Hal­la­day

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS -

games, hav­ing thrown for 39 touch­downs and rushed for 11.

The 6-2, 229-pound Prescott has used his run­ning back size and wheels this year to rank sec­ond on the Cow­boys in rush­ing yards and rush­ing touch­downs, the lat­ter with five.

It was Prescott’s JUGSpow­ered arm that first got the at­ten­tion of Ea­gles of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Frank Re­ich, who dur­ing a pre­draft trip to Philly, mar­veled about the Xs and Os show put on by the prospect.

“I had very, very high grades on Dak in every as­pect,” Re­ich said. “I thought his col­lege tape was re­ally, re­ally good. I re­ally liked the way he threw the ball, his tim­ing and an­tic­i­pa­tion. When he came in here and we sat down and in­ter­viewed him, it was re­ally high in all ar­eas. Then you could just tell he had that X-fac­tor as far as nat­u­ral lead­er­ship abil­ity. So I en­joyed get­ting to know him a lit­tle bit.”

The Cow­boys (5-4) have won three of their last four games largely due to the spark pro­vided by Prescott. He threw for five touch­downs and rushed for two to help make it hap­pen. And he didn’t com­mit a turnover.

Last Sun­day Prescott gave the Cow­boys, who played with­out sus­pended run­ning back Zeke El­liott and All-Pro left tackle Ty­ron Smith, to a 7-0 lead over the Fal­cons with an 11-yard run.

Prescott then was sacked eight times, los­ing two fum­bles as the Fal­cons scored 27 straight points. Adrian Clay­burn dropped Prescott six times, killing Smith re­place­ments Chaz Green and By­ron Bell. It was the most sacks by one player in a game since Osi Umenyiora dropped 6 on Win­ston Jus­tice of the Ea­gles in 2007.

Three of those sacks of Prescott came on thir­dand-eight or more, one on fourth down and an­other on sec­ond down late in the game.

Schwartz ex­plained the sacks re­sulted from the same for­mula pre­ferred by the Ea­gles: Stop the run, creat­ing pass sit­u­a­tions, beat the blocker, hold pass cov­er­age long enough for the rush to get there and fin­ish the pass rush.

“All those things go hand in hand for us to have a good day at rush­ing,” Schwartz said. “You can’t just as­sume we’ll have a good day rush­ing based on what (the Fal­cons) did last week. I’m sure they’ll work re­ally hard to shore up some of their spots. They know us pretty well. We know them pretty well.”

This week marks the sec­ond game of a six-game sus­pen­sion for El­liott, who leads the Cow­boys with 793 rush­ing yards and nine to­tal TDs.

Smith is iffy, at best, to play against the Ea­gles due to a groin is­sue.

Line­backer Sean Lee, the Cow­boys’ best de­fen­sive player, will miss this week with a ham­string strain sus­tained early in the last game.

Wentz leads the NFL with 23 TD passes and his 104.1 passer rat­ing is the best in the NFC. He’s thrown four or more touch­downs in three games this sea­son, most re­cently in the 51-23 hum­bling of the Bron­cos. Did we men­tion the Ea­gles traded for Jay Ajayi, the every-down run­ning back who would help any team travel well on the road?

And yet the Ea­gles are just three-point fa­vorites.

It must be the Dak Prescott fac­tor.

“Some guys will scram­ble and you have time to chase a guy in cov­er­age or to plas­ter your cov­er­age or chase him and get an ex­tra guy to him,” Schwartz said. “With Prescott, he doesn’t give you that op­por­tu­nity. The ball could come out at any time, and you have to be ready for it at any time.” To con­tact Bob Grotz, email bgrotz@21stcen­tu­ry­media.com ended with Hal­la­day’s wife, Brandy, stand­ing on the mound and re­leas­ing but­ter­flies from a con­tainer in fi­nal “good­bye.”

“All eyes are on me,” the pitcher’s wife, the last of nine speak­ers, said from a ros­trum perched be­hind the mound, flanked by pic­tures of Hal­la­day with the Phillies and Blue Jays, along with flo­ral ar­range­ments bear­ing the 34 and 32 jer­sey num­bers he wore.

“I’m re­ally for­tu­nate that I’ve got­ten used to that feel­ing. I’ve lit­er­ally been stand­ing next to a man for 21 years that peo­ple could not take their eyes off of,” she said. “He was awe-strik­ing. He was beau­ti­ful inside and out. With­out say­ing a word, he seemed to al­ways have just the right thing to say. When he did speak, peo­ple lis­tened.”

Other speak­ers in­cluded Hal­la­day’s dad, Roy, Jr., for­mer team­mates Cole Hamels, Chase Ut­ley and Chris Car­pen­ter, long-time baseball ex­ec­u­tive and for­mer Blue Jays GM JP Ric­cia­rdi, ex-Phillies man­ager Char­lie Manuel and Blue Jays trainer George Poulis.

Hall of Famer Frank Thomas, for­mer Blue Jays man­ager Cito Gas­ton and one-time team­mates Cliff Lee and Jimmy Rollins were among other spe­cial guests, who ac­com­pa­nied the fam­ily onto the field for the ser­vice. More AP baseball: https://ap­news.com/tag/ MLBbase­ball

STEVE NE­SIUS — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

For­mer Phildel­phia Phillies man­ager Char­lie Manuel talks about his for­mer pitcher, dur­ing a me­mo­rial trib­ute for Hal­la­day at the Phillies spring train­ing baseball sta­dium, Tues­day in Clear­wa­ter, Fla. Hal­la­day died last week in a plane crash.

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