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 email@example.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
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.