NFC East News & Odds: Cowboys Still Favorites Despite Dak Prescott Injury

The Dallas Cowboys are 2-3 and have lost star quarterback Dak Prescott to a gruesome season-ending injury suffered in Sunday’s win over the New York Giants, but the NFC East as a whole is so terrible that Dallas is still the -120 division favorite at

NFC East | 2020 Expert Analysis

Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle that required surgery Sunday night. The injury occurred on a 9-yard run while being tackled by Giants defensive back Logan Ryan with 6 minutes, 33 seconds to play in the third quarter Sunday. Recovery will take 4-6 months.

Veteran Andy Dalton replaced Prescott and finished 9-of-11 for 111 yards, including a 38-yard pass to Michael Gallup with three seconds left to set up Greg Zuerlein’s winning 37-yard field goal in the 37-34 victory.

Since entering the NFL in 2016, Prescott has logged 10 games with at least a 90.0 QBR. That’s the most by any starting QB in that span. Prescott has 1,856 passing yards this season (including 166 on Sunday), the 4th-most by any QB through 5 games in NFL history. Keep in mind that Dallas doesn’t have Prescott signed after this season, although the team can slap the franchise tag on him again.

The Cowboys and Prescott’s agent, Todd France, were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline, which meant Prescott had to play this season on the tag. Prescott had been remarkably healthy as a pro, as the 27-year-old had never been on the injury report before he went down Sunday.

Dallas is missing five starters on offense, including Prescott. Three of them are along the offensive line: Center Joe Looney is out for a few weeks, but starting tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are out for the season.

Dalton, the long-time Cincinnati Bengals starter whom the Cowboys signed in free agency this offseason, now takes over as the starter. In nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him No. 35 overall in 2011, Dalton posted a 70-61-2 record, went to the playoffs four times and was named to the Pro Bowl three times. Dalton, as a Texas native and free agent this offseason, chose to sign with the Cowboys in part so he could be close to his young family during the coronavirus pandemic.

Expect the Cowboys to run the ball more going forward with Zeke Elliott. He rushed 20 times for 91 yards and two touchdowns in the Cowboys’ win over the Giants.

Dallas also lost defensive tackle Trysten Hill to a season-ending torn ACL in the loss. Hill suffered the injury in the third quarter as he approached Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and fell awkwardly. Hill started the first five games of the season after playing sparingly as a rookie in 2019. He was credited with 14 tackles, a tackle for loss and five quarterback pressures.

Dallas hosts Arizona on Monday in Week 6 with the Cards as 2.5-point favorites.

EAGLES: Philly could be without Pro Bowl offensive tackle Lane Johnson for a while. Johnson, 30, came out of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh after just 39 offensive snaps with an issue to his surgically-repaired ankle. And unlike the week before, he was not able to return. So since playing all 91 snaps in the tie to Cincinnati on Sept. 27, Johnson has played just 76 of 121 snaps (62.8%). In his place, fourth-round rookie Jack Driscoll has filled in. Cornerback Darius Slay suffered a concussion on Sunday and is in the NFL’s concussion protocol. That obviously means there’s a chance he might miss the upcoming game against the Ravens. Philly is a 7.5-point home underdog.

GIANTS: Linebacker Lorenzo Carter tore his Achilles’ tendon in Sunday’s loss in Dallas and is done for the year. Carter had 14 tackles and one sack entering Sunday’s game. He led the Giants with nine quarterback pressures the first four weeks. He is tied for the team lead with four quarterback hits. Veteran Markus Golden, who was previously being used almost exclusively as a pass-rush specialist, took most of the snaps in Carter’s place. He is expected to have a bigger role moving forward. New York is -3 this week vs. Washington.

WASHINGTON: Coach Ron Rivera says that QB Kyle Allen remains his starter if healthy. Allen was knocked from Washington’s loss to the Rams due to an arm injury suffered late in the second quarter. He was also checked for a concussion. Provided his arm feels fine during the week, he’ll play vs. the Giants. Alex Smith took Allen’s spot. Former starter Dwyane Haskins was demoted to third string and wasn’t even at Sunday’s loss to the Rams due to illness.


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