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Mailbag: Right target selections at crucial points?


What do you make of Dak Prescott going to secondary receivers like Jalen Tolbert and Luke Schoonmaker at crucial points in the game? – Adam Smith/Little Rock, AR

Nick Eatman: I think it's something they need to fix. I get that you need and want to spread the ball around at times, but in those two instances, Dak really didn't have a lot of time so he threw it to his first option or read. The problem I have there is that Brandin Cooks was wiiiiiide open over the middle when he threw it to Schoonmaker at the 1. If Cooks had been the first option, it's a touchdown for sure. On the fourth-down pass to Tolbert, Dak had Ferguson wide open over the middle. So maybe this is harder to do than it seems, but if you know there is a blitz and you have just one option, I would prefer to throw it to the guys that have more experience making plays in these situations.

Kurt: It doesn't seem ideal, but at the same time, we often don't have all the information. Take that fourth-down pass to Jalen Tolbert in the fourth quarter that fell incomplete. Everyone's first reaction, including mine, was why in the world wouldn't Dak Prescott try to feed CeeDee Lamb? Or perhaps Jake Ferguson? Well, as Jesse Holley pointed out on our Hangin' With the Boys podcast, the Cowboys had been picking on Eagles cornerback James Bradberry all day and having success. Given that, in his opinion, when Prescott then saw that Bradberry was lined up in coverage against Tolbert, he made the commitment to go after him again. Who the receiver was didn't really matter; Prescott was targeting Bradberry. Unfortunately, as we know, it didn't work out, and even worse, Ferguson was wide open across the middle. Still, although it's those kinds of little details that make it tough to really judge, it would be nice to see the Cowboys just try to get the ball in the hands of their best playmakers when a game is on the line.

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