The Dallas Cowboys were mounting a comeback in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.
The offense got the ball back trailing 23-17 with 32 seconds remaining on their own 20-yard line.
In a bit of a miracle, Dak Prescott was able to get the ball to the 49ers’ 41-yard line with 14 seconds remaining.
Then the disaster happened.
The quarterback ran up the middle for a gain of 17 yards, only for time to expire before he could spike the ball.
Fans were outraged and Prescott called out the officiating after the game.
The only problem is that the officials were not wrong in this situation.
ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky had a great roast of the Cowboys over this final play and made it clear where the blame should go.
.@danorlovsky7 says the officials aren't to blame for the Cowboys loss.
"You cannot sit there and blame those officials for your inability to operate in that moment! … Look in the mirror and say 'We weren't good enough. Again.'" pic.twitter.com/bKvW81u0Rl
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) January 17, 2022
The former NFL quarterback reiterated how unprepared the Cowboys looked in such a big moment.
He also mentioned how different it is to practice something in shorts in training camp compared to executing it during the biggest moment of the season.
The Officials Are Not To Blame
Orlovsky went in on the Cowboys and rightfully so.
The issue at hand was Prescott going down with only a few seconds remaining.
The rules, which he should know, state that the umpire needs to place the ball before a play can be run.
Prescott did not leave enough time on the clock and by the time the official got to the ball, the game was over.
Fans then threw things onto the field and Prescott did not exactly shun the action.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott: “The fans felt the same way as us. I guess that’s why the refs took off and got out of there so fast. I think everybody is upset with the way this thing played out.” https://t.co/39p4x4itkE pic.twitter.com/bj1nHCuIfu
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 17, 2022
The entire execution of the play, as Orlovsky mentioned, is the issue here.
Prescott wasted too much time and did not take into account the fact the ball needed to be spotted.
Instead of just saying he got caught up in the moment, the team’s response seems to be casting blame elsewhere whenever possible.