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Dak Catches Fire After Sluggish Start


LANDOVER, Md. – It's strange to think that the afternoon started pretty poorly for Dak Prescott.

The Cowboys started Week 2 with a three-and out. On the ensuing series, Prescott threw his first interception of the season when Montae Nicholson picked off a bobbled pass to Randall Cobb.

To round it all out, the first possession of the second quarter saw Prescott get a face full of Da'Ron Payne, just before Ryan Kerrigan sacked him to stall another drive.

"You need somebody who can get in the huddle after he's had a really bad play," said Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones. "It's always about overcoming the human frailty, if you will, or getting disappointed or losing your confidence or basically having a doubting moment."

Those doubting moments didn't last long, because Prescott made them feel like a distant memory. Prescott threw an incompletion toward Michael Gallup late in the second quarter – and then simply didn't do it again.

In throwing for 269 yards and three touchdowns, Prescott threw 18-straight completions, including 14 after halftime, to guide the Cowboys to 31 points. It's understandable if athletes don't notice those things in the moment, but even Prescott acknowledged he might have felt a difference.

"You're never really aware of it, but then again you take a second, 'Man when was the last incompletion,' maybe," he said. "It's not something you think about. Especially at this position, you have to put the last play behind you or mistakes oftentimes come then."

That goes back to Jones' point, which is that Prescott never seems fazed by the circumstances. From his remarkable rookie year to right now, during the rough first quarter of Sunday's game, Prescott has possessed that knack to stave off those moments of doubt.

"I'm sure he has them, he just plays through them," Jones said.

It wasn't limited to the air, either. Last week Prescott torched the New York Giants to the tune of 405 yards, but he really didn't show off much of his mobility. That changed in Week 2, as his 42-yard read-option run was one of the highlight moments of the entire day.

"The defensive end crashed hard," he said. "That's my read, to pull the ball and a great block from Cobb there just allowed to get me going. And at that point it was just getting as much as I could."

As if he needed the extra stats, Prescott now has a solid 81 rushing yards to go with his 674 passing yards and seven touchdowns. Even in a league that has become increasingly pass-happy, it bears mentioning that he has completed 82 percent of his throws through two weeks.

"There's no question he's playing at a high level right now," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "I think he's got good command of what we're trying to do. He's comfortable and the guys are playing well around him. I think he and Kellen are absolutely on the same page to where we want to get to and how we want to get there. His execution has been pretty good."

Garrett isn't one for juicy sound bites, but that feels like underselling things a little bit. If this is what "pretty good" looks like, then it's almost scary to think what "great" would mean for opposing defenses.

Asked if he had ever seen Prescott play so well over a two-game stretch, Jones had a joke at the ready to put it all in perspective.

"Well, I haven't sure seen him with the Dallas Cowboys," he said. "They've got a statue for him over at Mississippi State, so he might have had back-to-back games over there that we haven't seen."

It's still incredibly early in the season. Prescott said himself that he knows adversity will rear its head at some point. But thinking on Jones' joke, it's hard to ignore the fact that Prescott lifted his college program to new heights during his time at Mississippi State.

If he maintains this momentum, perhaps he could do the same in Dallas.