FRISCO, Texas – Whatever the issues might be with his offense, Mike McCarthy made it clear that they extend beyond his quarterback.
The Cowboys' head coach visited with reporters Monday following a 27-20 win at FedEx Field, and the first few minutes of the press conference centered around Dak Prescott. Most notably, McCarthy was asked if his quarterback was working through a midseason slump – a notion he shot down.
"It's different in football. A lot of things go into it. I don't think Dak is in a slump," he said. "I think everything has not gone the way we would like to go are things we can improve on. That's the focus this week."
That's something McCarthy touched on Sunday evening following the game. Slumps are typically associated with baseball players, and how they're faring in the batters' box. As McCarthy noted at the time, football features 11 moving parts working against 11 moving parts, making it much harder to evaluate any one person's issues.
"We've just got to get back to being more consistent and I think that's the biggest thing," said offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. "There's a flow to offense and I think we just got to find our flow and find our rhythm there."
If slumps aren't a thing, there's no shortage of people wondering what else the problem might be. Both McCarthy and Moore were asked a question that's been on a lot of minds recently: is Prescott fully healthy after injuring his calf in the Oct. 17 win in New England?
"He's a little sore. He took a few hits in the game, but yeah, he's healthy," McCarthy said.
If that is indeed the case, it only adds to the confounding nature of the Cowboys' problems. Lineup changes and injuries have been a big cause for concern over much of the last month, but the vast majority of the offense's major components were available on Sunday. It's one thing for an offense to struggle, but it becomes more frustrating when there's no apparent explanation.
Moore acknowledged some frustration, allowing that the Cowboys' recent dip in performance has been a bit too much, even during the standard ebbs and flows of the season. That said, he added that Prescott – along with the rest of the offensive personnel – have the right makeup to work their way out of it.
"You go through things like this," he said. "The biggest thing is guys keep coming in with the right approach, kind of clean slate and get back into this thing, keep working and getting better and I feel like our group is a really, really good group that if you're going through a little bump you want to go through it with these types of guy."
Can QB have a slump and is Dak in one _ I wouldn't say a quarterback is having a slump. We got a chance to go through the videos as a staff and the players went through this morning. Everyone was out of here by 2 o'clock today. We'll just keep working. It goes this way sometimes.
Is he healthy _ Yeah, he's healthy. He's a little sore. He took a few hits in the game, but yeah, he's healthy.