Up until Week 18, the Dallas Cowboys had a shot at being the NFC's No. 1 overall seed with home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. T'was unlikely both the Eagles and 49ers would lose against opponents with nothing to play for, which was the only way Dallas would sneak into the top spot, but the first qualification seemed simple enough: just beat the Washington Commanders.
A franchise in shambles, the Commanders debuted a mascot in Week 17 that was as uninspiring as Carson Wentz's play. Washington had nothing to fight for and was starting a rookie QB who was set to make his first start against a ferocious Cowboy defense.
What a cakewalk, right?
Or at least the Dak Prescott the haters are wont to describe.
Prescott completed 14 passes. Missed 23 of them. In total, he garnered 128 passing yards. Averaging a ripe 3.5 yards per attempt. He led the Cowboys to six total points. Good enough to tie the number of points he handed to the Commanders' defense.
Even with the single-digit Week 18 output, the Cowboys have averaged 32.5 points per game since Prescott returned in Week 7. That would be a league-best mark by a full three points.
In seven of 11 games since returning from injury, he completed better than 70% of his passes. In eight of those games he threw for multiple touchdown passes. He's 4th in the league in TD percentage and at times has looked every bit the franchise QB Dallas needs to make a playoff run.
For the first time in NFL history, a quarterback who has missed five or more games on the season led (or co-led) the league in interceptions. That man was Dak Prescott.
An interception percentage worse than that of Justin Fields, when you have the weapons that Dallas does, is indefensible.
Enter the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Matthew Stafford led the league in interceptions in 2021 and went on to win the Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams. All was forgotten. The same can happen to Dak if he starts off on the right foot when the Cowboys travel to Tampa for SUPER Wild Card Weekend.
The Bucs are top ten in the league in passing defense but only the Giants and Dolphins have forced fewer turnovers on the season. This could be a perfect opportunity for Stella to get her groove back.
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