The Dallas Cowboys entered the 2021 NFL Wild Card round as the number 3 seed meaning that they secured a Wild Card home game. They matched up against the number 6 seed San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys went 12-5 to win the NFC East this season and the 49ers went 10-7 to secure the third spot in the NFC West and the second Wild Card. I’m going to attempt to be dissecting what we watched on the final drive of this wild game.
Dissecting What We Watched: The Set-Up:
Dallas entered the fourth quarter down 23-10. They scored a Touchdown in the middle of the quarter to make the score 23-17. This would be the final score of the game as the Cowboys couldn’t score another touchdown that would have put them up 24-23 if they made the PAT.
The Final Drive:
The final drive by Dallas saw them march right up field. The 49ers rushed four with everyone else in deep coverage as they should have. The only problem was that absolutely no one was guarding the perimeter so the Cowboys were marching up field while getting straight out of bounds. It was terrible defense by the 49ers.
for the final play of the game Dak Prescott ran the ball downfield for a gain of 17 yards to bring the ball to the 49ers 41 yard line. When he ran the ball, Dallas was out of timeouts so they had to get out of bounds or spike the ball to stop the clock. They were already clearly in Hail Mary range which was the only real hope they had to win the game with .08 seconds left in the game.
Prescott had tried to get to the line quickly and spike the ball with one or two seconds left. The entire Dallas Cowboys offense forgot that the Referee had to spot the ball. The Ref then barreled through Prescott and the Cowboys Center to get to the ball. By the time the Referee got there, time had expired. Cowboys lose the game in heartbreaking fashion.
Dissecting What We Watched: Who’s To Blame?
It goes without saying that Dak Prescott should have never ran the ball in that situation. What was going through his head at the time is going to be a curse for Cowboys fans until at least next season. There is nothing anyone can say to make that final sequence not be Prescott’s fault. In the amount of time that final sequence took, they could have attempted two, maybe three Hail Mary passes.
This game doesn’t fully go on Prescott’s shoulders though. We cannot let this game slide by without talking about the lack of discipline that the Cowboys played with. You cannot win a playoff game in the NFL with 14 penalties. That completely fall on Mike McCarthy who has shown he is not a good coach in the league.
The blame should be on both of them for the terrible game they played. McCarthy should be fired at this point but we all know he won’t be. Prescott is a guy in the NFL and deserves better coaching.
Who do you put the blame for this game on? Let us know in the comments below!
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