The Dallas Cowboys are going to be without QB Dak Prescott for a while, after the seventh-year veteran suffered a broken hand in Sunday night’s 19-3 loss to Tampa Bay. According to Fox Sports he will be out for 6-8 weeks, which combined with how Dallas’ offense looked even with him in the game does not offer much hope for a fan base that was largely apathetic during the offseason for the first time in a long time.
The Cowboys can normally count on the world being interested in them being good or bad, but this offseason much of the fan base was simply disinterested after their offense’s collapse down the stretch of 2021 and then losing talent instead of adding it. Now, they’ll face the rest of September, all of October and potentially some of November without their field general.
What does that look like? Here are the teams and quarterbacks they’ll face over that stretch of contests.
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Burrow had a rough go of it in his opener after an apendectomy this summer, but recovered from five turnovers to lead the Bengals on three separate should’ve-been game-winning drives against the Steelers on Sunday. Week 2 is going to be a QB mismatch of epic proportions.
Prediction: Cowboys lose 32-10
Week 3: @ New York Giants and Daniel Jones
Nfl New York Giants At Tennessee Titans
Jones is 1-4 against the Cowboys in his career, with the lone win coming in 2020 when Dallas didn’t have Prescott due to the ankle injury he suffered against them earlier in the season.
This feels like a game Dallas could actually win without their QB.
Generous Prediction: Cowboys win 24-17
Week 4: vs Washington Commanders and Carson Wentz
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Wentz looked like Wentz in the season opener against a bad Jaguars team, having highlight plays and maddening inconsistency. He’s 4-4 against the Cowboys with the 2020 win being an ugly performance when Prescott was out.
Prediction: Cowboys lose, 27-10
Week 5: @ Los Angeles Rams and Matt Stafford
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Stafford’s all-stats, not-good play saw his reputation get a makeover after joining with Sean McVay, but as the Bills showed in the opener that guy is still that guy. Unfortunately, that’s a lot better than what Dallas will be trotting out without Prescott.
Prediction: Cowboys lose 35-9
Week 6: @ Philadelphia Eagles and Jalen Hurts
Nfl Philadelphia Eagles At Detroit Lions
Predicted this to be a loss in my game-by-game preview before the season and now Prescott is going to miss the game. The Eagles now have a No. 1 wideout capable of elevating Hurts’ mediocre passing skills. Tough scene in the one venue that can’t wait to see a Prescott-less Cowboys offense come to town.
Prediction: Cowboys lose 27-13
Week 7: vs Detroit Lions and Jared Goff
Nfl Philadelphia Eagles At Detroit Lions
The second QB Class of 2016 matchup Prescott will miss, Goff and the Lions offense has shown life since the last half of last season. Still, this feels (reserving ability to change my mind) like a game Dallas could conceivably win with a backup QB.
Prediction: Cowboys win 31-24
Week 8: vs Chicago Bears and Justin Fields
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Theoretically, this could be the game Prescott is eligible to return for as it’s seven weeks out from the actual injury. Fields was in a rainy slopfest in Week 1 against the 49ers so there’s not firm judgement on his ability in Year 2, but this is certainly a matchup Dallas could win without their QB.
In addition, the Cowboys bye is the next week so it would make perfect sense to hold Prescott out for two more weeks of recovery.
Prediction: Cowboys win 17-14
Week 10: @ Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers
This looks like the game Prescott returns for if all goes well with the surgery and the rehab. Mike McCarthy’s first visit back to Lambeau Field. The Cowboys caught a break in this being mid-November instead of a December matchup and they may have their guy back under center for it.
Life without Dak
(AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
In all honesty, the Cowboys 2022 schedule doesn’t feature many tough QB matchups and it may allow them to enter the contest against Green Bay at 3-5.
That’s still a ridiculously uphill battle to playoff contention and could easily be anywhere from that record down to 0-8 and looking forward to the draft by the time they play the Packers.