giving into the critics who have said he s been exposed

On the same November Sunday that the rival Philadelphia Eagles won their
ninth straight and closed in on the NFC East title, the Cowboys dug in
at The Star, searching for ways to end their implosion when the
Washington Redskins visit Thursday.

It was a busy day, which included tinkering with the roster, looking
for accountability and re opening competition in the secondary, which
has been scorched, but is hardly the only area of concern.

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The Cowboys, at 5 6, not close to competitive for three, long games,
had to do something. But the moves could be reactive and, quite
possibly, too little, too late.

Star running back Ezekiel Elliott isn t back from suspension for
another three games. Linebacker Sean Lee is still nursing a hamstring
injury. There are still no quick fix answers for the blowout losses and
an offense that hasn t hung double digits on the board during the skid.

Dallas on Sunday released fill in kicker Mike Nugent and Darren
McFadden, the seldom used veteran running back, even with Zeke out. They
added defensive lineman Datone Jones and promoted running back Trey
Williams from the practice squad.

Prescott, who has struggled during the worst stretch of his young
NFL career, said he spent the last couple days after the Thanksgiving
loss to the Los Angeles Chargers looking for answers. He wonders if he
and the Cowboys aren t over thinking things. With all the talent on the
offense Kellen Moore Jersey, why things have been so ugly?

It s frustrating, it s shocking, he said. You look around and you
see the Pro Bowlers and the talent that you have, it s almost lost at
words for why it s happening. But it just shows you this game s tough.

Prescott said the blame doesn t just lie with the coaching staff, which has earned its share of the questions.

Look into it deeper, Prescott said. You must not know much if you
just point fingers at the coaching staff or point fingers at anybody, really. Then you don t know enough. Just look into it more.

Prescott said some of his interceptions five in the last two games
and poor play has come from pressing. He s particularly strained in the
second halves of the stretch, during which Dallas has been outscored 72

Head coach Jason Garrett has highlighted Dallas disparity in big
plays the opponents are getting plenty, the Cowboys are making few.
Prescott and the receivers have not been connecting; the running game
can be fine at times, but no longer sets the tone.

I look in the mirror and I look at the other guys in the play,
Prescott said. Simply explosion plays, I don t know if you could point
at a coach, it s just us, making guys miss and wanting to go get those
extra yards. That s just simply about the athleticism of our playmakers
and making guys miss.

How does he know Dallas can fix this mess? Well...he looks back at
when the Cowboys were winning, even though that hasn t happened since
Elliott started serving his six game suspension for alleged domestic
abuse on Nov. 12.

Nothing s changed, we re the same team, we ve got the same players
out there, so it s just about just getting back to that, Prescott said.

When he was reminded about Elliott s status, he quickly quipped, I walked into that didn t I?

But he stuck to the gist of his point.

The players still playing can and must do better.

Defensively, the players in the secondary, from safety Byron Jones, a 2015 first round draft pick,
to cornerback Anthony Brown, a second year player who pleasantly
surprised as a rookie, are among those struggling now. Dallas gave up 11
explosive passing plays in the Thanksgiving loss to quarterback Philip
Rivers and the Chargers. Garrett said the Cowboys will re emphasize
internal competition this week, including giving rookie Chidobe Awuzie a
chance to beat out Brown for his starting job.

But the problems extend all over the field, including on offense, which is supposed to be Dallas strength.

The coaches have done a good job in taking the last couple days and
re evaluating what they re doing from a coaching standpoint, center
Travis Frederick said, and encouraged us as players to take a good look
at what we re doing, and how we can better improve our individual games.
...It was a clear message.

Prescott contends that it s ruts like these that will make returning
to the highs, like he experienced when Dallas went 13 3 in his rookie
season last year, that much sweeter. He s not giving into the critics
who have said he s been exposed with Elliott suspended.

He has an answer for those questioning him, though he will ultimately have to back it up on the field.

Keep questioning me,
Prescott said. Obviously, if you re questioning me, you don t know me
and you don t know what I m about. So, keep questioning me. Have fun.
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