new career-high for interceptions Thursday, as well, throwing for one more this season in 10 games than he did in 16 during 2017.
But the Cowboys are 6-3 this season when Prescott throws a pick. Over the last seven games, the Cowboys’ lone loss came off a pick-six by the Jacksonville Jaguars’ Rayshawn Jenkins that was most certainly not on Prescott. One of his two interceptions on Thursday was also off a ball that should’ve been caught by his intended target.
Thus, McCarthy took exception at Prescott’s INT total being tagged a “rash” of interceptions. The ball bounces funny sometimes. It’s bouncing in favor of final results for the Cowboys, just not always statistical success for Prescott.
“I don’t agree with the word ‘rash,’ we had two interceptions tonight, and one was a drop and one was a minus decision,” McCarthy said. “So we’ll look at it and just keep coaching it, but the answer is not to throw the ball. I mean the answer is not to over-coach it or overemphasize it, so the goal is to be explosive on offense, and the stats speak for themselves.”
In a game most believed the Cowboys would win handily against an undermanned Titans squad, Dallas was clinging to a 10-6 halftime lead. Both of Tennessee’s field goals came off Prescott first-half interceptions nabbed by Kevin Byard: the first a bobble by Peyton Hendershot that should’ve been a first down and the second a poor decision intended for Schultz.
Prescott rebounded in fine form, though, navigating back-to-back 10-play touchdown drives of 75 yards or longer coming out of the intermission.
The seven-year pro’s ability to bounce back can likely be credited to his ability to put the bad plays in the rearview rather quickly.
“Yeah, it might be frustrating, but by the time, I’d say a minute after I’ve sat down on the sideline, I’ve got it out of my head,” Prescott said.
The QB admits the turnovers are an issue, nonetheless.
“They’re all frustrating and somehow or another they’ve got to stop,” he said.
But he’s not dwelling on the INTs, just the same as he’s not worried that many expected the Cowboys to win in more impressive fashion on Thursday night.
Prescott’s tied for the league lead with a career-high 14 interceptions and his Cowboys are 12-4. Right now, that’s all that matters.
Said Prescott: “The style points and all that, that’s for y’all who think games are won on paper.”