His presence helped the team go from 6-10 to 12-5 one year after recovering from his ankle injury.
Prescott also established the franchise’s single-season record for touchdown passes with 37.
Unfortunately, the conversation ends because the Cowboys failed to make another deep playoff run.
It’s been 26 years since the Cowboys last made the NFC Championship, which was also the same year they won their last Super Bowl.
Dak Prescott, making $75 million this year, has mostly played like he's worth $7.50 an hour today. He has been far more off than on. That interception just sealed it. Ballgame. Congrats, 49ers.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 16, 2022
Dallas has won three division titles since Prescott joined their team in 2016 but only went as far as the Divisional Round.
The former Mississippi State standout had the opportunity to bury past playoff failures in their Super Wild Card game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Instead, he couldn’t lead his team to victory even if they had home-field advantage.
Their defeat goes beyond the game’s final sequence because the 49ers came to play, and the Cowboys didn’t.
Beyond The Quarterback Slide
Time was not on the Cowboys’ side when Prescott took off to keep the chains moving.
But they could have had one last shot for the end zone if he slid earlier and handed the ball to the umpire immediately.
Instead, they tried to run a play without the umpire touching the ball, forcing time to run out.
The Cowboys could do nothing to reverse that decision because that’s the standard operating procedure.
However, Prescott must be upset about playing poorly during a game that mattered a lot.
Dak Prescott now has the same playoff record that Tony Romo had through his first 6 seasons of being the starting QB for the Cowboys. pic.twitter.com/ds9vkCnaiX
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 18, 2022
In the regular season, he had games wherein he had completion percentages of 72.4, 70.6, 77.4, 75.7, 71.8, and 77.8.
These games helped him finish the regular season with a 68.8 percent completion rate.
Sadly, he completed only 53.5 percent of his passes against the 49ers and played catchup throughout the game.
The Cowboys didn’t score until the second quarter and went down by 16 points at one point.
San Francisco also had more total yards, 341-307, and the Cowboys only had 77 rushing yards.
.@ShannonSharpe on Dak crediting fans for throwing trash at the refs:
"I have huge problem with this, that's bush league, Dak Prescott. Officials always run off the field. Why are you encouraging your fanbase to throw trash? They should've thrown it on your head." pic.twitter.com/m4isvrhWSI
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 17, 2022
That’s uncharacteristic for an offense that led the league in total yards (407) and points (31.2) per game.
The 49ers gained 169 yards on the ground while the Cowboys hurt themselves with 14 penalties.
Frustration Boiled Over
Aside from failing on the field, Prescott also failed sports referees with his postgame comments.
Initially, he expressed disappointment over the fans’ behavior of throwing trash onto the field.
But he responded “credit to them” upon learning that the fans were hurling objects at the game officials.
Those comments drew much flak from football fans and media personnel.
The National Basketball Referees Association also wanted the NFL to penalize Prescott for his comments.
I deeply regret the comments I made regarding the officials after the game on Sunday.
I was caught up in the emotion of a disappointing loss and my words were uncalled for and unfair.
— Dak Prescott (@dak) January 19, 2022
Prescott apologized for his spur-of-the-moment comment, but the damage has been done.
It will take time before he shakes off the loss to the 49ers and the controversy surrounding his statement.
As talented as he is, experiencing more postseason failures will exclude Prescott from the conversation about the game’s best quarterbacks as of the present.
He will have more opportunities to redeem himself and the Cowboys.
For now, being a failure is a tag that he must carry everywhere.