SANTA CLARA, Calif. — In what was looked at coming in as a test of where they might be as a team in 2023, the Dallas Cowboys faltered at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers in resounding fashion, 42-10.
In the loss, Dak Prescott threw three interceptions in a season-worst performance that saw the offense sputter from the get-go and not find any rhythm as the night went on.
"We didn't get any momentum ever," Prescott said. "We had the one drive and that was the only success of the night. It's a tough business, and when you're stepping on your own feet, not getting in a rhythm, you're making it harder on yourself. Against a team like that, it's near impossible."
The 49ers leave their home stadium tonight as one of the kings in the NFC, which was something Dallas was hoping to also stake a claim in by the end of the night. This time around, they proved to be much further behind.
"Obviously, they're further ahead than us right now," he said. "We've gotta close that gap. To get where we wanna get, we gotta get through this team and most likely come back to this place. We damn sure didn't come in here and get the confidence we were trying to grab leaving this game.
Through five games, the offense has had struggles — even in wins where the defense helped set the tone. When asked what has worked and how they can build on it, Prescott said they have to focus on the first task on a drive.
"I think when we've established a rhythm, that's been something to lean on," he said. "The tempo, changing the personnel…but it starts with getting a first down."
Moving forward, the Cowboys will have to turn around and make the trip back to California to face the Los Angeles Chargers next Monday night. For Prescott and his fellow team leaders, the focus this week will be on moving on.
"We have to turn the page and we have to turn it quick and put our best foot forward in coming to practice Wednesday, or we'll be humbled again," Prescott said.
With scrutiny and criticism bound to fall on Prescott and the Cowboys after Sunday's loss, he sees an opportunity to emphasize the culture that the team has built in recent years.
"We know how we've gotta approach it," he said. "We know what's gonna come from this outside of our building, so it's about locking arms. Something we've always hung our hat on is our culture, our brotherhood within the locker room. Now more than ever, we're gonna be tested on that."