The wild card round of the NFL playoffs ended Monday with Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys dominating Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with a 31-14 win.
Prescott had the best playoff performance of his career to seal the win. He threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another while passing for 305 yards.
Meanwhile, Brady’s offense and the Buccaneers struggled to get going all night. They were held off until the final play of the third quarter, when Brady completed just 35 of 66 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns and threw a costly interception in the end zone in the first half.
The Cowboys will advance to face the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round (Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX).
Here were the best plays!
Dallas Cowboys 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
Big boy bag
Vita brought in the Thunder on third down, and sacked Prescott to force a Cowboys three-and-out for their second straight drive to open the game.
Cowboys score first
After both teams went 3-and-out on each of their first and second possessions, Dallas finally got to move the ball on their third drive. Some plays by Michael Gallup and Tony Pollard, along with a harsh punt, set up Prescott’s 22-yard TD pass to Dalton Schultz.
The ensuing PAT went wide, though, preserving a 6-0 Dallas lead in the first.
Rachaad White made several jump cuts to help the Bucs finally catch first on their third drive.
The 45-year-old QB put together a play reminiscent of the Kansas City Chiefs star, connecting with Chris Goodwin on a running shovel pass for an 11-yard gain.
Moments after the broadcast showed a graph indicating Brady hadn’t made an interception in the red zone since joining the Pirates in 2020, he threw an interception. Brady picked off Jayron Kearse in the end zone as it looked like he was trying to throw the ball out of bounds.
On fourth down and goal from the 1-yard line, Prescott kept the ball to himself on the fake handover and ran a penalty kick into the end zone to score.
However, Brett Maher fouled PAT again, holding the Cowboys’ lead to 12-0 with just over six minutes left in the second quarter.
Duck puts everything in third place
Requiring six yards to gain a first, Prescott scrambled and planned for a 10-yard gain to keep the Cowboys moving late in the first half.
Duck to Dalton for Dallas’ third TD
The Cowboys were in control the entirety of the first half, finding Prescott Schultz again in the end zone with an 11-yard score.
The only thing they were not in control of was the kicking game. Maher Butt missed a third, holding the Cowboys up to 18-0 going into halftime.
Gallup J to the score
The Cowboys scored again, scoring four consecutive runs with touchdowns as they scored on their first possession of the second half. Prescott found Gallup in the back of the end zone for his third touchdown pass of the game. Gallup appeared to be about to go out of bounds on his reception, but a return review upheld his hold.
However, Maher missed his fourth PAT of the night, holding the game to a three-point lead at 24-0 with nearly 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Bucs score last
In what may be the last NFL game for both players, Brady found Julio Jones along the side of the end zone for a touchdown to finally get the Pirates on the plate. Tampa was unable to convert on the two-point conversion, leaving them with a three-point lead at 24-6 at the end of the third quarter.
Dallas goes for him in fourth place…and scores
With Maher struggling to make PATs, the Cowboys elected to go at him on fourth down from the Buccaneers’ 18-yard line. The decision paid off, as Prescott found CeeDee Lamb wide open for registration.
Oh, and Maher Butt made it this time to make it a 31-6 game.
Get a degree late
Looking to be respectful, Brady found Cam Pratt for a toe drop right before the two-minute caution. He also connected with Mike Evans for the two-point conversion that made it 31-14.
Get a kick to the side
It was too little, too late for Tampa, who recovered the onside kick immediately after the two-minute warning. It is only the fourth time this season that a team has recovered from a penalty kick. Evans downed a potential TD pass on the next play and the Bucs turned the ball over on downs before the Cowboys killed the clock.
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