Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough was a test of toughness for the Dallas Cowboys. They aced it.
Dallas tied the back-and-forth matchup at 29 on a Greg Zurlein 49-yard field goal with 20 seconds remaining, and in overtime, quarterback Dak Prescott connected with wideout CeeDee Lamb for a game-winning 35-yard score. The Cowboys are now 5-1, on a five-game winning streak and hold a three-game lead in the NFC East.
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) October 17, 2021
Prescott perhaps shone the brightest of Dallas’ many stars in the 35-29 win. He completed 36 of 51 passes for 445 yards, three touchdowns, an interception, and a 108.7 passer rating. Eight different Cowboys caught at least one pass.
“To have a chance to tie the game, to have a chance to go win the game, and just able to do that, I think it just speaks to the resiliency of this bunch and this team and the bond that we’ve created knowing that we’re not gonna give up and all we need is a chance,” Prescott said in his postgame press conference. “I think that showed tonight.”
Sunday’s game marked Prescott’s 39th career game with a passer rating of 100 or higher, surpassing Philip Rivers for the third-most such games all time in a player’s first 75 starts. Only Aaron Rodgers (43 games) and fellow Cowboys great (and Sunday’s TV color commentator) Tony Romo (41) had more. It was also the ninth 400-yard passing game of Prescott’s career, matching the total of all other Cowboys quarterbacks combined.
On the season, Prescott has thrown for 1,813 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions, and his completion percentage (73.1 percent) is second only to Arizona’s Kyler Murray (73.8) among regular starters.
However, there were reports following the game that Prescott, 28, injured his right calf on his game-winner to Lamb.
“I just came down funny, and that’s what it was,” Prescott said in his press conference. “It’s something we checked out. I’ll be fine, I can promise you that.”
Prescott said he could have kept playing if he needed to, although he was wearing a walking boot and has an MRI scheduled for Monday. Prescott said those measures were simply precautionary, but the rumblings of an October injury may leave Cowboys fans with a nightmarish deja vu. Last year, Prescott went down in Week 5 with a gruesome compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle that ended his season.
In the aftermath of that injury, Prescott posted an Instagram video in which he thanked his fans, friends, teammates and family for their prayers and support. He also expressed his trust in God and his excitement for how He would work in the midst of the injury. Prescott has learned to be thankful to God, even in times of crisis.
“I’m just excited — excited for God’s purpose and plan. I know it’s bigger than anything that I see or I could have imagined, but I’m trusting Him. My faith is doubled down more than ever and I’m thankful that He’s my Savior and He guides me in life.
“So I know through Him, all this will be possible and all this will be a great comeback and a great story.”
So far so good.
Last March, despite any doubts about his injury, Prescott signed a four-year, $160 million contract to remain in Dallas.
“To me, it wasn’t a gamble,” Prescott said at the time. “So even sitting there, holding my leg or whatever on the field, trying to put it back into place, or later on being in the hospital and waking up from surgery, that’s just what God’s thrown at me. If you’ve known my life, if you’ve known my story, whatever circumstance that is, I’m going to take it with a smile and be thankful that God has put me in this position to overcome it, to be an example to others.”
Throughout this season, Prescott has been writing “Faith” on his left wristband.
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Prescott will have an extra week for his calf to heal, as Dallas is on a bye this week. The Cowboys’ next game will be on Oct. 31 at the 3-3 Minnesota Vikings at 8:20 p.m. ET.
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