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AP

Finally humbled, Prescott and Elliott aim to respond

Profile image for Schuyler Dixon
Schuyler Dixon, AP

FRISCO -- Dak Prescott didn't need long to answer whether the Cowboys' 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 the Cardinals on Monday.

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.

Pro Football Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson accused him of quitting, and coach Jason Garrett didn't do much to dispel the notion. Nearly lost in the hubbub: by far a career-worst game with 8 yards on nine carries.

"I definitely heard it," Elliott said. "I would say I was just very frustrated, but that's no excuse for the lack of effort I showed on tape. I just can't do that. Being one of the leaders on the team and being a guy that people count on, I can't put that type of stuff on film."

Prescott took equal ownership Thursday, saying the coaches adjusted and gave the Cowboys chances to recover from a miserable start, only to be undone by his poor execution.

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