ARLINGTON, Texas – Dak Prescott turned to Kellen Moore at the end of Sunday's 31-6 victory over the Miami Dolphins and apologized.
"'That was on me in the first half,' Prescott recalled telling his first-year offensive coordinator. "'I was just being greedy.'"
The Cowboys' fourth-year quarterback was referencing, in particular, his deep-ball interception intended for Randall Cobb at the start of the second quarter: a heave into traffic, rolling to his right, a good nine seconds after the ball was snapped.
It didn't cost the Cowboys any points – Miami punted three plays later – but it was symptomatic of the offense's self-inflicted struggles the first two quarters. They entered halftime with a mere 10-6 lead after scoring 35 combined first-half points in wins over the Giants and Redskins.
"Bad by me. Great by the offensive line," Prescott said of the pick. "I went through every read probably three times, I guess, then broke the pocket. Just bad by me, just terrible.
"I was just being too greedy – one of those heat checks or whatever you want to call it, just trying to do too much in the first half. … Just take what the defense gives me. You get these shots in a couple of games and you get anxious. You want them again."
Indeed, Prescott and the offense were prolific downfield in those first two games. They ranked fourth in the NFL with 11 plays of 20 yards or more, including nine in the passing game.
In the first half Sunday, Prescott completed 9 of 20 passes for 106 yards, one touchdown to Amari Cooper and the interception. The offense stalled or settled for field goals on four of six drives due to a combination of turnovers, penalties and dropped passes.
"I thought we made some mistakes that short-circuited our offensive a little bit," head coach Jason Garrett said. "We turned the ball over a little bit, got behind the chains a couple of drives. We had to break away from that."
The second half looked much more like the efficient group that dominated Weeks 1 and 2. After a holding penalty wiped out a 74-yard touchdown catch and run by Cobb, Prescott hit Cooper again for a 19-yard touchdown and ran in for another on the next drive.
Suddenly, the lead had surged to 18.
Prescott continued his statistically perfect third-quarter streak – he's 22-for-22 in the quarter through three games – and finished the game 19-of-32 for 246 yards with the two touchdowns and one interception, a 91.4 passer rating.
He has nine touchdown passes through three games, tying Don Meredith (1966) for the most ever by a Cowboys quarterback in the first three games of a season.
He'll continue to clean up the imperfections, like the early turnover.
"It's good tape to learn from, for me probably more in particular than anybody else," he said. "… Just stay within it, check it down – those backs will get just as many yards as those deep throws – and just allow the game to come to me. That's what I did in the second half."