But most who watched or reacted to the 49ers‘ 23-17 road win on Sunday, January 16 to advance in the NFC playoffs will dial in on the final 14 seconds of that game.
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And it was during that sequence where Cowboys’ two-time Pro Bowl quarterback Dak Prescott made one revealing admission after the contest.
What Prescott Admitted he Should’ve Done
Here’s the play in question: After taking the snap from the 41-yard line of San Francisco while facing second down and one, plus with time wilting away and the Cowboys having zero timeouts left, Dallas and Dak hit the ‘Niners with this surprise attack: A quarterback sneak.
Prescott finds a significant sized gap up the left side of the Dallas line and picks up 14 yards for the first down. However, here’s where controversy ensues: The umpire on the field races to interrupt Prescott before he snapped the ball, as the umpire’s role is to spot the football during that sequence. But time ran out and the 49ers ran out to the field in jubilation.
The entire play can be seen below:
Did Prescott place blame on the official? Or on the play call that was made by both head coach Mike McCarthy and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, which was confirmed by Bally Sports’ NFL writer Michael Silver? No and no.
Prescott instead made this admission to reporters following the six-point loss that eliminated the Cowboys.
“If we’re looking at it now, I could say, yeah, I could’ve went down five yards earlier,” Prescott said. “I thought I got us in position and thought I had time left to clock the ball. It’s something that we’ve practiced over and over to get us into a last-play scenario.”
Prescott provided more details of how that play unfolded from his standpoint.
“As I was getting behind (our center) Tyler (Biadasz), saw four seconds left. I thought there was obviously time to make sure everybody was set, and then honestly, just got hit from behind (by the umpire). Still, when I got up, I saw two seconds. I thought I could get the snap and get it down before time expired.”
From his perspective, Prescott could’ve preserved more time had he settled for a 10-yard gain or less. But after a spike of the football, Prescott and Dallas would’ve likely been left with one final Hail Mary attempt into the end zone.
49ers Head Coach Reacts to Win
In the last two weeks, the 49ers have won in pulsating fashion.
During the Week 18 season finale at Inglewood, the 49ers rallied back from being down 17-0 to beat the Los Angeles Rams 27-24 in overtime with San Francisco’s season on the line. Then, in this wildcard showdown, the 49ers nearly lost a 23-7 lead and during two sequences, surrendered a fake punt pass for the first down and witnessed a Jimmy Garoppolo fourth quarter interception.
The 49ers also lost prized defensive end Nick Bosa and Pro Bowl linebacker Fred Warner to a head and ankle injury, respectively, during the game — losing arguably their heart and soul of the defense. But still, the 49ers have found a way to stay resilient in their last two games to keep their season alive.
“That’s a cool thing about football,” head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters after the Cowboys’ win. “It’s never a seven game series so there’s lots of ways to win one game. And I think that’s why people enjoy watching football. I’d like to think that we have a team built to do it.”