Unfortunately for the Dallas Cowboys, last night’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wasn’t just a bad dream.
The Cowboys mustered up just three points and 244 yards of total offense. Dallas had 173 passing yards and 71 rushing yards.
But the worst part of it all is that things are going to get worse before they get better. Dak Prescott is expected to undergo surgery on his throwing hand today and after hitting it off a Buccaneers defensive lineman while following through on a pass.
Prescott will likely miss six to eight weeks while recovering from the surgery, but no official timetable has been announced. That would put him back in action in Week 7 on the earlier end, and Week 9 at the later end.
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Fantasy football fallout
Missing Prescott will give headaches to Cowboys ownership, as well as any fantasy footballer who has a Cowboys player on their roster.
Prescott is the straw that stirs the drink for Dallas’ offense. Hopefully, those with Prescott as QB1 in fantasy have a solid backup on their bench to fill in for Prescott while he’s out. Normally, when a starter like Prescott goes down with injury, fantasy owners put in waiver claims for the backup who will assume the starting job. But that won’t happen with Cooper Rush taking over as QB1 for Dallas.
Rush has been in the NFL since 2017, but has only started one career game. Rush’s lone start came in Week 7 last season against the Minnesota Vikings, a game the Cowboys won 20-16. Rush actually performed well in the win, throwing for 325 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Unfortunately, Rush can’t be expected to repeat that performance in the coming weeks while Prescott is sidelined.
How Prescott’s injury impacts teammates
According to ESPN, the three most rostered fantasy players from the Cowboys are Elliott, Lamb and Schultz.
Prescott’s injury will certainly diminish Lamb and Schultz’s fantasy value as the season progresses. With Prescott healthy, both players are considered top 10 options at their positions. With a lesser QB getting Lamb and Schultz the ball for the next six to eight weeks, expect steep declines from both players until Prescott can return.
It was also noticeable in the loss to Tampa Bay that the Buccaneers’ defense gave extra attention to Lamb and Schultz. This forced the Cowboys’ offense to spread the ball around to other receivers, which obviously didn’t work out well.
Defenses will likely continue to key in on Lamb and Schultz until Michael Gallup returns, which is expected to happen before Week 4. Getting veteran receiver James Washington back will also be helpful, but he’s not expected to return until sometime after Week 6.
Prescott’s injury makes Elliott the focal point of the Cowboys’ offense, which could be a good thing for his fantasy owners. In the preseason, Jerry Jones emphasized that Elliott is the focal point of the Cowboys offense. Jones was even quoted as saying, “we go as Zeke goes”.
That wasn’t the case in Sunday night’s loss to the Buccaneers. Elliott rushed the ball 10 times for 52 yards.
Moving forward, the Cowboys will need to emphasize getting the rushing attack more involved in the offense if they want to win games. The Cowboys passed the ball 42 times in the loss to Tampa Bay and it clearly wasn’t a formula for success. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore must make some adjustments to the game plan going into the Cowboys Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.