ARLINGTON, Texas – In addition to his coaches, Jerry Jones was there for his quarterback on Monday night.
Right in the middle of the Cowboys’ ugly loss to the Titans on Monday night was Dak Prescott, who turned in a forgettable performance in his bid to get back to .500.
Asked about the two-turnover performance after the game, though, the Cowboys’ owner and general manager was adamant in his defense of Prescott.
“Tonight’s game did not – did not, I emphasize – impact my future look at Dak Prescott. Not tonight,” Jones said.
As can be said for much of the team, the night seemed to be trending in such a good direction for the Cowboys’ young quarterback. Prescott opened the game by completing five of his first six passes for 99 yards, including a nifty, four-yard touchdown throw to Amari Cooper.
Just when the Cowboys seemed poised to run away with the game, though, Prescott fired into double coverage -- looking for Cooper -- and instead threw an end zone interception to Kevin Byard.
“It’s just as simple as I tried to force the ball,” he said. “They added guys in my face, and I just have to throw the ball out of the back of the end zone at that point. I just forced it.”
From there, it all seemed to go downhill. The Cowboys’ struggles seemed to mirror their problems all season long. And Prescott’s turnover issues weren’t over.
With the game tied in the third quarter, he tried to fight off a sack from Tennessee linebacker Jayon Brown and fumbled the ball at his own 34-yard line. The Titans recovered, and tight end Jonnu Smith bounded into the end zone to give them the lead for good just four minutes later.
“It’s about managing the game at that situation,” Prescott said. “I’ve just got to go down and quit trying to to take over the game and do too much at that point.”
That’s not to say there weren’t positives. Prescott was successful in getting Cooper involved in his Cowboys debut, finding him five times for 58 yards and the touchdown. He also took advantage of Malcolm Butler, hitting Allen Hurns for a 23-yard touchdown after a well-executed double move.
It wasn’t remotely enough, though. The Cowboys were ranked 27th in the league in total offense coming into this game, averaging just 320 yards, and they finished well below that. Their much-maligned scoring offense did the same, turning in just 14 points on the day.
And while Jones was sure to back his quarterback, it doesn’t change the obvious. The Cowboys’ margin for error is smaller than it’s been all year, and all eyes will be on Prescott as they try to bounce back.
“We’ve got to do better and it starts with me,” Prescott said. “It starts with me first all the way.”