FRISCO, Texas – Dak Prescott says the 2020 Cowboys have the most explosive offense in his first five years with the franchise.
The early-season stats agree with him.
Through three games, the Cowboys are nearly on pace to match the franchise's all-time scoring record of 479 points despite playing without both starting offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La'el Collins the last two weeks.
Currently the offense is tied for eighth in NFL scoring at 29.3 points per game and leading the league in total offense at 490.7 yards per game. Prescott is the league leader in passing yards by a 150-yard margin over Buffalo's Josh Allen (1,188 to 1,038) and four Cowboys receivers have already posted 100-yard games (Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Cedrick Wilson).
"Everybody's capable of making a big play, and especially when we all lock in," Prescott said. "The focus is detail. You see the small plays go for big gains and go for touchdowns."
The most important stat is the scoreboard, of course, and the Cowboys are currently 1-2 in three games decided by 11 total points.
Small improvements can make the difference. For Prescott, that means taking better care of the ball.
In last Sunday's loss to Seattle, back-to-back turnovers at the end of the first half and start of the third quarter – an interception and strip-sack fumble – led to two Seahawks touchdowns.
The Cowboys, who strive for balance with All-Pro running back Ezekiel Elliott, went into catch-up mode. Prescott finished the game with a career-high 57 pass attempts, completing 37 for a career-high 472 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
"With that, obviously when you're pushing the ball downfield you're increasing your risk for a turnover," he said. "But I have to be better with the ball and receivers have to help me as well, whether it's route discipline or spacing or whatever it is. We'll all continue to get better at that, but we know how important it is to take care of the ball, starting with myself."
Through three games, the Cowboys are tied for the league's third-worst turnover margin at minus-4. Six turnovers have led to 31 opposing points the last two games: 17 in a 40-39 comeback thriller against Atlanta and 14 in a 38-31 loss to Seattle.
Sunday's opponent, Cleveland, (2-1) has thrived off turnovers in its two wins. The Browns scored 24 points off five takeaways in a 34-20 victory over Washington last Sunday. Their average drive start is their own 33-yard line. By comparison, the Cowboys' average start is their own 23.
It's clear the offense wants to be aggressive under head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. The key is reducing the negative plays that end drives and put the defense in difficult spots.
"That's the beauty of the game of football. Things happen, mistakes are made, and you have to adjust and you have to overcome," McCarthy said. "You have those adverse moments. You have sudden-change moments. The most important thing is to respond to those situations. As a team, I think we've done a good job of that so far. But obviously we need to do a little bit of a better job of that to make sure we're getting the win at the end of the day."
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