The Cowboys found their way with a dominant second half to defeat the Lions and, more importantly, Prescott suffered no setbacks in the victory
ARLINGTON, Texas - It was an up-and-down outing for Dak Prescott in his return to action for the Dallas Cowboys, but the downs weren't chasms while the ups were indeed celestial against the visiting Detroit Lions. The two-time Pro Bowler didn't throw any interceptions and, despite being sacked twice and hit five times, didn't fumble the ball.
He instead bounced back from in-game adversity time and again and acquitted himself well with timely impact throws, also leaning heavily on the successful rushing attack from Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard - rewarding his defensive compatriots for their most dominant performance of the season.
"It felt great," said Prescott of his thumb following the 24-6 victory at AT&T Stadium. "I felt comfortable with everything. The thumb didn't bother me. It wasn't a thought in my head.
"I felt like - after a few throws - I was back into it."
Prescott finished with 207 passing yards and one touchdown in 25 attempts, completing 19 of them, finishing with a passer rating of 113.2 on the day and, on more than one occasion, extended plays with his legs to buy time for the eventual downfield completion.
All told, he looked much better on film than his stat line will admit.
But, for him, it's about what the Cowboys did on the whole - including two interceptions (Trevon Diggs and Jourdan Lewis) and three fumble recoveries (Anthony Barr, Sam Williams and Micah Parsons) that Prescott and the offense were able to flip into three touchdowns.
That, as it turned out, was the tale of the game.
"I felt fine, but this is about the team," Prescott said. "This was a great team win. This is what I've been watching for the last five weeks - this defense, this special teams and just us playing complementary football. It's just great to be back and to be a part of it."
It was a slow first half for the Cowboys, entering halftime with a 6-3 deficit against the Lions, but momentum swung wildly in their favor at the outset of the third quarter when Diggs' interception halted Jared Goff's first drive of the second half and led to the the most impressive drive by Dallas to that point in the afternoon.
"You understand the overall picture of this game and that this defense is gonna help us out," said Prescott. "It's important for us to make sure those turnovers pay off … Just play within the game. Don't try to do too much when you know the defense to help you out.
"When it's third down [if you have to] throw it away and live for another down. Play for the field position. We know that when we get ahead these guys can pin their ears back and do what they do, and create turnovers."
As noted above, the Cowboys previously struggling offense was able to capitalize on the takeaways by way of both the tandem of Elliott and Pollard along with delivering the first NFL touchdown of Peyton Hendershot's career - on National Tight Ends Day, no less.
"That's playing complementary football," said Prescott. "When those guys go out there and get turnovers, it's important for us to make sure we get points out of that. That's how you win games - how you blow them away. The whole group, how hungry they are and the way they attack, we saw it in training camp and over these last five weeks."
As they now prepare to welcome the Chicago Bears, there's still work to be done to see the offense reach prime form, but the defense has shown it will continue to give the offense a chance to do their part in putting points on the scoreboard, and Prescott was able to thank them for their service with each added possession.
His thumb is perfectly fine, and with some tweaks and more game reps, it appears the offense might soon be as well with Prescott back under center.