Dak Prescott thrives for Cowboys in the face of (more) adversity

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The Packers defense isn’t healthy. The secondary is still healing and the team’s top pass rushers (Clay Matthews jersey and Nick Perry jersey) are both at less than 100 percent. However, the Vikings, their next opponent, are coming off a disastrous performance against the lowly Colts defense in which they allowed five sacks, committed three turnovers, and scored just six points. And that was in Minnesota. The Vikings now need to travel to the Frozen Tundra to face a surging Packers team. The Vikings can’t run the ball and can’t protect Sam Bradford, a debilitating combination. Bradford has just two passing touchdowns in the last four games to go along with two interceptions and cheap jerseys and seven sacks. All told, this game is lining up for the Packers to produce in fantasy as they seek a shot at the NFC North crown.

It’s now reaching the point where it’s impossible to think of something Prescott hasn’t overcome in his first NFL season. He has proven to be so much more than a lightly regarded fourth-round pick — one who wasn’t supposed to be ready to play at this level so early — and that he’s good enough to keep Tony Romo jersey on the bench following the four-time Pro Bowler’s return from a back injury that sidelined him earlier this year. Now Prescott has shown what he can do with people finally seeing his flaws. He had endured three disappointing performances before the Buccaneers came to town on Sunday, all of which created an opportunity for him to display his mental toughness once again.jersey

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Of course, Jones was one of those people who was contributing to all the talk about Prescott last week. After the Cowboys lost to the rival Giants last Sunday, Jones cryptically stated that it would be a great storyline if Romo somehow managed to return to the field and lead Dallas to a championship. It wasn’t so much of an endorsement for Romo as it was a means for Jones to keep his team firmly entrenched in the headlines. It also was enough to take the discussion about Prescott’s play to an entirely different level.

Quarterback controversy, begone. One week removed from the worst performance of his rookie season, Dak Prescott jersey put to bed suggestions that Dallas should consider playing Tony Romo, completing 89 percent of his passes — the second-highest mark in NFL history with a minimum of 30 attempts — and running for a score against one of the hottest defenses in the league. Prescott went to his bread-and-butter with incredible efficiency: Jason Witten short in the middle (10 catches), Dez Bryant past the sticks (8), Cole Beasley outside the numbers (4). It was only when Dallas got cute with its play-calling (see: multiple unsuccessful jets sweeps to Lucky Whitehead) that the Cowboys went backwards against the Bucs. With his 279-yard evening, Prescott broke a three-game streak of fewer than 200 passing yards and looked more than ready to lead the ‘Boys into January.

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The converted receiver dominated for long stretches Sunday, gashing the Chicago Bears for runs of 61, 36, 26 and 21 yards, en route to a 162-yard rushing day on 16 totes with two touchdowns. In total, the Packers rushed for 226 yards, marking the first time Green Bay finished with 225-plus passing and rushing yards since Week 15, 1994 vs. Bears (first time on done on the road since 1962 at Philadelphia).

“This was surprising today,” Rodgers said of the running game, via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I don’t think we expected to rush for over 200 yards. I think we have confidence in Ty, we wanted to get him a number of touches. But this was definitely unexpected in the best way possible.”

Rodgers chipped in with 19 rushing yards, but his gimpy calf left him hobbling after every slow-motion dash. The injury severely hampered the quarterback’s mobility outside the pocket, but luckily for Green Bay, Montgomery put on the best performance by a Packers running back in years.

With Week 15 nearly in the books, it’s time to dive into some backfield breakdowns. We saw some familiar names among the top running back performers including LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray while guys like Robert Turbin and Ryan Mathews surprisingly cracked the the top 10 for the week. Some of the bigger disappointments of the week include Adrian Peterson and Jay Ajayi, and below we’ll try to figure out how to value these running backs going forward. That’s enough small talk for now … more on those backs and every other team’s backfield below.