Dak Prescott grinned, going left to survey the discord of window-banging, foot-stepping, applauding and cheering that made it simple to fail to remember it was without a doubt only a short time after 4 p.m. neighborhood time.
“For it to be a noon game, they’re ready to go,” Prescott said of Cowboys fans at the field-level bar — visible through a room-length window — nearly drowning out his postgame news conference. “That’s awesome, right?”
The Cowboys had quite recently improved to 3-1, knocking off the Carolina Panthers 36-28 in a game in which Dallas had driven by 23 from the get-go in the final quarter. Prescott was seven days shy of the principal commemoration of his season-finishing lower leg injury. He had tossed four scores and committed no errors, scrambling twice for 36 yards also. The game went so without a hitch, he didn’t understand he hadn’t tossed for 200 yards.
So why stem the tide? Prescott siphoned his arms, waving for the shirt clad group to increase the volume.
The window-banging escalated, a vibration exuding through the room in the archives of AT&T Stadium. A “We should Go Cowboys” serenade became stronger and stronger.
“I have to call a snap in this (noise),” he goaded reporters. “Y’all can ask questions in this.”
On Sunday, against Carolina’s highest level safeguard, the Cowboys did substantially more than simply call snaps in the midst of such energy. They arranged their third consecutive success to follow a two-point Week 1 misfortune at the home of the reigning champ Buccaneers. They scrambled for 200 a greater number of yards than the Panthers’ guard was permitting entering the game. Prescott’s tossing shoulder showed how far it’s come from an instructional course strain when he broadcasted out a dime to recipient Amari Cooper for a 35-yard score in an unstable second from last quarter.
Also, Prescott was feeling excessively acceptable to the point that he didn’t attempt to top the mint green suit he’d shook after Monday night’s 41-21 success over the Eagles. No, this time a T-shirt and Jordans would do. Neither the clothing nor the rival’s blueprint made a difference: Prescott was certain his group could win any look.
“We think we can beat you with the run, we can beat you with the pass,” Prescott said. “Whatever you want to give us, the openings, we’re going to take them.”
Prescott bet on Cooper downfield in single inclusion. He finished a handoff to running back Ezekiel Elliott for a first-quarter score up the center. He discovered every one of his main two tight finishes on all around planned plays – plays that Prescott and organizer Kellen Moore had talked about at halftime to change based off guarded looks they’d recognized the primary half. Four scores, four distinct players, four unique plans. What was most significant was that the Cowboys reacted.
The Panthers missing a 54-yard field objective? Score, Cowboys. Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold retaining a drive-killing sack from youngsters Chauncey Golston and Osa Odighizuwa? Score, Cowboys. Darnold caught by intensely hot cornerback Trevon Diggs? Score, Cowboys. Lastly, when Diggs seized one more pass expected for Carolina star recipient D.J. Moore, the Cowboys scored a field objective.
No Carolina botch went unpunished. A 14-13 Panthers halftime lead was undependable.
“Just to be down a point coming into halftime and then coming out of halftime and taking off in the third quarter like we did, when we focus one play at a time, when we complement the defense’s turnovers with touchdowns rather than a turnover of our own or field goal, that’s what it turns into,” Prescott said. “Just keep learning from each game and taking the momentum. We just beat a good team right there.
“To take the confidence, take the momentum with that victory is going to be huge.”
During the principal half and the final quarter, the Cowboys were in no way, shape or form the better group. They neglected to prevent Darnold from two first-half surging scores and slowed down on a drive as the Panthers’ guard forced Prescott. In any case, the Cowboys grounded their game in the run, the Dallas hostile line further building up the type at which it can play. The Panthers entered the game permitting 45 surging yards. The Cowboys left with 245.
“Every football game has an ebb and flow to it,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “There are momentum swings that you have to stay in tune with. You have to be ready for the counterpunches that the opponent plays, but I like the way our guys stay up on the balls of their feet and keep punching.”
The Cowboys realize they can’t depend week after week on the force the wild second from last quarter conveyed. Elliott’s 47-yard run was empowering, his longest convey since his tenderfoot season in 2016. His 143 hurrying yards positioned second-best among his exhibitions since 2018. In any case, similarly significant was the danger that back Tony Pollard presented, contributing 67 yards on 10 contacts. The objective wasn’t simply to remain new until the final quarter against the Panthers — it’s to remain new through four quarters, and then some, of this season.
Questions remain, including cautious peruses like those against Darnold’s initial surges and Moore’s late final quarter scores. Yet, generally frustrating to Cowboys players was the way their victory lead got away in the final quarter. Nobody needed to stick the Panthers’ 15 unanswered focuses just on Diggs’ sideline stretch for what the Cowboys portrayed as back snugness subsequent to taking a projection to the back. The Cowboys had played off one another in the surge and cover, indenting five sacks in the midst of two interferences. They’d disturbed the Carolina hostile stream a long time prior to permitting 140 yards the last time of the game.
Permitting the lead to slip to a solitary belonging was superfluously behaving recklessly, they knew. Wiping out that delicateness should come straightaway.
“The biggest thing I want to see us do is play a complete game,” Elliott said. “We shouldn’t, but we get up, and I think we kind of let our foot off the gas pedal. I think our next step as a football team is going out there and choking a team out.”
“I’m sure the defense is pissed they allowed some of those late touchdowns,” he said, “and I know we’re upset that we didn’t capitalize on a few of those touchdowns.”
The Cowboys should keep on making a triumphant culture, Prescott and Cooper said, a quality they feel is more unmistakable than last season, yet at the same time not exactly there. They had checked the crate of bringing down an unprecedented rival out and about against the Chargers. Next came an abusing of the Eagles at home, security in division play that in every case intensely impacts postseason qualification. Furthermore, Sunday, against an undefeated Panthers group, the Cowboys showed they could conquer a halftime shortage — an expertise they never oversaw in Prescott’s latest finished season.
“All the respect in the world for them, I mean a solid team,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told reporters after the game. “Got [Darnold] playing well, certainly very meaningful due to the stature of Carolina.
“That was a very meaningful win.”
Prescott expected to look no farther than the window to one side to perceive how this success affected the fan base, the arena energy of the second from last quarter apparently suppressed and again delivered as he tended to the media.
“That’s your example: Personifies it,” Prescott said, pointing to the fans. “How great is it? The intensity they are creating (is) special.”
As he wrapped up his news meeting, Prescott made a beeline for the Cowboys’ storage space with another detail he considers generally significant – a success. He stopped midstream prior to strolling through the swinging doors, looking at the enthusiastic fans.
Prescott waved his arms once again, the fans ejecting once more. He considered the Super Bowl yearnings he desires to satisfy for them in the current year’s host city, Los Angeles.
“We want to be the best,” Prescott said. “We want to win. And we want to win late in the year.
“We want to go play in the last game out in California.”