INGLEWOOD, Calif.— Dak Prescott took the field against the Los Angeles Chargers wearing a Dallas Cowboys uniform but, if you took your glasses off and watched him, you would've wondered if he was actually wearing a Mississippi State jersey, based upon how much he used his legs to help lift his team to a narrow 20-17 victory at SoFi Stadium.
Prescott finished the evening with a team-high in rushing yards (40) along with a rushing touchdown that put the Cowboys on the board via an 18-yard option run that also saw him outrun a defender giving chase.
"Great play call, honestly," said Prescott. "… Not showing my legs early in the year, not running, played a part in that. I just had to go get it."
The two-time Pro Bowler jokingly noted earlier this season that he isn't fast, but he was definitely fast enough on Monday but, more importantly, more willing than he's been to force the opposing defense to account for his mobility.
"I'd say it's how the game unfolded," Prescott said. "It was a little bit of a conscious effort by [me], coming off of last week and realizing it's something we could use and, obviously, those guys had some great coverage. … But [our] guys did a great job of coming open and staying alive, the offensive line was keeping their bodies on someone and giving me a chance to get out in different lanes. It's just kind of how it played [out], but I think it's something that can benefit us."
His escapability was also on full display when, in the fourth quarter, Prescott escaped a would-be sack to extend the play just long enough to buy time for Tony Pollard to get open in the middle of the field.
Pollard turned the toss into a 60-yard catch-and-run, the longest play of the season for the Cowboys' offense, and the drive ended with Prescott finding Brandin Cooks streaking across the end zone for a two-yard touchdown that gave Dallas a 17-10 lead.
"That's a resilient play, to break out of a tackle there and Tony did a great job of getting open and finding a window," said Prescott. "As I got out [of the pocket], I saw some grass in front of me that gave me an opportunity to run but, as I do, I tried to keep my eyes downfield — looking for a tight end or a receiver coming across — and here comes Tony out of the backfield. I threw it to him and he went out and got a lot more than the play I would've made.
"He almost scored, and I guarantee if he realizes there's a guy to his right, that he does score."
As noted, Cooks finished the job, but not without a 15-yard catch by CeeDee Lamb — who grabbed seven catches on seven targets for a total of 117 yards against the Chargers — helping to put the Cowboys closer to pay dirt.
"That was part of the plan going into this game — knowing that we were going to get some matchups with those guys," Prescott said. "We understood how they were going to play CeeDee, and when they were going to, giving Cooks some one-on-ones on the outside; and we took advantage of them. Tonight was due."
Staring a 3-3 record in the face, the Cowboys instead veered their vehicle through the 4-2 tunnel en route to their much-needed bye week.
So while only six games have been played thus far, given the state of the NFC and what the Cowboys were needing to bounce back from, Prescott was just fine labeling their bout with the Chargers a must-win game.
"Sh-t yeah," he said.
All things considered, including both the 49ers and Eagles suffering upsets this week, he's not wrong.