ARLINGTON _ The Dallas Cowboys still have work to do get back in the win column.
But if one half of football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium Sunday is any indication, the kids are all right and the Cowboys are seemingly back on track.
Most important, rookie quarterback sensation Dak Prescott rebounded from his worse performance of the season in 10-7 loss the the New York Giants, snapping a franchise record 11-game winning streak, with a near perfect first half.
Prescott completed 21 of 25 passes for 191 yards to help the Cowboys take a 17-6 lead at halftime.
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The Cowboys (11-2) couldn’t clinch NFC East title nor a first round bye on Sunday because the Giants won their earlier game against the Detroit Lions.
But it’s important for the Cowboys to get back in the win column and stay ahead of Giants in the division race.
It’s even more important for Prescott to play well and quell a mini-quarterback controversy, considering some fans and media had started calling for former starter Tony Romo to replace the rookie after last week’s effort when he completed 17 of 37 passes for 165 yards with one two touchdown and two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 45.4.
It was Prescott’s third consecutive game with less than 200 yards passing, causing panic among fans.
Prescott opened the game completing his first 10 passes to seemingly stave off the controversy and calm the crowd.
But it was rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, who set the tone early.
Elliott rushed 10 times for 48 yards in the first half.
He became a viral sensation when he capped a 74-yard drive with 2-yard run and promptly jumped into the huge Salvation Army red kettle in the back of the end zone.
The crowd went crazy and the internet went wild. But he was flagged by the officials for excessive celebration.
The Cowboys overcame the celebration penalty by forcing a punt on the ensuing Tampa Bay drive.
It was the 13th rushing touchdown of the season for Elliott, setting a new Cowboys rookie record.
Prescott got into the record book on the next drive when he capped a 64-yard drive with a 2-yard run.
It was his sixth rushing touchdown of the season, surpassing Don Meredith for most rushing touchdowns by a Cowboys quarterback.
The Cowboys led 17-6 at halftime because the defense held the Buccaneers in check and the team got back to its familiar formula of controlling the clock.
The Cowboys led in time of possession 20 minutes, 20 seconds to 9:40 for Tampa Bay.
The only negatives of the first half were two missed field goals by Dan Bailey. He missed from 56 and 52 yards.