Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was rather blunt on his assessment of offensive tackle La’el Collins’ actions following the game versus Washington.
With roughly five minutes remaining and the Cowboys holding a 27-14 lead over the Washington Football Team, quarterback Dak Prescott threw the ball just before he stepped out of bounds. As he was doing so, Washington’s William Bradley-King shoved Prescott.
After Prescott threw the ball, Collins charged Bradley-King, shoved him and threw at least once punch. That prompted a quick ejection from officials. Meanwhile, Bradley-King wasn’t penalized for his hit.
The hit left the Cowboys without two of their top offensive tackles — Tyron Smith was also sidelined. Despite the questionable move, McCarthy was fully supportive of his offensive tackle coming to Prescott’s aid.
Cowboys Failed to Defend Their QB Last Season
A year ago in a prior game versus Washington, the Cowboys infamously failed to defend their starting quarterback — Andy Dalton — as he took a brutal hit and was concussed.
“We speak all the time about playing for one another, protecting one another. It definitely was probably not the response you would expect,” said McCarthy at the time.
This time around, the Cowboys actually responded and defended their quarterback. And while Collins’ punch resulted in an ejection and will likely result in a fine, McCarthy fully supports the decision to protect the franchise’s quarterback.
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Prescott Defends Collins Following Punch
Prescott clearly appreciated Collins’ actions.
After the Cowboys defeated Washington 27-20, Prescott was another key Cowboys figure that liked how his offensive tackle handled the matter in a key divisional matchup.
“I just told him I appreciate it,” Prescott said. “I told him right there in the moment when they were taking him out of the game. I told him how I felt about him as a brother and as a teammate, and I reiterated that in the locker room.”
“I was at home in my bed when I saw that play,” Collins said. “It just irked me. It made me feel some kind of way. You don’t take cheap shots on guys. We don’t play that type of game. We just line it up and go out there and play ball. We don’t play dirty. We don’t do none of that. At the end of the day, we’re not going to take no [expletive].”
Although the Cowboys pulled out the win over Washington, their offense struggled along the way.
In the absence of Tony Pollard — inactive due to a foot injury — Ezekiel Elliott plodded his way to just 45 scoreless yards, averaging just 3.8 yards per carry. The Pro Bowl running back has dealt with nagging injuries himself this season, failing to show the same type of explosiveness as he had in recent years.
Despite the fact Elliott hasn’t rushed for over 100 yards since Week 5, the veteran running back dismissed the notion that he’s concerned.
“I wouldn’t say I’m concerned at all,” Elliott said after Sunday’s 27-20 victory at Washington, via Sam Gannon of KDFW Fox 4. “We knew it was going to be tough. I think we do gotta play a lot better football on offense. We gotta celebrate this win. We can’t be mad about a win. We’ll be better next week.”
Meanwhile, Prescott struggled on his way to just 211 passing yards and two interceptions — including a back-breaking interception that was returned for a TD in the fourth quarter.
Luckily for the Cowboys, Dallas is 9-4 and three games up on the Philadelphia Eagles for the lead in the NFC East. The Cowboys will have another opportunity to straighten out their offense in consecutive games versus divisional opponents (New York Giants, Washington) over the next couple of weeks.