DALLAS — With early talk of an MVP caliber season in the rearview mirror, Dak Prescott hasn't looked right since sustaining a calf injury.
The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback was injured on the final play of a 35-29 Week 6 win over the New England Patriots, and returned to the playing field in Week 9 against the Denver Broncos, a 30-16 loss. Despite the Dallas Cowboys posting a 9-4 record and being precipitously close to locking up the NFC East, a niggling feeling that something is off with Prescott remains.
Prior to his injury, Prescott had a 73.15% completion percentage, 16 to 4 touchdown to interception ratio, and a 115.0 passer rating. Since Week 9, Prescott has a 63.18% completion percentage, an 8 to 6 touchdown to interception ratio, and an 82.8 passer rating.
The former 2016 fourth-round pick from Mississippi State doesn't believe that he is in a slump.
"I don’t necessarily feel like I am," Prescott told reporters Thursday. "But obviously we haven’t been playing well. I haven’t been playing my best ball, so, more importantly it’s about me getting back to that, and as I’ve told y’all millions of times, the type of player I am, it’s about practices and repetitions and preparing so that’s what I’m sticking to."
Prescott's 58.8 passer rating against Washington in last week's 27-20 victory at FedEx Field was a career-worst for a win, and the sixth-worst of his career.
Although Prescott acknowledges that slumps can happen to football players, just as they do to golfers and sluggers in baseball, the 28-year-old is recalcitrant in acknowledging that he could be in one himself.
"I do realize I’m not playing my best ball, haven’t been playing it, have made some poor decisions you could say. That’s kind of part of it. I wouldn’t say it’s slump material, but I’m definitely not up to my standards or expectations and when you play at a high level, that’s what you create. So, I’m glad people have the same expectations for my game as I do for myself," said Prescott.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott similarly would not agree that Prescott is in a slump, rather placing the blame on the entire offense as a whole.
"I mean, there is 11 of us out there," Elliott said on Wednesday. "So, I wouldn’t say you could put anything on one player because it takes all 11 guys to make a play, and I think we all need to play better, the whole offense collectively."
The Cowboys offense has a shot to play better as a unit on Sunday against the 4-9 New York Giants. The Dallas offense dusted New York 44-20 in Week 5. Serving up another 40-burger to their NFC East rivals to complete the sweep would be the ultimate declaration that the offense and Prescott aren't in a slump.
Do you think Dak Prescott and the offense will be able to get back on track against the Giants on Sunday? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.