COWBOYS NOTEBOOK: Dallas winning despite Dak sacks

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) is sacked in the third quarter by New Orleans Saints linebacker A.J. Klein (53) at AT&T Stadium.Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Ezekiel Elliott handling big load; Anthony Brown claimed belt.

One thing that’s easy to overlook because Dallas has won four straight is that the Cowboys haven’t done a very good job of keeping quarterback Dak Prescott upright during the surge.

Prescott has been sacked 17 times during the last four contests. That number spiked when New Orleans dropped the Dallas QB 7 times for 40 yards in losses last week.

“We’ve been much more efficient offensively the last few weeks with the exception of those sacks,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. “We’ve had to dig out of too many drives.”

The Cowboys defeated the Saints 13-10 in a defense-dictated matchup. But the sacks kept Dallas from putting the game away sooner than it did.

Dallas has been dealing with a makeshift offensive line as center Travis Frederick looks like he’ll miss the season dealing with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and right guard Connor Williams and Tyron Smith have both missed time with injures. Even left guard Zack Martin had to miss a few plays in the Cowboys’ win at Philadelphia last month.

But Garrett said during his Wednesday press conference that the entire offense is responsible for avoiding sacks — offensive line blocking, backs picking up blitzes and wide receivers getting open quickly. Time will tell if the sack rate can be improved or if it ends up costing Dallas a crucial game.

ELLIOTT STILL EATING AND FEELING WELL: During the Cowboys' surge of 3 victories in 11 days, running back Ezekiel Elliott touched the ball 90 times and gained 480 total yards.

He missed some practice, but never missed a beat on the field as Elliott played a huge role in all three Dallas victories.

Since the win over New Orleans, Elliott, like the rest of his teammates, has had a couple extra days to recover and it could make a difference on Sunday against the Eagles.

“Zeke handled it really well,” Garrett said. “But it’s good to get the break, get yourself back a little bit, come back refreshed and ready to go.”

CB BROWN TAKES BELT: There were quite a few outstanding performances by Cowboys defensive players that helped them hold back the prolific Saints offense in a 13-10 victory last week. But when it came time to hand out the championship belt Dallas awards to its top defensive standout, cornerback Anthony Brown took it home.

Defensive backfield teammate Jourdan Lewis made the game, clinching interception, but Brown’s overall game earned him the prize. Brown had three total tackles, a sack and two pass deflections.

“(Brown) really did everything in the game,” Garrett said. “If you look at it right form the get go, he was involved in a number of plays where he knocked the ball down. The PBUs really were all over the defense and he had a big part in that. He had a sack in the game. He tackled well. He just was around the action.”

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