Fixing turnover problem a must for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium Thursday, Dec. 29, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. Nfl Dallas Cowboys At Tennessee Titans

Fixing turnover problem a must for Cowboys

Turnovers, no matter how they happen, will get you beat in the NFL.

Good teams, bad teams, it doesn’t matter. If you turn the ball over multiple times in a game, it is hard to win in the NFL, no matter your opponent.

The Cowboys have played both over the last five weeks of the season, including last night’s Tennessee team that is still fighting for the AFC South title and the berth in the postseason that comes with it. They are 4-1 over that stretch, but it is hard to get excited over what they have shown on the field in those games only because they have been a team that likes to turn the ball over early and often.

It has led to them scrambling to beat teams that made a midseason coaching change, had just one victory, or started a quarterback that had been on the roster just nine days.

While they defeated all three of those teams – Indianapolis, Houston, and Tennessee, they struggled at times in all three. Yes, they ended up blowing out the Colts, but the Cowboys led by just two going into the fourth quarter. They needed a touchdown in the last minute of regulation to beat Houston and slogged through a lackluster performance on offense to beat the Titans.

In those three games, the Cowboys turned it over seven times, including three each against Tennessee and Houston. That made it harder than it should have been.

When they did play a good team – the NFC-leading Eagles, the Cowboys won the turnover battle 4-1. However, that one miscue – an awful throw from quarterback Dak Prescott – came early in the game to put Dallas in a 10-0 hole. Dallas chased the Eagles the rest of the way before overtaking them in the final minutes for the win.

The only loss of the stretch came directly from another Prescott turnover. While the Cowboys won the turnover battle in Jacksonville, 3-2, Prescott’s overtime interception was returned for a touchdown that sealed a 17-point collapse.

For Dak, the leader of this team, this kind of erratic play has become the norm this season.

He has 14 interceptions in 10 games. That is the same number of picks that got David Carr benched this week in Las Vegas. Only Carr’s came over 15 games.

I know; the Raiders are a mess. But just think how messy things will get around The Star if the Cowboys stumble in the first round of the playoffs, again.

Prescott has thrown 22 touchdown passes this season, but with those 14 picks, he is completing just 1.57 touchdown passes per interception, which is good enough for just 25th best in the NFL among quarterbacks that started at least seven games this season.

Jalen Hurts leads that list at 4.4, with Prescott coming in right behind Marcus Mariota’s 1.67 mark close to the bottom of the list.

Not where you want to be with just one game to get it fixed before the postseason begins.

The threat of another quick playoff exit will be just a turnover away.

Not the warm and fuzzy feeling you should be getting from a team that is 12-4 and loaded with talent on both sides of the ball.

Either way, it should be an interesting January.

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