Sunday Night Football could not have gone any worse for the Dallas Cowboys.
Not only did they lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but quarterback Dak Prescott fractured a bone in his thumb.
Prescott is expected to miss 6-8 weeks and the Cowboys plan to move forward with Cooper Rush at QB.
Dallas is now in trouble as they have not had much success without Prescott in the lineup over the years.
The Cowboys have a record of 53-33 with Prescott as the starter.
But, when he does not play the Cowboys have a 5-7 record.
Also, Dallas’ points per game drop from 25.9 to 21.0 without Prescott.
The whole offense seems to not operate as smoothly and the skilled players see a hit to their production all because of Prescott’s absence.
So what is next for Dallas?
It appears that Dak will miss the next seven games and most likely return after their Week 9 bye.
For a team that looked terrible offensively in week 1, they must make some serious changes to the offense to stay in contention.
Rush has been a career backup, and he has only started one game in his career.
Cooper Rush on 63 career pass attempts:
🔵 38 completions
⚪️ 488 yards
🔵 3 TDs
⚪️ 1 INT pic.twitter.com/kL6vWOsPPv
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 12, 2022
Now he gets the chance to start for an extended period and it will be interesting to see how he performs.
In the one game he started in 2021, Rush led the Cowboys to a road victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
But, this preseason, Rush did not look very good.
Some even wanted to see Will Grier get the backup job over him.
Dallas is expected to commit to Rush for Week 2 but if he looks terrible it would not be a surprise to see Grier go into the game.
While things certainly seem bleak in Dallas, the Cowboys need to find a way to win some games before Prescott returns.
Offense Must Improve
The Dallas offense is facing an uphill battle because they already do not have very good weapons.
Dalton Schultz is still a reliable tight end, but Dallas needs more.
Especially with a backup QB now under center.
The pressure is on the offensive coordinator, Kellen Moore, and head coach, Mike McCarthy, to get this offense flowing.
They need to change their entire game plan to play to the strengths of Rush.
Also, they should use the run game more.
Ezekiel Elliott looked good against one of the best run defenses in Week 1.
He carried the ball 10 times for 52 yards, 5.2 yards per carry great.
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott gained between 5 and 7 yards on eight of his 10 carries Sunday vs. Buccaneers. Last year, when limited by knee injury, he went 11 straight games (Weeks 6 to 17) without recording that many gains of 5 or more yards in same outing. Good sign for run game. pic.twitter.com/YlroD18lFP
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 12, 2022
Tony Pollard should be involved much more in the offense from here on out.
He only got eight touches in Week 1 and he should see maybe double that per game the rest of the season.
The Cowboys defense is plenty good to help this team win games.
But, the offense will need to start scoring touchdowns.
Essentially, when your star QB goes down you need every other player to step up and produce.
That is exactly what Dallas will be looking for from their offense if they want to stay in the race by the time their franchise QB returns.