Yahoo Sports Senior NFL Writer Charles Robinson and Senior Writer Frank Schwab discuss the Dallas Cowboys ugly 19-3 opening night loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and debate what the loss of Dan Prescott means for the rest of the Cowboys season.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I am in Arlington, Texas. I was at the Dallas debacle. I have--
FRANK SCHWAB: Ooh.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Yeah, I have no other way to describe this except for there was one thing-- and I ended up using it when I wrote my story tonight-- Dak Prescott, about 5 minutes into his press conference tonight, he said, I'm paraphrasing here, there's no reason to panic. We can still be a good offense.
We've got good coaches. They'll figure out what we did well. Like, they're going to be looking for a while, because it wasn't going well before you got hurt, and I don't think it's going to go well after. What did you think of what you saw from the Dallas Cowboys in the Sunday night loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 19 to 3, in which it was probably the least effective game for a, quote unquote, "full health" Dallas Cowboys team that I've seen maybe since Dak became the starting quarterback.
FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah. And you know, I read your column right before we started taping here. And I think you nailed it in that, no, it actually is time to panic. Because as that game's going on and I started thinking about this podcast, I'm like, oh, we're just going to be talking about how bad the Cowboys are. Like, they're terrible. They look awful.
And then Dak Prescott goes down. The report's out there he's supposed to be about six to eight weeks. Realistically, how many games are the Cowboys going to win without Dak Prescott? I think 2 and 5 is realistic. And that's only if he misses six games. Like, this could be eight. It could be more.
We don't know. We don't know if Dak Prescott is ever going to be right the rest of the season. You have thumb surgery in the middle of the season, that's not ideal. Everything about this is bad. They were bad before the injury. Just nothing was going right on that offense.
You could tell the offensive line attrition affected them. You could tell that the lack of receivers around CeeDee Lamb really affected them. CeeDee Lamb didn't show up tonight. He was a non-factor.
So literally everything about the Dallas Cowboys' performance-- offensively, at least-- defensively, they were solid. Offensively, a disaster. And now you go forward without Dak Prescott. And you just can't help but think, I don't know how this team stays afloat until Dak Prescott comes back.
CHARLES ROBINSON: I think the two most authentic reactions of the night were, first, when the NBC camera caught Mike McCarthy with what appeared to be, effectively, being told hand's broken. But, like, I've never seen someone who looked like their compass was literally spinning.
And then afterward I'm in the locker room-- and I didn't realize that players hadn't been told. We're standing outside the locker room with Jerry Jones--
FRANK SCHWAB: I saw that quote from CeeDee, yeah.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Jerry Jones is like-- he tells us. And so I'm assuming we had just watched-- Jerry comes out of locker room, Stephen Jones exits, hot, pissed. I mean, like, it was this pissed off as I've ever seen Stephen Jones ever walking out of that locker room, including playoff losses, whatever.
And immediately, I knew, before Jerry even opened his mouth, I was like, oh my god. This is really bad. Whatever Jerry is about to say is really bad. So Jerry says-- tells us it's broken, going to have to require surgery. He kept saying a couple of weeks, but you could tell the way he was saying it, I definitely got the gist, like, he clearly doesn't know.
Like, he's just saying that because you don't want to come out and say it's five weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, whatever at this point. So you just say a couple of weeks. So we get in the locker room and CeeDee Lamb-- I asked CeeDee Lamb, like, I'm paraphrasing here again-- like, asking him, did you talk to Dak? What do you think?
Jerry told us it's a broken. It's a break. It's going to be a few weeks. And you could just see on the look on his face was like, well, that sucks. I'm like, right there, bingo, that's it. That's it. Right here, we got this guy's unvarnished reaction to the news-- well, that sucks. And I'm like, that's accurate. What he just said is accurate. It sucks.
Offensive line looked out of sorts. I thought Dak-- I thought the wide receivers-- CeeDee Lamb had moments. Wide receivers are mediocre. In totality, I was like, they're mediocre. I actually thought Zeke could have probably had a better day than he did, but he spent a lot of it pass blocking. And so I just looked at this offense and I'm like, this is completely jacked up based on what we've already seen in the preseason.
Then they lose Dak Prescott, and I'm just like, yeah, man, I hate to tell you, Dak-- and that's what I said. He's wrong. It's time to panic. I agree with you. I think there's just no way-- it was already dysfunctional before.
Now, you take him out of this, who knows what's going to happen? And oh, by the way, in the backdrop of all of this is the fact that Mike McCarthy-- it's a pretty important season for Mike McCarthy.
FRANK SCHWAB: He knows. He knows the pressure on him. And he knows exactly-- like, you could go through all this math in a real quick time in your head. And Mike McCarthy is probably like, uh oh, this is so bad for me, and this team, and my future, truly. Like, I mean, he knows.
This team knows this is a really tough road now without Dak. And I mean, if they're even close to .500 when Dak comes back, I'd be impressed. I really would. Because-- I hate to be like it's one game, your season's lost. But how could you be optimistic right now if you're a Dallas Cowboys fan?