The Dallas Cowboys added harm to insult throughout their season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, as quarterback Dak Prescott is set to miss several weeks after struggling a throwing hand harm that can require surgical procedure.
Cowboys proprietor Jerry Jones told reporters after the 19-3 loss that Prescott will miss a big period of time. In line with ESPN’s Todd Archer, Prescott’s timetable is predicted to be round 6-8 weeks, so the Cowboys are prone to place him on injured reserve this week.
How does Dak Prescott’s harm impression the Dallas Cowboys offense?
Prescott suffered the harm within the fourth quarter when Buccaneers go rusher Shaquil Barrett slapped the quarterback’s hand throughout a followthrough on a throw. He’ll now endure surgical procedure to repair a joint above his thumb. Following the harm, Prescott was instantly changed by longtime backup Cooper Rush.
It’s value noting that earlier than the thumb harm, Prescott struggled mightily. He accomplished simply 14 of 29 passes for 134 yards and an interception. The Cowboys’ offense scored simply as soon as and by no means reached the tip zone underneath Prescott’s steering.
Dallas has handled a number of notable accidents over the previous few weeks, and Prescott’s ailment is clearly essentially the most notable. However the offensive line is a piece in progress, and the wideout group is in shambles. With Prescott out of the lineup, issues are prone to get even worse.
CeeDee Lamb, Ezekiel Elliott, and Tony Pollard might want to choose up the slack round Rush, Will Grier, or whoever else the Cowboys would possibly eye on the commerce market or in free agency. The Cowboys’ offense seemed unhealthy with Prescott, nevertheless it might be in for an excellent worse stretch with whoever replaces him. — Mike Kaye, PFN Lead NFL Reporter
Nothing is worse than needing to “break glass in case of emergency” in Week 1. Sadly, that’s the case we now face with Prescott needing surgical procedure on his thumb.
Whereas Rush will do his greatest, each single fantasy football asset on the Cowboys we depend on immediately has decreased in worth and upside. We’ve seen this earlier than, sadly, however the circumstances are a bit totally different.
In 2020, Dallas had an terrible protection which pressured Prescott to play at an MVP stage and tempo. From the primary 4 weeks, Amari Cooper was the WR1, averaging 21.3 PPR/sport. Lamb was as much as WR16 (16.3 PPR) with Michael Gallup at WR33 (11.6). However for the remainder of the season, Cooper noticed a 37% drop in weekly scoring, with Lamb dropping 27% and Gallup 10%.
I don’t really feel the impression shall be fairly as terrible as Dallas doesn’t have the identical variety of mouths to feed. Of these three, Lamb is the one one energetic in the mean time, so there may be some goal funneling occurring. He led the workforce with 11 in opposition to the Bucs on Sunday evening.
The standard of these targets will drop, which ought to come as no shock. Rush is nowhere close to the QB of Prescott, so don’t count on to see Lamb within the WR1 vary till Prescott returns. Assuming the Cowboys’ offensive line can hold him upright, Rush ought to nonetheless get his fair proportion. In Rush’s fill-in sport final yr in opposition to the Rams, Lamb caught six passes for 112 yards.
The participant I’m watching is Dalton Schultz. A 100-target candidate, Schultz led the workforce with seven receptions Sunday evening, which was 33% of the workforce whole. Given how bleak TE is that this yr, Schultz must be the mid-round worth he was drafted to be. As a dependable, over-the-middle goal, Schultz would possibly stroll away the least impacted by Prescott’s harm.
I do count on to see extra reliance on the working sport, using each Elliott and Pollard to take a few of the weight off Rush’s shoulders. However with stacked containers plus a wafer-thin OL depth chart, it is perhaps a impartial transfer in the event that they wrestle for effectivity. — Tommy Garrett, PFN Senior Fantasy Analyst
How does Prescott’s absence impression the Cowboys’ betting odds?
A really robust schedule and the ascending Philadelphia Eagles led us in late August to advise betting against the favored Cowboys to win the NFC East. An overworked Elliott and diminished offensive line didn’t assist issues. As a substitute, Philadelphia was our choose to take the divisional crown, regardless of their worse odds.
Whereas accidents akin to Prescott’s can by no means be predicted, the workforce’s lack of QB depth exacerbates an already tenuous state of affairs for a franchise that received’t have their star quarterback for critically necessary video games in opposition to the Bengals, Rams, and Eagles. A practical best-case situation would have him return in time to face Inexperienced Bay on the highway — not a really perfect first sport again.
The lack of Prescott for almost half a season would mark an enormous statistical setback for Lamb and significant setbacks for secondary receivers like Schultz and the returning Gallup. In the meantime, extra detrimental sport scripts would hamper Elliott and Pollard, with Elliott needing far more receiving-game work to justify any remotely bullish sentiments.
Dallas is now formally an extended shot to win their division. They’ll be lucky to enter the Packers contest at 4-4 after which might want to just about run the desk in opposition to Inexperienced Bay, Minnesota, Indianapolis, and many others. to achieve 11 and even 12 wins. Whereas it’s doable, there’s little room for error. And in a really aggressive NFC, a dip to 10 wins would possibly hold them from the postseason. — BJ Rudell, PFN Betting Director
How does Prescott’s harm impression Dallas’ 2023 NFL Draft plans?
I’ll cease you earlier than you get going with, “It’s time to maneuver on from Dak.” Prescott is an excellent NFL quarterback when wholesome and has the expertise to steer the Cowboys to significant victories. He’s additionally underneath contract till 2025, so on the floor, there isn’t a lot of an NFL draft impression with Prescott’s harm.
That mentioned, trying on the depth chart behind Prescott, there’s a case to be made that Dallas might use draft capital to improve their backup QB state of affairs. Proper now, the subsequent man up is Rush, an skilled however very uninspiring choice, who received’t hold the Cowboys aggressive.
By its nature, the backup quarterback received’t all the time hold the workforce aggressive the best way a starter would, however Dallas might stand to draft a mid-round QB subsequent yr and develop them right into a dependable security blanket. Thus, they’ll keep away from or at the very least restrict this precariousness sooner or later.
So, which QBs qualify for the 2023 NFL Draft? The board remains to be removed from settled, however should you’re on the lookout for mobility and toughness — two traits that outline high quality backups — a couple of names that stand out are Jake Haener, Hendon Hooker, and Spencer Sanders. Haener is essentially the most correct of the three. Hooker has the perfect size-athleticism mixture, whereas Sanders has the off-script skill, working prowess, and arm expertise to be the perfect buy-low worth if he can kick his volatility long run. — Ian Cummings, PFN NFL Draft Analyst