Dec 29, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
SLOPPY IN NASHVILLE: 5 observations from the Cowboys’ win over Tennessee
After three turnovers in the first half, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott returned to form in the second half to lead the Cowboys (12-4) to a 27-13 win over the Tennessee Titans (7-9) on a rainy Thursday night at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
Roller coaster ride at QB
It was another up-and-down game for Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
After a rough first thirty minutes, Prescott came out and led the Cowboys on three scoring drives in the second half to earn Dallas a road win in Nashville.
Prescott went 29-of-41 for 282 yards, with 137 of those yards coming in the second half, in the victory.
He started the second half with a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Dalton Schultz before finishing off the night driving the Cowboys in range for a 45-yard Brett Maher field goal.
It was an awful first half.
Prescott single-handedly kept the Titans in the game during the first thirty minutes, committing three turnovers – two that were his fault.
Prescott, who finished the first half with 145 yards passing on 17 completions, fumbled early with the Cowboys already up 10-0 and driving. He then threw a ball that bounced off tight end Peyton Hendershot and into the arms of Tennessee’s Kevin Byard. The Titans turned that into a field goal.
Prescott’s second interception was served up to Byard, who then returned it 28 yards and into Dallas territory with just a few seconds to play in the first half. The Titans turned it into a field goal to cut the Cowboys’ lead to 10-6 at halftime.
Prescott, Lamb connection on the mark
The connection between Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb has been magical since Prescott returned from injury in Week 7.
In the win over the Titans, the duo hooked up 11 times for 100 yards, the third time they have connected for double-digit receptions this season.
Lamb, who had a long of 34 yards, was targeted 14 times in the win.
The duo hooked up seven times, on nine targets, in the first half for 52 yards. Lamb had a long of 15 yards while leading the way for the Cowboys’ receiving corps.
Pass rush keeps Titans in check
The Cowboys’ defense put pressure on Titans quarterback Joshua Dobbs all night.
Dobbs finished the night completing 20-of-39 passes for 232 yards but spent the night picking himself up off the natural grass of Nissan Stadium.
The Cowboys finished with another game with double digits in quarterback pressures, including two sacks.
Dobbs did throw one touchdown, a 7-yard pass to Robert Woods, but also tossed an interception to Nahshon Wright late in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys got after Dobbs in the first 30 minutes, forcing a pair of sacks and a pair of fumbles.
Donovan Wilson and Dante Fowler picked up the sacks. DeMarcus Lawrence knocked the ball out of Dobbs hands in the first quarter, but the Titans quarterback recovered his own fumble.
Dobbs would not be so lucky on the second fumble after Fowler knocked it out on the sack, and Micah Parsons recovered it to halt a Tennessee drive deep in Dallas territory.
RB Davis picks up slack
Third-string running back Malik Davis got the call to fill in for the injured Tony Pollard, and he produced.
Davis finished with 39 yards on 10 carries, all in support of starter Ezekiel Elliott. He added another 23 yards on a pair of catches.
Elliott, who finished with 37 yards, had the majority of the carries, but Davis made his presence felt when in the game.
In the first half, Davis averaged 6.2 yards per carry while gaining 31 yards on five totes. He added one catch for 18 yards, the longest reception for Dallas in the first 30 minutes while spelling Ezekiel Elliott.
Dallas halts Titans RBs
With Derrick Henry on the sideline, the Titans went with a trio of backs to fill in and finished with 97 total yards on 24 carries.
Hassan Haskins led the way with 40 yards on 12 carries, while Julius Chestnut had -1-yard on four carries, and Jonathan Ward added 26 yards on four carries in mop-up duty. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs added 12 yards on three scrambles, and wide receiver Treylon Burks had a 20-yard run on an end-around.
The Cowboys held the Titans duo to just 24 yards in the first half on eight carries. Haskins had 12 yards on five carries, while Chestnut carried it just three times for 12 yards.