Yes, the Dallas Cowboys played well enough to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.
But after a strong start and a 21-12 halftime lead, the Cowboys went scoreless in the third quarter before making a late run.
Meanwhile, Packers superstar Aaron Rodgers did what superstars do. He found a way to win, 35-31 in front of a frenzied crowd of 93,329.
Dallas will go into its bye week in a place unimaginable just a few weeks ago. The Cowboys sit at 2-3 with no answer on how to maintain their offense as games get deeper.
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But while the typical questions are centered around the defensive meltdown, perhaps this team is asking or expecting too much from quarterback Dak Prescott.
Despite a slow second half, Prescott produced an Aaron Rodgers-type comeback, directing a 79-yard scoring drive and capping it with an 11-yard run to take a 31-28 lead.
The problem, though, was that 1:13 remained for Rodgers, who directed his own game-winning drive.
“You’re playing with fire if you’re trying to run the clock down,” Prescott said. “It’s a slippery slope, and for us it’s important to get in the end zone and put the pressure on them.”
Dallas surrendered what was at one point a 21-6 lead with Prescott cruising along with 15 completions for 168 yards, three touchdowns and a 143.1 passer rating in the first half.
By the end of the game, Prescott had completed 10 out of 19 more attempts for 83 yards, with 33 coming on the Cowboys’ final scoring drive. He finished with a 105.2 rating.
“The opportunities in games like this are few and far between,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “It’s unrealistic to say that we’re just going to score touchdowns on every drive.
“That’s not the NFL, that’s never been the NFL, so we were pleased to score on the first three possessions and then you just have to keep battling.”
But perhaps lost in those first three drives was how Prescott kept each one alive. He averted a potential disaster on the Cowboys’ third play from scrimmage, connecting with Brice Butler for 49 yards after scrambling from a collapsing pocket.
The Cowboys opened that drive with Ezekiel Elliott getting the ball for minus-4 and 1 yard, so making the connection to Butler changed the complexion of the start.
Prescott continued to use his feet in Tony Romo-esque fashion, connecting with fullback Rod Smith for 18 yards to set up Cole Beasley’s second touchdown catch of the game. He also ran for 21 yards to keep the Cowboys’ third scoring drive rolling.
“Just to be able to keep the plays alive, move his feet and look downfield, not everyone has the type of ability that Dak Prescott does,” Smith said. “He just rolled out and my part at that point was to just try and get open and try to make a play.”
While having playmakers is a strong suit, it’s clear that the product isn’t revolutionary when it comes to catching defenses off guard.
The second-half drives for Dallas produced a punt, a field goal, an interception returned for a touchdown and the 8-minute, 43-second go-ahead drive.
But for all the sputtering, Prescott delivered brilliantly in the clutch with that 17-play, 79-yard scoring drive.
The Packers got a heavy dose of Elliott, who carried eight times on that possession for 39 yards and finished with 29 carries for 116 yards.
Tight end Jason Witten caught eight passes for 61 yards, Dez Bryant had five receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown, and Cole Beasley had four catches for 23 yards and two scores.