While Dak Prescott left his last playoff meeting in the 2021 season uninjured, he admitted to reporters after the Dallas Cowboys‘ Wild Card romp on Monday, January 16 that the San Francisco 49ers left him and his team with a “scar.”
Prescott still remembers vividly the 49ers escaping 23-17 in Arlington, Texas one postseason ago — hence why he says that playoff loss still hurts him.
“[For] me and this team, that’s a scar,” Prescott said to reporters Monday evening after the Cowboys trounced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-14 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.”
Prescott Reveals Early Plan to Counter 49ers
Prescott went 23-of-43 for 254 yards and threw one touchdown with one interception versus the Niners. However, he was sacked five times that afternoon.
Dallas fans, plus those who watched the final seconds unfold, likely still remember the last scene that saw Prescott spike the football as time expired. That final play explains the “scar” the All-Pro quarterback was explaining.
However, the 49ers jumped out fast in that game played at AT&T Stadium with the Niners jumping out to an early 10-0 lead — then led 23-7 before Dallas mounted a comeback. So for Prescott, he revealed an early plan to counter the 49ers.
“I mean just got to start fast. Knowing the team that they have, they’re on fire,” Prescott said. “It’d 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 confident in the guys in this group that we have and what we’re capable of doing. So it’s going to be important for us to have a great week of preparation and get ready for it.”
He also believes things have set up the way the Cowboys want it for this postseason: Facing teams that beat them including the 49ers.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Kyle Shanahan Reveals 49ers Got Head Start on Dallas Preparation
The 49ers, meanwhile, prepared for the Cowboys without even knowing officially they would be playing them.
Hours before kickoff of the Cowboys-Bucs playoff meeting, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and his coaching staff immediately got the early jump on prepping for Dallas but also threw in tapes of the Bucs, the sixth-year head coach said.
“We’ll be watching a lot of film on both Dallas and Tampa and by the time it gets to them, we probably have watched enough on both teams to where now we’re just waiting for the end of that game, so I’ll probably just sit back and relax tonight when that starts and just watch the TV copy like a normal person and after it probably get to work a little bit before we start on Tuesday,” Shanahan said Monday afternoon per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.
Insider Details if 49ers are Better in Rematch With Cowboys
Prescott is still scarred by last year’s meeting between the two teams. All-Pro edge rusher Micah Parsons has sent his fiery message on the eve of the game. But as motivated Dallas is, are this version of the 49ers better than the one that eliminated the Cowboys?
The Athletic’s David Lombardi thinks so in his Tuesday breakdown of this upcoming Sunday, January 22 contest.
He included that the 49ers were dealing with their own “scars:” An injured Jimmy Garoppolo and not having Nick Bosa momentarily.
“Considering the fact that the 49ers were playing with an injured QB, no Nick Bosa, weaker secondary and worse O-line last season — and still beat Dallas on the road — the Cowboys will have to show that they’ve made *massive* strides to pull off this upset. SF also much fresher,” he said.