Going into the sixth game of this still-young season, Dallas ranks 29th in the NFL in passing offense.
Cowboys fans are still missing the days when Dez Bryant and Jason Witten made big catches in key moments. But, somehow, the longer the Cowboys go without consistently making big plays in the passing game, the more the burden falls on quarterback Dak Prescott’s shoulders.
Prescott has completed 89 of 144 passes this season, good enough for 28th in the league in that category. He’s working with a new group of wide receivers, including veterans Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin and Deonte Thompson and rookie Michael Gallup. Cole Beasley, the only Dallas wide receiver on the current roster who caught a pass for the Cowboys last season, leads the team with 17 catches for 193 yards.
Questions have come up about the receivers ability to create space and the offensive line’s continuity with center Travis Frederick on injured reserve.
“It’s not just one group,” Hurns said. “We’ve just got to get on the same page across the board and play to the standard that we’re capable of.”
Hurns spent a lot of time with reporters around him this week as he critiqued the offense and then clarified his critiques.
But most of the queries from the media concern Prescott and whether or not he can make quality throws in tough moments. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Prescott is capable of being on target.
“When he’s in a really good position, he can be a very accurate passer,” Garrett said. “I think we’ve seen that throughout his career up to this point and I think that’s something you have to continue to work with him on.”
Garrett continued by saying there’s a small percentage of plays when a quarterback is in “really good position.”
“The numbers that we typically use are if you drop back 30 times in a game, you have four or five clean pockets,” Garrett said. “Typically, you’re moving, you’re climbing, you’re having to do something.”
In other words, Prescott has to improve in situations that are less than ideal.