Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Cowboys stars look to bounce back

Published:Saturday | September 23, 2017 | 12:00 AM
In this Sunday, September 10, 2017, file photo, New York Giants linebacker B.J. Goodson (93) gives chase as Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) gains yardage after catching a pass in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas.

FRISCO, Texas (AP):

Dak Prescott didn't need long to answer whether Dallas' 42-17 loss to Denver was his most humbling day in the NFL.

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona's 10-time Pro Bowl receiver, didn't have much sympathy for Prescott's "probably so" in reference to the first blowout loss for last year's NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and fellow first-year star Ezekiel Elliott, the league rushing champion.

"I would say they're damn lucky," Fitzgerald said. "It took them 18 regular-season games to be humbled. I got my humble pie Week 2 of my rookie year - a big, big dose of it. Then it happened a few more times my rookie season."

Well, now it's happened to Prescott and Elliott, which gives them a chance to show how they'll respond in a second straight road game when the Cowboys visit Fitzgerald and the Cardinals on Monday night.

Prescott threw two interceptions in a game for just the second time, on the same day he became the first NFL quarterback with 500 attempts and fewer than five interceptions. The first led to a 35-10 Denver lead. The second was returned 103 yards for the punctuating touchdown.

The interceptions ended up reflecting poorly on Elliott as well because he didn't pursue Chris Harris Jr on the first interception and repeated the mistake on Aqib Talib's long return.

It wasn't Prescott's worst game statistically. That came last season in a 10-7 loss to the New York Giants. But the perception then was that the Cowboys were due for such a showing because they had won a franchise-record 11 straight games with two rookies leading the offence.

The dominating showing by the elite Denver defence came a week after the Cowboys methodically handled the Giants in the opener. Now, Prescott has to show how quickly he can get the Cowboys back to that form.

"It's important for me to be the same," Prescott said. "Come in with the same energy, the same leadership, get these guys going. Maybe be contagious to not lose confidence or even be worried. It's Week 2 in the NFL. We have a lot of football left to play."

Prescott and Elliott faced bounce-back games only twice as rookies, winning both with fourth-quarter rallies. In the second victory at home against Tampa Bay, Prescott had a career-best completion rate (89 per cent) and Elliott had his highest rushing total (159 yards).

But last season, they were never bouncing back from blowouts and the midweek chatter that comes with such games.