FRISCO, Texas – Dak Prescott admits he didn’t play well in the Cowboys’ season-opening loss to Carolina.
He also expects to be better this Sunday at home against the division rival Giants.
The Cowboys’ starting quarterback was asked about Giants safety Landon Collins’ comments that New York has a “better shot of winning” if its defense can stop running back Ezekiel Elliott first and “put the ball into Dak’s hands.”
“Challenge accepted,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “Challenge accepted.”
The Cowboys’ offense scored only eight points in last Sunday’s road loss to the Panthers and didn’t cross midfield until the third quarter. In the first half, they went 0-for-5 on third down and punted on all five true possessions.
Penalties, sacks and minus plays put Dallas in third-and-long on four of those drives. Prescott also acknowledged he missed throws in the game.
“I’ve simply just got to play better,” he said.
“I didn’t play well. The only way I know how to play better is just to go to work and put in the time with the right focus. And that’s been my plan.”
Results did improve in the second half with adjustments and execution. The Cowboys spread out Carolina’s defense with multi-receiver sets, increased their tempo and did a better job of clearing lanes for Elliott on the ground.
That’s something Prescott plans to build on Sunday.
“There definitely were some positives. We got going that second half, able to move the ball, spread them out, do some things that we like in the run game, the pass game, that I think is going to benefit us a lot throughout this year and we’re going to move forward doing.”
Prescott tweaked his ankle late in the game against Carolina, but he has practiced fully the last two days and said he’s fine.
Even though Prescott readily admits he didn't convert some downfield opportunities, teammates and coaches have pointed out that the entire offense has to improve around him. Head coach Jason Garrett said the coaching staff must continue finding different ways to attack defenses. Left tackle Tyron Smith said the offensive line has things to clean up after the offense allowed six sacks to Carolina.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan likes what he's seen from Prescott's approach this week.
“He’s been great," Linehan said. "Certainly, he’s focusing on getting better and all that stuff. But he’s handling it like a professional, a competitor. He’s not moping around, but you can tell he’s determined and he wants to be back on that field as soon as he can. It’s just what you would expect."