Everything was going *really* bad for the Cowboys on Sunday night — just ask Stephen A. Smith — and then, well, it got even worse. Dak Prescott, who completed just 14-of-29 passes for 134 yards and an interception, suffered a fracture in his throwing hand on a pass when the game was all but over. The Buccaneers won, 19-3.
Per owner Jerry Jones, the injury is above his thumb and will require surgery which would force him to miss multiple weeks of play, though he won’t be placed on the IR. Jones has optimism he could return in as few as four weeks. Still, considering the Cowboys are already without LG Connor McGovern, WR James Washington, and S Jayron Kearse already, yikes!
It’s Cooper Rush time?
The 28-year-old backup, who was an undrafted QB from Central Michigan in 2017, is Prescott’s likely replacement for now. He stepped in for the final six minutes to complete 7-of-13 passes for just 64 yards without a touchdown or interception against the Bucs.
In five seasons with the Cowboys, he’s only appeared in eight games and thrown three touchdowns to one interception. His first and only start came on Halloween last year when he led Dallas to a 20-16 win over the Vikings (in which he threw a pair of TDs).
There isn’t a ton of reason why Rush should inspire much confidence in fans, but his familiarity with the franchise helps. Further down the line is Will Grier, who is currently on the practice team. He’s played in just two games and has four interceptions without a TD on his resume. Yeesh.
Will the Cowboys sign another QB instead?
It’s possible, though the idea stings just nine months after signing Prescott to a $160 million deal. Cam Newton is the biggest name on the free agent list, though Dallas could opt to try and trade for another team’s No. 2 like the Saints’ Andy Dalton, the 49ers’ Jimmy Garappolo or the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph. Nothing is imminent, though.
It’s not even Week 2, but is it time to throw Dallas’s season in the garbage?
It wasn’t looking pretty before Prescott got injured, but now things are a real mess. Fortunately, their schedule isn’t too brutal in the interim. Dallas (+6.5) plays the Bengals, who struggled in Week 1, this weekend followed by the Giants, Commanders, Rams (Yikes), Eagles, Lions and Bears. That takes them into November when Prescott should return.
In the short-term, a one-touchdown spread feels kind this weekend, but Joe Burrow is coming off a game in which he threw four picks and lost to the Steelers, and this game is at home for the Cowboys. It is also notable that Dallas’ defense held Tom Brady to just one touchdown and picked him off once. Leonard Fournette raked in 127 rushing yards on 21 carries, but was never able to reach the endzone.
For the long haul, there’s a reason the Cowboys (+600) hold the worst odds to win the NFC East and Vegas thinks they’ll win just 6.5 games. But it’s far too early to rule them out of making the playoffs (+250).