FRISCO, Texas - Through the first two games of the season the quarterback position didn't look quite as natural for Dak Prescott as it had for much of his rookie season. He had thrown just two touchdowns and two interceptions, and he was barely averaging five yards per pass attempt.
In Monday night's 28-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, Prescott looked sharp and the offense got stronger as the game went on.
"I think I played a fairly clean game," Prescott said. "Much better than the first two weeks. It was slow starting off early for me and the offense, but we got it going."
When the Cardinals jumped out to a 7-0 lead and the Cowboys' offense struggled to move the ball in the first quarter, it was hard not to predict a repeat of Dallas' 25-point loss to Denver. But Prescott remained steady, and when the opportunities to make big plays were there, he delivered.
The first game-changing play came just before halftime when Prescott kept the ball in a read-option with Ezekiel Elliott from the 10-yard line. The play finished with Prescott going airborne and flipping safely into the end zone.
"When I got to about the five I realized it was going to take me jumping to do it, and I was just glad I flipped over instead of the helicopter spin," Prescott said.
Wednesday, Prescott said that while a lot is made of Elliott needing to run the ball well to open up the passing game, it's also important for the quarterback to use his own legs to take pressure off Elliott.
"It's another guy in the run game that they have to account for," Prescott said.
The play was a momentum-maker for the Cowboys' offense. With the game tied early in the fourth quarter Prescott received pressure on a play-action pass and rolled out of the pocket, seeing Brice Butler taking his route into the end zone.
"At that point, he's a big guy who can jump up and make those catches," Prescott said. "It was just about me giving him a chance to do that."
Coming off a bad loss to Denver, it would have been easy to question the Cowboys' formula. What happens when Elliott doesn't dominate? Can Prescott play from behind? Monday night the Dallas offense proved that the process can take care of itself.
"It's just about trusting our offense," Prescott said. "Trusting [that] some of those runs are going to open up, some of those passing plays are going to hit. Trusting [that] Coach Linehan is going to get us to the right place. Just trust it and keep pushing."
The Cowboys' offense proved that it can gain momentum as the game goes along. But Prescott still thinks that going forward they can win every quarter
"We played three pretty good defenses in these first three games," Prescott said. "I don't think there are many teams in this league that can challenge us and do what these three teams have done of making us beat them over the top."