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Dak Prescott, Cowboys rally in fourth quarter for a 20-17 victory over the Chargers

NFL

“It was a should win. There is a large distinction between 4-2 and 3-3,” stated Dak Prescott, who accomplished 21 of 30 passes and likewise had a speeding TD.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) talks with Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, proper, in the course of the first half of an NFL soccer recreation towards the Los Angeles Chargers, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. Mark J. Terrill/AP Photograph

INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Followers and a few gamers would possibly roll their eyes when a Week 6 recreation is described as a should win.

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That doesn’t matter to Dak Prescott.

After taking part in one of many worst video games of his eight-year profession final week and with a bye week on the horizon, Prescott went into Monday evening’s recreation towards the Los Angeles Chargers realizing something apart from victory could be detrimental to the Cowboys‘ hopes of contending for an NFC title.

Prescott responded by throwing for 272 yards and a landing as Dallas rallied within the fourth quarter for a 20-17 victory.

“It was a should win. There’s a giant distinction between 4-2 and 3-3,” stated Prescott, who accomplished 21 of 30 passes and likewise had a speeding TD. “We talked after final week about not permitting this factor to landslide. While you get this win like we did, we are able to undoubtedly transfer on.”

The Cowboys — coming off a 42-10 loss at San Francisco on Oct. 8 — proceed to show they don’t let losses fester. They improved to 10-1 in weeks following a loss for the reason that begin of the 2021 season.

“There’s performs that wanted to be made, particularly down the stretch,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy stated. “Loads of backwards and forwards, quite a lot of resetting your jaw and simply maintain preventing, and I believed our males did a extremely good job there.”

Prescott grew to become the thirtieth quarterback in NFL historical past to throw no less than one landing move towards 31-or-more opponents when he linked with Brandin Cooks for a 2-yard rating with 11:19 remaining within the recreation to present the Cowboys a 17-10 lead.

“Dak did quite a lot of nice issues,” stated Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb, who had seven receptions for 117 yards. “He improvised lots, gave us the power to do our work down the sphere.”

Prescott confirmed off his working potential halfway by way of the primary quarter when he faked a handoff on fourth-and-1 and went up the center for an 18-yard landing to tie the sport at 7-7. It was the longest speeding landing of Prescott’s eight-year profession.

“We had CeeDee in movement as an choice. The defensive finish took out Tony and two different guys ran towards CeeDee simply permitting me to chop up discipline,” stated Prescott, who additionally had 40 speeding yards on seven carries. “I’ve not been displaying my legs early within the yr so which may have performed a component in it.”

Los Angeles tied it at 17 with 7:11 remaining when Gerald Everett caught a 1-yard landing move from Justin Herbert.

Brandon Aubrey made two discipline targets, together with a 39-yarder with 2:19 remaining, to present the Cowboys the lead.

The Chargers (2-3) had one final probability to ship it into extra time or win, however Stephon Gilmore picked off Herbert on the LA 33-yard line with 1:22 remaining to seal the victory. On the play instantly earlier than the decide, Herbert was sacked by Micah Parsons for an 8-yard loss.

“We fell brief, and I’ve obtained to make extra performs as a quarterback,” stated Herbert, who was 22 of 37 for 227 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. “I missed a few receivers, threw some dangerous passes. There was lots left on the market, so there’s lots to work on, and lots to enhance on.”

The Chargers began off nicely after they scored on their opening drive for the second straight recreation as Allen caught a 1-yard move from Herbert on third-and-goal. Allen completed with seven catches for 85 yards.

Los Angeles had an opportunity to tie or take the lead on the opening drive of the third quarter, however Herbert was unable to finish it to Joshua Palmer in the long run zone on fourth-and-1 on the Cowboys 7.

“I believed we have been actually good a lot of the evening on third down. I believed we pressured the quarterback at a excessive stage, however Dak made a few performs on that final drive, and it damage us,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley stated.

Key play

Cooks’ landing was arrange by a 60-yard reception by Pollard on the primary play of the fourth quarter.

Prescott scrambled out of stress on third-and-11 on the Dallas 24 and accomplished a brief move to Pollard on the 32. Pollard then spun out of a sort out by Chargers cornerback Michael Davis on the 40 and appeared as if he would rating a landing till he was introduced down by Asante Samuel on the Chargers 16.

“The throw to Pollard is a kind of fluke performs off the scramble the place now we have him, and also you give credit score to Dak for making a giant play,” Staley stated.

Fortunate bounce

The Chargers tied it within the fourth quarter after they took over on the Cowboys 20 after a muffed punt.

Dallas’ Jalen Tolbert thought KaVontae Turpin obtained his hand on the ball, however Tolbert was the primary to the touch it. He fumbled and Chargers linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga recovered it.

It was initially referred to as a downed punt, but it surely was reversed after the Chargers challenged the decision.

Accidents

Chargers: DL Sebastian Joseph-Day suffered a knee damage on the primary play of the sport, however got here again within the second half. … CB Raheem Layne additionally sustained a knee damage within the third quarter and didn’t return.

Up subsequent

Cowboys: Have their bye week earlier than internet hosting the Rams on Oct. 29.

Chargers: Journey to Kansas Metropolis. The Chiefs swept final yr’s collection and have received the final three conferences.