Mac Engel

In Dallas Cowboys’ preseason opener, Dak Prescott makes a bonehead play

Frog Talk with Drew Davison and Mac Engel

TCU beat writer Drew Davison and columnist Mac Engel answer questions and get story ideas from Frogs fans about the upcoming football season.
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TCU beat writer Drew Davison and columnist Mac Engel answer questions and get story ideas from Frogs fans about the upcoming football season.

After catching a ball from one of his own passes, Dak Prescott’s 2019 season debut was thankfully over.

The only thing that mattered isn’t that Dak caught his own deflected pass in the first quarter Saturday night, but that he actually tried to run with it once he did.

It begs the question: What was he thinking? Did he have money on the game?

Dak has to accept, and get through his head, that the most important part of any play in his preseason is that he not get hurt. The rest is irrelevant.

The Cowboys do not want Cooper Rush, Mike White or, worse, Jay Cutler at quarterback this season.

He is not a rookie fourth-round pick who is trying to impress the coaches and the Joneses just to make the roster.

Dak is the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. He will soon be approaching that time when it’s dumb to run the ball in a regular-season game, and he is definitely at that point when it is during the preseason.

He played one offensive series with his starting buddies in the Cowboys’ first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Dak completed all four of his passes, including one attempt from the 49ers’ 6-yard line that was deflected into the air before he caught it and tried to run with it. He lost a yard, the drive stalled and the Cowboys settled for a Brett Maher field goal.

Replays showed that had the ball not been deflected, it was likely to be intercepted in the end zone.

In this situation, Dak simply must resist the temptation to catch the ball and to try to do something with it. Knock it down, and live to tell about it.

“I just wanted to show everybody I could catch, too,” Dak said after the game, “then I figured it was time to get down. I showed off the hands, and then I could get down to protect myself, too.”

Other than that play, it was an ordinary first preseason game for Dak.

Dak’s first pass of the night came on the game’s second play, a 16-yard reception to receiver Michael Gallup for 16 yards. Dak went deep to Gallup on the next play, and the attempt resulted in a pass interference call, a gain of 26 yards.

The knock is the drive stalled inside the 10-yard line, which would be a theme for the evening.

Dak played behind his entire starting offensive line, including center Travis Frederick.

Frederick missed the entire 2018 NFL season after he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome.

The last time Frederick played was the preseason opener in San Francisco last year; he was diagnosed with the illness the next week.

“It was a good feeling to be out there, playing with the guys and being a part of the game,” Frederick said at halftime. “I am trying to treat everything just like a normal preseason and a normal training camp. That is what this was tonight; a good first drive for us. It was a chance for us to get a couple of runs in, a couple of passes and get out to let some of our younger guys have a go at it.”

Tight end Jason Witten, who came out of retirement to return this season, did not play.

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