Dak Prescott and the Cowboys may have saved their best form for the playoffs.
Prescott has 11 interceptions and 4 turnovers in last 7 games, whispered and questioned Troubled, he led Dallas to a 31-14 victory over Tampa Bay, and he caught the attention of opponents with an unprecedented performance, completing 25 of 32 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns, plus 24 rushing yards and Seven assists scored, all touchdowns for Dallas.
“I got out of the way I played this game,” Prescott said after the game of his end Said during the poor performance of the regular season. “Getting greedy. Trying to force some pitches. Trying to throw big ones. That’s not been the way I’ve been my entire career, just take what they give me and wait for big pitchers. I think it’s an anomaly. It’s me A way to dial back in. But I wiped it clean and I know what this game means. I know how important it is to our side.”
Game on Ugly, and perhaps the hangover of Dallas’ Week 18 loss to Washington, as Prescott and his team combined for a total minus-five yards on two 3s and outs before even four minutes to go.
The Cowboys were barely stopped after that, thanks in large part to Prescott, who won his first career playoff road game victory, and the Cowboys’ first of its kind since 1992.
“As I see it, that’s for sure,” Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters when asked about Prescott’s performance. “I think like anything, he’s been so consistent in everything he’s done. He had a couple of games there early on, but he was playing the rest of the night. I think (offensive coordinator) Karen (Moore) and the game call, we stayed true to what we wanted to do. I think he played really well and stayed aggressive. Checked in. I think he had good control of the offense and in the pocket Great play.”
Dallas ended the first half with three consecutive touchdowns of 80, 80 and 91 yards. Prescott made two of those pitches to tight end Dalton Schultz, but his biggest wow point came in a perfect game-play bootleg, scoring on the fourth-goal run.
“[It] was just a great play by Karen,” Prescott said of his rushing touchdown. “Played to fool the defender. I could have thrown it to Schultz. He already had one, so I figured I’d run.”
Presco Tet plotted another 80-plus after the opening of the second half, and his defense opened up, allowing the Buccaneers to go scoreless for their sixth straight possession. That long drive ended with Prescott’s third TD pass, followed by two more throws on his second clutch fourth down — this time from the Bucs’ 18-yard line. A CeeDee Lamb on a broad wheel route.
After that the score was 31-6 – the game was almost over, with just over 10 minutes remaining, Prescott’s magnum opus was largely completed.
Prescott joins Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan as the only players in the Super Bowl era to pass for more than 4 touchdowns and rush for more than 1, he became the first Cowboys player to total more than five touchdowns in a playoff game.
This was a pivotal performance that could have been even more important if the Cowboys defense didn’t get the job done as well.
Tom Brady had to throw 66 passes for the night, and while he did rack up 351 yards and two touchdowns, those successes came as he chased a game that was already out of sight Here we go.
Dallas D is full on Monday nights. Five players had two or more pass deflections. On Tampa Bay’s only play of more than 25 yards in the first half, the team forced Brady to five punts, two turnovers, and forced Brady into the red zone for an interception — his most since 2016. First interception in a home game.
“Defense, after the first two possessions, if they didn’t do what they did, create those 3-outs and just give us the ball, it could be a different story,” Prescott said . “Complementary football, as you say. That’s how this team is when it’s on fire. When this team is on fire, they stop and we go and turn it into points and keep building it.”
Despite missing five games, Prescott is tied for the most interceptions in a season in the NFL, but Prescott’s performance will undoubtedly be a big boon to Dallas’ confidence going forward.
After dispatching the team he broke his thumb and lost to in the season opener, Prescott’s next revenge game will be against the 49ers on Sunday The Los Angeles Lakers, which eliminated him and the Cowboys in 2021.
“We’ve got to start taking a quick look at the team they’ve got, the offense they’ve got,” Prescott said of San Francisco. “They’re firing on all cylinders. The streak, I think the longest in the league right now. So, it’s important for us to get off to a quick start. To catch them. I know they have a pass rush, but one time after another, I’m a big fan of what we have. People are full of confidence. We have this team and what we are capable of doing.”