Dak Prescott probably prefers to not see the New York Giants in the playoffs.
While Terrance Williams and Ezekiel Elliott had redemptive games of sorts against the Giants, Prescott had his worst game of the season. The rookie quarterback completed only 17 of 37 passes for 165 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
His 45.4 passer rating was the worst of his career.
“I just wasn’t playing well at all,” Prescott said. “I didn’t play my best game obviously, but that’s a great defense. I give them credit.”
The Dallas Cowboys lost 10-7, only their second loss this season. Their other came against the Giants in the season opener, 20-19.
This is the NFL ... You’re playing great defenses every week. You’re not going to have your best game every week.
Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott
In that first game, Prescott completed only 25 of 45 passes for 227 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. His 69.4 passer rating was the worst of his career before Sunday.
Elliott rushed for a career-worst 51 yards on 20 carries in the opener.
Still, the Cowboys might have won that game had Williams run out of bounds after catching a pass with 12 seconds left. The clock ran out, denying Dan Bailey a chance for a career-best field goal of 60-plus yards.
On Sunday, the Cowboys’ last gasp ended at their own 3-yard line.
With a chance for a fifth career comeback, Prescott went 0-for-4 on the Cowboys’ final drive. The previous drive ended on the Dallas 38 when Dez Bryant lost a fumble on his only reception.
It was that kind of night for the Cowboys, who went 1-for-15 on third down after going 1-for-9 on third down last week.
“Knowing how talented our offense is, having high expectations for myself and just stalling drive after drive, it gets frustrating,” Prescott said.
The turnovers hurt even worse.
Prescott hadn’t thrown multiple interceptions in a game in more than two years. The last time he threw multiple interceptions was on Nov. 15, 2014, at Alabama as a junior at Mississippi State.
He threw two Sunday.
“We’ve seen Dak have ... challenging series, and we’ve seen him come back and right the ship,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
We’ve seen Dak have ... challenging series, and we’ve seen him come back and right the ship. Certainly we have no expectation that we won’t come back.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
Ball security was what helped the Cowboys win 11 consecutive games. It also helped Prescott win the job over Tony Romo.
Prescott’s first career interception came on his 177th career attempt, setting an NFL record for the most pass attempts without a pick to start a career. That streak ended at Green Bay, and Prescott threw a pick the following week at Philadelphia before starting another 170-plus streak.
Early in the second quarter against Giants — on his 172nd attempt since throwing his last pick on Oct. 30 — Prescott was intercepted by Janoris Jenkins after Bryant slipped down. He then threw an interception in the third quarter that sailed past Bryant and into the hands of Leon Hall.
“That was just a bad play,” Prescott said of the second pick. “I’m the first one to tell you, it’s always take your calculated risk, take your shots down the field when you have your better chances than they did, and I kind of wasn’t sure I guess on the route and how Dez was going to come out of the route. ... Just wasn’t pretty. Wasn’t the right decision.”
The Giants capitalized on the latter pick, taking a 10-7 lead on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr.
Prescott did throw a touchdown pass, and has 20 touchdowns and four interceptions this season.