Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has at least 40 passing attempts in four of the last six games and leads the NFL in passing yardage. AP Photo/Rick Osentoski

FRISCO, Texas — Dak Prescott has thrown for more yards than any NFL quarterback.

For those who remember the days and months when the Dallas Cowboys quarterback once struggled to break the 200-yard barrier, for opponents long convinced the best way to beat this team was to put the ball in his hands and take it out of Ezekiel Elliott’s, this is not a misprint.

Prescott has thrown seven more touchdown passes than Tom Brady, who he will face at New England this weekend. He’s thrown for 503 yards more than Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.

Try to get the anointing oil back in the bottle. You can’t. Prescott is receiving attention in this season’s MVP race as former critics declare the Cowboys are now, of all things, a passing team.

The rise of Prescott and the evolution of the Dallas offense is undeniable. But be careful here. Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, the genius the Cowboys face Sunday afternoon in Foxborough, has a history of tormenting quarterbacks young and old.

Ask Peyton Manning.


New England’s defense ranks No. 1 in the league. It has allowed only nine touchdowns and has come up with 19 interceptions. It’s on pace for 59 sacks.

Belichick’s big brain and the Patriots defensive personnel will be the ultimate test for a quarterback coming into his own.

That’s why those suggesting the Cowboys have moved on from Elliott as the central offensive figure will want to wait. The team’s best chance for an upset this week could be a heavy dose of Elliott, with some Tony Pollard sprinkled in for good measure.

New England has lost one game this season. Baltimore rushed for more than 200 yards in its 37-20 victory. The Ravens ran the ball 41 times and threw it just 23 times.

Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott was held to 92 yards rushing in the past two games. AP Photo/Paul Sancya

This follows the Cowboys’ formula for success with Elliott until this season. The fact he’s been held to 47 and 45 yards on the ground the last two games feeds the narrative that this offense is now best served when it passes to set up the run.

“At the end of the day, we’ve got the highest-paid runner and a really, really good offensive line that draws attention,” said Dallas offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. “Whether it eventually flips or impacts in other ways as we continue to throw it, we’ll keep doing what we do.


“And I think for myself, ‘Hey, we’ve got to find different ways, maybe we need to approach it a little bit differently from a run game perspective.’

“But I think we’ve got plenty of stuff going that is a real positive.”

Pollard was on the field for only 13 snaps Sunday in a 35-27 win over Detroit, but the rookie caught four passes for 44 yards and rushed twice for 12 yards and a touchdown.

This is the ideal role for Pollard moving forward, a role the club has only sporadically managed to carve for him up to this stage.

“We were able to get to some stuff that gave us a great opportunity,” Moore said. “Get the ball in his hands. Let him be Tony.

“Good things are going to happen.”


Prescott has been outstanding. The same can be said of his receivers. The passing game is operating at such a high level, it would be foolish to abdicate this edge going into the game because the Patriots’ pass defense is so stout.

But Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb probably won’t be running free as often as they have against most of the teams they’ve faced this season. Belichick will throw some defensive looks at Prescott designed to determine how much the quarterback has progressed.

The Cowboys are passing more and more. Prescott has at least 40 passing attempts in four of the last six games.

But that doesn’t mean this team has forgotten Elliott. Two abnormally low rushing games don’t mean he’s become an afterthought in this offense.

What has happened on the ground in recent weeks is a short-term trend, not a long-term issue.

“There are some games, based on how things go, you’ve got to run it more,” Coach Jason Garrett said. “There are some games, depending on how things go, you’ve got to throw it more.


“The idea is to move the ball and score points. That’s what the goal is.

“The goal has never been to be a team that is a running football team. The goal has never been to be a team that is a passing football team. We want to be a team that attacks people in different ways.”

Look for Elliott to be a bigger part of the attack Sunday afternoon.

There’s plenty of room for him and Prescott in this offense.

ANTONIO BROWN apologized to the Patriots and team owner Robert Kraft for any negative attention he brought to the team during his brief stint in New England.

The four-time All-Pro receiver posted his apology on Instagram, writing: “All I wanted to be was an asset to the organization; sorry for the bad media and the drama!”

The apology comes on the heels of past posts in which he indicated he’d fight the Patriots’ decision to withhold a $9 million signing bonus. He also reportedly met with NFL officials last week to discuss various sexual assault allegations against him that could make him subject to a possible suspension under the league’s personal conduct policy if he’s signed by another team.

The Patriots cut ties with Brown in September after he played just one game for the team.

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