Up The Gut Week 6: “Dak played by the Cowboys’ rules and got burned”

Dak Prescott suffered one of the ugliest quarterback injuries you’ll ever see, Shaun Morash says, and Jerry Jones needs to make this right

The DA Show
October 15, 2020 - 11:20 am

By Shaun Morash

Cold Open
The pain on Dak Prescott's face said it all, and if it hit America in the pit of our stomachs, then it better have hit Jerry Jones in the pit of his. Football, as we all know, is a dangerous game. Much like the weird part of a sports fan’s brain that watches a NASCAR race to see a crazy crash, so many NFL fans are addicted to the big hit in a game. Sometimes that can lead to a grotesque situation that makes us second-guess everything we know and love about the league, even if just for a split second. That was the case Sunday in Dallas.
Dak did everything right. He followed the quarterback-contract book. He never put his personal contract situation ahead of the team. He could have pulled what his teammate Ezekiel Elliot did and held out, but he did not. He trusted his owner, who doubles as a fumbling mess of a general manager, to get a deal done. The deal never got done, and as a result, Dak now may never be the same, all because of a bad game of chicken.

Jerry Jones has made a lot of terrible football decisions based on his own love for players. Signing Dak long-term before he ever steps on a football field may be another terrible football decision, but he has to do it, if not for anything else but as a human being. Dak played by the Cowboys’ rules and got burned. Jerry owes it to the guy selling all those jerseys in Arlington to take his long-term financial stress off the table as he rehabs from one of the ugliest quarterback injuries we have seen in the last 20 years.

Ten Yard Gain

1-A player that unfortunately knows about ugly injuries is Alex Smith. It was remarkable to see him relieve Kyle Allen on Sunday. Washington's offensive line was obliterated by the Rams and Aaron Donald. It could have been a potential ugly situation for Smith, but he never wavered. He took ugly hits and got right back up. He should have earned the right to start this week against the Giants but did not. Smith knows this won't be easy and, as a backup in ugly circumstances, did the exact thing he needed to do to prove he deserves to stay in this league.

2-Good for the Saints in exploring options where they can play in front of fans. Unfortunately, it feels like Saints football has gotten political. New Orleans wants to play it safe while Baton Rouge says let it rip. No team has suffered more from a lack of home fans during this 2020 season than the Saints. They thrive on it and need that edge back. 

3-Roger Goodell acknowledging the NFL could create extra weeks after Week 17 for make-up games really should not come as a surprise. Heck, it should not have even been a question. The NFL plays once a week; of course they could push these weeks back to March if they really needed to. As long as they have the flexibility, including switching eight games as the result of one postponement, they should continue down that road for now. 

4-The Jaguars will now be going with their fifth kicker this season. That is a sentence of ineptitude at its finest. I am old enough to remember when a goofy mustache and a Scooby Doo van made everyone think the Jaguars found their franchise quarterback, are you? 

5-I think the Chiefs know they can flip the switch when they need to, and Sunday's loss to the Raiders was about that. Sure, the Raiders deserve credit. They now have wins over KC and the Saints, but the Chiefs feel like they are just experimenting and going through the process. Call me crazy, but I don't think Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are emptying out the toy chest of plays until they need to. 

6-Arthur Blank irresponsibly ruined another season of Matt Ryan's dwindling prime. Ryan should have had a new coach and new system two years ago when it was clear Dan Quinn would not win back that locker room following the Super Bowl collapse and subsequent regression that followed. Now Ryan is 35 and the team may finally be ready to rebuild. Don’t be shocked if he is shopped this offseason. 

7-It is impossible to tell if Le'Veon Bell has a lot of juice left in his tank. Adam Gase never wanted to use him, and Gase will be out soon anyway. Frank Gore touches the ball as if he is 26 years old. Bell was listed on injury reports for injuries even Bell disputed. He will land somewhere, but any team or any fan that tells you they are excited to sign him is lying. He may still be great, but the optics say he is not. 

8-The Bengals should be shopping AJ Green if they aren't already. If you did not see the video from this week's game, he lets an overthrown ball sail over his head without even faking an attempt to catch it. That ball is then intercepted and he goes into a high step run so far away from the interceptor to not want to attempt a tackle. This is a rookie quarterback who needs every piece all in, and clearly Green is not that. That is a detriment to Burrow's growth. Get him out!

9-Sunday Night Football was a prime example of why Russell Wilson should be a real MVP candidate, finally, but also a prime example of why we cannot trust the Seahawks to get to a Super Bowl. You are what your record says you are, and it says the Seahawks are undefeated. Every week is a heart attack, though, even against inferior opponents. Do they win if Mike Zimmer kicks a field goal late? Maybe. Regardless, if the Seahawks’ pass rush is non-existent against other powerhouses in the postseason, they might not be able to eke out a win. 

10-If the NFL is really investigating Titans players for working out and practicing, Tennessee may want to burn the tapes of their win Tuesday against the Bills. That team came out like a well-oiled machine and certainly not one that had just gotten together on Saturday for the first time in nearly two weeks. Regardless, the Titans are proving that last year's magic carpet ride was anything but magic. 

Five Games to Chew On

5 Ravens @ Eagles: Philly hung tough against the Steelers but still allowed Chase Claypool to eat their lunch. Now that same defense has to try and contain Lamar Jackson and company. The Eagles have to feel new life after the Dak Prescott injury. There is no telling how few wins will win the NFC East. Can Carson Wentz get something finally rolling against an aggressive Ravens defense? 

4 Bears @ Panthers: Before the season, the Panthers were in the discussion to have the worst record in football. Now with a win over the Bears, they become as good a bet at an NFC Wild Card spot as any. The Bears come off an impressive Thursday Night win over the Bucs and are doing their part to laugh at the naysayers who say they can't dance come January. Nick Foles versus Teddy Bridgewater in the ultimate cast-off showdown should be entertaining. 

3 Chiefs @ Bills: From Thursday Night Football to Monday Afternoon Football. Two AFC powerhouses coming off their first losses of the year will each have chips on their shoulder. The loser will have that two-game losing streak that may begin to cause some panic amongst fans. Even more so if Josh Allen becomes a turnover machine all over again and the Bills open the door for the Patriots to win the AFC East. The Bills’ defense needs 
to find the edge it lost against Ryan Tannehill and the Titans.

2 Browns @ Steelers: Myles Garrett versus the Steelers for the first time since the helmet-swinging incident will be a storyline that continues to gain momentum, and it should. However, the Browns have a real chance here to show this good start to the season is more than a nice story. Their pass rush needs to hit Big Ben early and often, but they also have the firepower to score with the Steelers. This needs to be an Odell Beckham day we remember for a long time if the Browns are going to be planting their flag as a division-title contender. 

1 Packers @ Bucs: This may be the last time we see Aaron Rodgers versus Tom Brady. Or they could see each other again in this postseason, but the Bucs are no sure bet to get there. Their offensive inconsistencies are obvious, and now they face a fresh Packers team off a bye week. The Packers haven't won a game by less than a touchdown all season, as the Rodgers’ Middle Finger Tour continues. Will Tampa Bay rise back to respectability as the whole country watches? 

My Picks

A bounce-back 3-0 week has me at 11-4 on the season and rolling. For this week:

Packers PK @ Bucs: This game is about the quarterbacks, two Hall of Famers in one of their final duels. The truth is with no spread, there is really no doubt who the better team is. The Packers had a bye week that maybe made bettors forget just how good they are. The Bucs’ loss to the Bears was yet another example of how unreliable they will be week-to-week. The pass rush of Green Bay gets after Brady here, and the Bucs defense will get stuck in mud. Packers make this game comfortable by the fourth quarter. 

Rams -3 @ 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo will be up for this game out of pride, but the 49ers defense is proving their depth isn't what we thought after being ravaged by injuries. The Rams and 49ers played fun games a year ago, but the Rams are every bit better this year as opposed to 2019. I question how much the 49ers’ O-Line will hold up with a Rams front that gave Kyle Allen and Alex Smith no chance last week. A win by 7-10 seems too good to be true for the Rams in this play. The key for the Rams may be to get to 23 points. San Francisco is 2-0 overall and 2-0 against the spread this season in games where they allow fewer than 22.8 points.

Dolphins -9 vs Jets: The release of Le'Veon Bell and uninspiring message of Adam Gase following the release should be more than enough to have us understand Jets players may be in business-decision mode as the trade deadline approaches. This is a big number to lay, especially with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. The Dolphins, though, continue to play hard – and perhaps above their talent – under Brian Flores. Every time a number looks too high for a favorite to lay against the Jets, we find out it isn't. I am tired of missing out on making money betting against the Jets. I refuse to make that mistake this week. 

Football Food of the Week

Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Sliders. Wait, what? Yes, Mraz did it. He perfected pork. Get yourself a pork shoulder, tenderloin, or even some thin pork chops if you must and throw that cut of choice into a crock pot or slow cooker. Add a table spoon of salt, pepper, a sprinkling around the pot of garlic powder, a jar of the bbq sauce of your liking, and then two cans of Dr.Pepper.

Set the cooker to low cook for approximately 10 hours, so you will need a one-day head start on these for prep. The sugar and juicy, cherry flavor of Dr. Pepper will blend with the bbq sauce as the meat tenderly falls apart into the perfect porky mess.

Serve on King’s Hawaiian slider rolls and top each with a dabble of cole saw. Enjoy them Sunday, thank me later.

Thanks for reading as always. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @MrazCBS.