Many who thought a significant part of The Cowboys' offensive struggles were due to the absence of star Left Tackle, Tyron Smith, had a sobering wake-up call on Thursday. Prescott looked bad and appeared to have a lack of confidence throughout the game, barely stretching the ball downfield and only obtaining 179 yards on 20 completions.

This Cowboys team appears to have no identity without Ezekiel Elliot. With three games left on Elliot’s suspension, the Cowboys can pretty much say bye to their playoff hopes unless something big changes.

Dak Prescott

Since Elliot’s suspension, Dak has looked like a completely different quarterback. His five interceptions in the last two games are more than he had in all nine games before. His two lowest QBR’s are from the last two games as well. It is no secret that Ezekiel Elliot is one of the best running backs in the game, but with the stat line Dak had, the question appeared to be whether he could still be great when Elliot was gone, or if he would just be a solid quarterback. No one assumed that he would be playing this awful, and turning over the ball as much as he has. This suspension has not only proved how valuable Elliot is to this team but also how Prescott is far from a quarterback that this franchise can rely on to win games.

The defense

The defense has not been much help to the struggling offense. They have given up at least 27 in the past three weeks and were picked apart by Philip Rivers on Thursday as he threw for over 430 yards along with three touchdowns and no turnovers. It is no secret that Sean Lee is the best defensive player on this team and that his absence has hurt the defense, but just how bad this defense is, is becoming known by the rest of the league.

Before, people knew that the Cowboys had a very good pass rush, but were below average overall. However, they could usually hold their own because their offense kept them off the field for such a large part of the game. They would be off the field enough to not tire out and they did a good enough job. Now, with a struggling offense, this defense is having a very difficult time keeping the Cowboys in the game.

The rest of the season

The Cowboys don’t have that difficult of a schedule to close out the season, but as of now, they do not look like they can beat anyone. Going into week 13 sitting at 5-6 in the strong NFC means that they can pretty much kiss their playoff hopes goodbye. There are many things that need to be addressed for this Cowboys team in the offseason, and if they want any hope of being a real threat in the future, Prescott needs to develop more. If they do not do this, then the Eagles look capable of becoming the first team since 2004 to win their division two years in a row if they can keep it up next season.