If anybody could relate to the ashen looks on the faces of the Dallas Cowboys' coaches and players Sunday while an air cast was applied to quarterback Dak Prescott’s compound ankle fracture and dislocation, it was Eagles coach Doug Pederson.
Pederson remembers what it was like coping with season-ending injuries to Carson Wentz in 2017 (knee) and 2018 (back). The injuries themselves were less dramatic, there was no circle of praying players, or an injury cart on the field, but the aftermath was much like what Dallas faced Monday, following surgery that presumably ended the season of a quarterback who was off to a prolific start.
“My heart goes out to Dak, and obviously, his family,” Pederson said Monday. “You never want to see ... anybody in the league suffer these types of injuries. We know that this game is hard enough. ... It’s terrible.”
Pederson said he expects the 2-3 Cowboys to react as the Eagles did when Wentz went down.
“They will rally and be behind [backup Andy] Dalton, and go get him prepared and ready to go, just like we did with Nick Foles,” he said.
Prescott has thrown for an amazing 1,856 yards in five games, completing 68% of his passes, with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. He was playing under the franchise tag this year, so he might head into free agency while rehabbing the injury. It normally requires a four-to-six-month recovery period.
That giving up points on five successive Pittsburgh possessions would turn out to be problematic?
The longest passing gain of the day by either team was that 37-yard Carson Wentz heave to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside just before the half, when the Eagles didn’t have any timeouts left and couldn’t get lined up to spike the ball before the clock ran out. It wasn’t Arcega-Whiteside’s fault — John Hightower needed to get out of bounds on a catch earlier in the drive and didn’t — but it also was incredibly on brand for Arcega-Whiteside, the Eagles’ much-lamented 2019 second-round draft pick. This was the only time Arcega-Whiteside was targeted in the eight snaps he played.