Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott changed nearly half of the team’s run calls based on coverage, affecting running back Ezekiel Elliott’s game.
The Cowboys may have lost in their Week 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but quarterback Dak Prescott employed a winning strategy: He traded plays based on defensiveness.
According to Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, Prescott wandered the field equipped with a running play 28 times. On 12 of those occasions, Prescott reviewed the play based on how the defense looked.
The reveal bodes well for Prescott, who returns to the NFL after a gruesome leg injury in Week 5 of 2020. Prescott nearly led the Cowboys to a victory last Thursday, passing for 403 yards, three touchdowns. and an interception.
While making scrimmage adjustments is a great quarterback, it also means less use of the team’s running back – in this case, Ezekiel Elliott.
Cowboys: Dak Prescott limited Ezekiel Elliott’s Week 1 production
Elliott and Prescott entered the NFL in the 2016 Draft, but Elliott developed a perception as one of the elite running backs in the NFL. Their recent contracts demonstrate how each was valued by the Cowboys: Elliott signed quickly a massive dealwhile the Prescott negotiations dragged on for months.
While Prescott was out of the game last year, Elliott played and showed decreased productivity. Former Cowboys running back Maurice Jones-Drew ranked Elliott as the sixth best running back Heading into 2021. Elliott posted career lows last season, rushing just under 1,000 yards last season.
“This season feels like a watershed year for Zeke,” Jones-Drew wrote in his review. “The line is healthy, Dak is back and patience is wearing thin in Dallas. According to Zeke’s social media accounts, he will be ready.”
Last season, the Cowboys faced a number of problems, but with a healthy Dak Prescott and offensive line, it will be very clear whether Thursday’s game was about reads or about Zeke.