DALLAS — The slump appeared to make a comeback in the Dallas Cowboys' 25-22 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 at AT&T Stadium that knocked them out of contention for home-field advantage.
Quarterback Dak Prescott followed up his 330-yard, four-touchdown performance in Week 16 with a 226-yard, three-touchdown effort against the Cardinals defense.
According to Dallas owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones, the confidence is still very high in the two-time Pro Bowler.
"I’m very pleased, very pleased with what Dak has been doing," Jones told "Shan & RJ" on 105.3 "The Fan" [KRLD-FM] Tuesday. "I can appreciate the challenges that we’re facing from the defenses that we’re playing. But in general I’m going to say ‘not thrilled to death,’ I’m ecstatic we have him here with the health he’s got, with the season that he’s got under his belt, with where we are."
The Cowboys locked up the NFC East before they even took the field against Washington in Week 16, but they needed to win out and hope the Green Bay Packers similarly lost at least one more game in the final two weeks. At 11-5 and the Packers at 13-3, Dallas can't get the No. 1 seed. The road to the Super Bowl on the NFC side goes through Lambeau Field.
Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters on Jan. 3 that Prescott has been meeting the goals each week that they have outlined for him.
"You look at that over the course of the season and we have goals each week," said McCarthy. "He’s been hitting those goals on a regular basis. There’s always plays and I think the fact that we’re pretty open about the evaluation, we tend to talk about the one or two that the connection isn’t what it should be. There’s a lot of good numbers on our offense, and I think you have to identify that also with the things you want to isolate from the other side of the fence."
Prescott has completed 389 passes on 569 attempts for 4,154 yards, a career-high 32 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
Jones wouldn't change anything with regards to his quarterback and the overall state of the team.
"Defensively we’re outstanding in our depth," said Jones. "We’re outstanding in our participation of who we’re counting on on the defensive side of the ball, certainly the first playoff game and during the playoffs.
"With all of that in mind, I wouldn’t want to try to redeal this hand at all.”
Do you think Dak Prescott will have an MVP-caliber performance in the playoffs? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.