Dak haunted by ‘scar’ of Cowboys’ last playoff loss to 49ers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
With the 49ers set to meet the Cowboys in the NFC Divisional Playoffs on Sunday, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott has last year on his mind.
San Francisco knocked Dallas out of last season’s wild-card round in a game that came down to one weird, final series, ending with a too-late spike by Prescott in the contest’s final second.
And since then, the game’s outcome has served as motivation for the signal-caller and his team.
“[For] me and this team, that’s a scar,” Prescott said Monday after the Cowboys eliminated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the final game of Super Wild Card Weekend. “That one hurts. It will hurt for the rest of my career, and it will be a motivation throughout my career, just to make sure I’m preparing the right way, leaving no doubt in the preparation.
“So just being able to get [the 49ers] again … this thing’s set up just for us — playing teams that have beat us, teams that we’re familiar with. So it’s important for us now, as I said, to capitalize on this preparation, take it one day at a time and make sure we’re ready to go as we work for this one.”
Prescott looked the opposite of prepared near the end of last year’s 49ers-Cowboys playoff matchup at AT&T Stadium, as he led his offense down the field with 31 seconds remaining. Dallas needed a touchdown and extra point to win the game, and it looked like a possibility as Prescott and Co. marched into 49ers territory.
But on the final play, Prescott scrambled to the 24-yard line and couldn’t spike the ball to stop the clock after appearing to run into the referee. A San Francisco celebration ensued as the 49ers’ 23-17 win was sealed.
The game’s ending went down as one of the wildest in NFL history, from Prescott’s collision with the ref to his decision to run the ball in the first place. But that was last season — and now, the Cowboys will look to avenge themselves at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday.
“We’ve got to start fast, knowing the team that [the 49ers] have, the offense that they have,” Prescott said Monday. “They’re on fire. Win streak, I guess, what, the longest in the league right now? Yeah, it’ll be important for us to start fast, get on top of them.
“I know the pass rushers they’ve got, but, once again, I’m so confident in the guys that I’ve got, this group we have and what we’re capable of doing.”
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After San Francisco knocked Dallas out of the playoffs last season, Prescott certainly hopes to return the favor this year.
And with the 49ers-Cowboys rivalry renewed, one team is almost guaranteed to walk away with another scar.
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