The Dallas Cowboys suffered a 19-12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs. The loss marked their 12th consecutive playoff berth without making it to the conference title game, the longest streak since the NFL-AFL merger. There were several factors that contributed to the Cowboys’ loss to the 49ers.
Mistakes and turnovers
The Cowboys made crucial mistakes and turnovers throughout the game that cost them valuable opportunities. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. These interceptions halted potential scoring drives for the Cowboys and gave the 49ers momentum. Additionally, the Cowboys had issues with penalties, committing 14 penalties for 89 yards. These penalties disrupted their offensive rhythm and extended drives for the 49ers.
The Cowboys’ offense struggled to find a rhythm against the 49ers’ defense. The offensive line had difficulty protecting Prescott, resulting in five sacks and 14 quarterback hits. The running game was also ineffective, with Ezekiel Elliott averaging just 2.6 yards per carry. The lack of offensive production put the Cowboys at a disadvantage and prevented them from sustaining drives and scoring points.
Questionable coaching decisions
There were several questionable coaching decisions made by the Cowboys’ coaching staff. One notable decision was to punt the ball on fourth-and-5 from the San Francisco 40-yard line in a tied game. This decision gave the 49ers favorable field position, and they capitalized on it by scoring a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Another questionable decision was to attempt a field goal on fourth-and-8 from the 25-yard line instead of going for a touchdown. The Cowboys needed a touchdown to stay in the game, and settling for a field goal limited their chances of a comeback.
The Cowboys also faced challenges due to key injuries. Running back Tony Pollard suffered a fractured fibula, leaving the Cowboys with limited options in the running game. Ezekiel Elliott, who had been struggling in recent weeks, was unable to provide the necessary production. The absence of Pollard and the ineffectiveness of Elliott hindered the Cowboys’ offensive capabilities.
Final drive mishaps
In the final moments of the game, the Cowboys had a chance to tie or win the game with a touchdown drive. However, a series of mistakes and miscommunications led to time running out and the Cowboys falling short. A missed spike by Dak Prescott and a lack of urgency in getting set for the next play resulted in a clock violation and the end of the game.
Overall, the Cowboys’ loss to the 49ers can be attributed to a combination of mistakes, turnovers, ineffective offense, questionable coaching decisions, and key injuries. These factors prevented the Cowboys from capitalizing on opportunities and ultimately led to their elimination from the playoffs.
1. How many consecutive playoff berths have the Cowboys made without reaching the conference title game?
The Cowboys have made 12 consecutive playoff berths without reaching the conference title game, the longest streak since the NFL-AFL merger.
2. How many interceptions did Dak Prescott throw in the game against the 49ers?
Dak Prescott threw two interceptions in the game against the 49ers, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
3. What were some questionable coaching decisions made by the Cowboys?
One questionable coaching decision was to punt the ball on fourth-and-5 from the San Francisco 40-yard line in a tied game. Another questionable decision was to attempt a field goal on fourth-and-8 from the 25-yard line instead of going for a touchdown.
4. Who suffered a fractured fibula in the game?
Running back Tony Pollard suffered a fractured fibula in the game, leaving the Cowboys with limited options in the running game.
5. What led to the Cowboys’ loss in the final moments of the game?
Mistakes and miscommunications, including a missed spike and a lack of urgency in getting set for the next play, led to time running out and the Cowboys falling short in the final moments of the game.