Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has a simple answer to a question about the Monday game plan that actually qualifies as a revelation.
Dak, in planning for the clash against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night at Raymond James Stadium here in Tampa, might you revert to being the “running QB” you’ve been before?
“I understand I’m going to have to, whether it be in the pass game when nothing is there, whether it be protection breakdowns or maybe it’s play called. Regardless, I’m willing to run as many times as I need to.
“Whatever it takes to get this win.”
Dak has been bashed relentlessly this week as the reason why his team will not go far in the playoffs … even ranking ridiculously low on an ESPN playoff quarterback list.
But while he obviously needs to be a more effective thrower than the guy who led the NFL with 15 interceptions, Dak’s running ability, we’ll argue, is underrated and underused.
While his horrible ankle injury in 2020 may be a reason for some caution, given how effective it is as a weapon, could it be worth returning to?
“To be honest, I’ve never told Dak not to run,” McCarthy said. “If anything, I encourage him to ignite the scramble drill more because it was something that was non-existent before I got here. I think it’s gotten better each year.”
Here are the numbers:
In Dak’s first three years in the NFL, he finished each season with six rushing touchdowns and had more than 280 rushing yards.
Since 2018, Prescott hasn’t over 277 yards in a season and hasn’t had more than three rushing touchdowns in a season (in 2019 and 2020). In the last two seasons combined, Dak has just two.
Between 2016 and 2019, Prescott rushed for 89 first downs. Since then, he has just 36 first-down runs, with 19 coming this season.
In his four playoff games, Dak has 72 rushing yards on 14 attempts and three rushing touchdowns, as he averages 5.1 yards per carry.
Could Dak’s running ability – especially against a Bucs defense that focuses on stopping the conventional run by using its massive tackles inside – be the tonic to fix offensive Kellen Moore’s “abnormal” offense?
“I think he’s really good at it, but at the end of the day, you can’t push, particularly your quarterback, to play this way,” McCarthy said. “He just has to trust the play call, be aggressive with the adjustments, and play the play.”
But what if “the play” is a Dak run? The ability for Prescott to be a viable runner is there. Instead of using it in case of emergency, perhaps a few designed quarterback runs on Monday night could be just the offensive wrinkle that, as McCarthy says, “ignites” the Cowboys’ offense.
In a win-or-go-home game, what does Dallas have to lose?
Prescott’s running ability is a weapon when used correctly. He just told us so. And maybe on Monday we’re about to see that it is so.
Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Dallas Cowboys?
This content was originally published here.