SANTA CLARA, California. – Two more interceptions by Dak Prescott. Another missed extra point by Brett Maher. Some weird play-call at the end of the game.
All of this has led to another playoff exit for the Dallas Cowboys and more questions about what needs to be done to overcome that hump.
Prescott had two losses and only one touchdown, and the Cowboys fell short of the NFC title game for the 12th straight postseason road trip. lost 19-12 to San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round on Sunday.
“I felt we were in a good position to come here and win this case,” said owner Jerry Jones. “Honestly, I wouldn’t say surprised, I would say just very disappointed that we may not have been able to do something.”
The franchise, which won three Super Bowl titles in four years at the start of Jones’ reign, is now known mostly for playoff flops.
And now there are rumors of job security for coach Mike McCarthy, who won one playoff game in three seasons last week over Tampa Bay.
Jones said the loss did not change his mind about McCarthy, but he was visibly disappointed by yet another early finish.
“It’s very disgusting,” he said.
The Cowboys (13-6) have not even reached a conference championship game since winning the Super Bowl after the 1995 season, losing seven times in the divisional round and five times in the wildcard round. Since then, only five other teams have not reached the conference title game.
They had a chance to get this far on Sunday thanks to strong defensive play, but were knocked out by the 49ers for the second season in a row.
“Just a disappointment,” Prescott said. “The defense gave us the opportunity to win this game. They played hard against a very, very good offense, a really good team. It is unacceptable for us to stage only what we have done. It starts with me. I must be better. There is no other way to embellish it.”
An early intercept by Prescott set up a goal from the San Francisco game.
The Cowboys then compiled their only TD drive of the game when Prescott connected with Dalton Schultz for 4 yards. But Maher had his an attempt to score an extra point is blocked after missing a record four last week in a win over Tampa Bay.
Prescott then threw another interception—his 13th in the last nine games—to turn a potential late-half assist into a field goal that gave San Francisco a 9–6 lead at halftime.
“I can’t put the ball in danger like that, whether it’s a ball on a hard shot or I’m late for a stop route,” Prescott said. “It just can’t happen. The figure he reached is laughable. I can promise the number will never be the same again. I can promise it.”
The Cowboys then failed to capitalize on two big special teams games, settling for field goals from Ray-Ray McCloud’s botched hit and CaVontae Turpin’s long return shot.
This put them in a stalemate late as they took the upper hand at 18 with 2:59 left, 19-12 behind.
Prescott had two non-completions in a row and was fired on the third down. McCarthy decided to put in fourth and tenth for all three remaining timeouts.
The Cowboys returned the ball to the 6 mark with 45 seconds left, but were only able to move the ball to the 24 before a strange final play that began with running back Ezekiel Elliot passing the ball to Prescott and ended just before the scheduled hooks. punches when Jimmy Ward grabbed the ball. Turpin after a short pass.
A fitting end to another disappointing season.
“In fact, we have taken another step towards our goal,” said McCarthy. “It’s something that’s comparable to last year for this year.”
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