KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dak Prescott might've been short on answers, but he came to his postgame press conference with plenty of resolve.
Honestly, that might've been his only solution coming out of this performance. When so much goes wrong in this 19-9 loss to the Chiefs, it's hard to pinpoint a specific answer, anyway.
"This is a resilient team that's going to continue to fight and get better, I can promise you that," he said.
In a sport with just 17 games, just 17 opportunities at success, any loss is going to bring frustration.
The fact that the Cowboys' greatest strength, their explosive offense, was Sunday's biggest culprit made this one even harder to stomach. Throw in the fact that it came in this setting, with a chance to make a statement against the NFL's elite, and it's understandable if Prescott was angry more so than disappointed.
"Never discouraged, but pissed off, yeah sure," he said. "Pissed when I don't play well, the team doesn't play well -- or the offense doesn't play well, for the fact of the night – in general. But especially when you have a great opportunity to come out and play against a team that's been to the Super Bowl the last two years and really prove it to ourselves and prove it to one another what we're capable of."
Officially, this game counts as one loss in the standings. Losing in Kansas City doesn't change the fact that the Cowboys lead the NFC East or have one of the better records in their conference.
Still, it feels unsettling that the Cowboys had this opportunity to announce themselves, as Prescott said, against a back-to-back Super Bowl participant. Not only was their offense not good enough, at times it felt like they didn't make the trip.
"The offense didn't get the job done, and it starts with me and it starts with the way we communicated and executed," Prescott said.
That's some excellent word choice on his part. Execution was lacking throughout the evening – a fact that was perhaps foreshadowed on the first snap of the game, when Prescott floated a ball too far for an otherwise wide open Michael Gallup.
"I thought it came out of my hand smooth and just got away from us -- missed opportunity," he said.
It wouldn't be the only one. After a Micah Parsons strip-sack late in the first half, the Cowboys – impossibly – had a 1st-and-10 at the Kansas City 28-yard line with 21 seconds to play, a surprising opportunity to make it a one-score game after a lopsided opening half.
Prescott's lob to CeeDee Lamb in the end zone was intercepted – by former Cowboys Charvarius Ward, no less, adding insult to injury.
"At the end of the day I want to give my guy a chance, so I mean I'm not going to regret making that decision," Prescott said. "Maybe I've got to look at it, and say get more air under the ball, maybe put it in the back corner of the end zone."
To be fair, it wasn't just Prescott. With Amari Cooper a surprise absence having contracted COVID-19 on Friday, the Cowboys looked toward key depth pieces Cedrick Wilson and Noah Brown to step up in his absence. The duo combined for four drops on the afternoon, two of which helped to stall Dallas possessions.
"I mean, all of us can take part in this loss and be accountable for everything that happened out there," Prescott said.
None of this takes into the account the struggles of the offensive line, which were enough for a story of their own.
The game speaks for itself in recounting all these issues. Any time a team with this good of an offense fails to score a touchdown, it's a given that a lot of things went wrong.
The explanations – or some would say, excuses – don't seem important right now. What feels important is that an opportunity passed them by, and there'll now be another wait for the chance to prove something.
Going back to his resolve, Prescott didn't lack for confidence that that will get sorted out just fine.
"As long as I'm a part of this team, the quarterback of this offense, the least of my worries is how we're going to respond," he said. "As I've said, this is a resilient bunch. These guys and their atmosphere got the best of us tonight. That's part of the game, but we'll be better because of it."
To his credit, the last time the Cowboys came up short against a Super Bowl team, they responded with six-straight wins. Perhaps this loss can be another catalyst. But in the grind of an NFL season, September feels like a lifetime ago, and the Cowboys have a lot of work to do with nowhere near as much season to do it.