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, winning 31-14.
Prescott had the best playoff performance of his career to earn the win. He threw for four touchdowns and rushed for another while passing fro 305 yards.
Meanwhile, Brady and the Buccaneers’ offense struggled to get going all night long. They were shut out until the final play of the third quarter, with Brady completing just 35 of 66 passes for 351 yards and two touchdowns and throwing a costly interception in the end zone late in the first half.
The Cowboys will advance to take on the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round (Sunday, 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX).
Here were the top plays!
Dallas Cowboys 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
Big boy sack
Vita Vea brought the thunder on third down, sacking Prescott to force a Cowboys three-and-out for the second straight drive to open up the game.
Cowboys score first
After both teams went three-and-out in each of their first two possessions, Dallas finally got the ball moving in its third drive. Some plays by Michael Gallup and Tony Pollard, along with a roughing the passer penalty, set up a Prescott 22-yard TD pass to Dalton Schultz.
The ensuing PAT went wide right, though, keeping Dallas’ lead at 6-0 in the first.
Rachaad White made numerous jump cuts to help the Bucs finally pickup a first down on their third drive.
The 45-year-old QB made a play reminiscent of the Kansas City Chiefs star, connecting with Chris Godwin on a running shovel pass to gain 11 yards.
Moments after the broadcast showed a graphic mentioning that Brady hadn’t thrown an interception in the red zone since joining the Buccaneers in 2020, he threw an interception. Brady lobbed a pick to Jayron Kearse in the end zone as he looked like he was trying to throw the ball out of bounds.
On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Prescott kept the ball himself on the fake handoff and ran a bootleg into the end zone for the score.
However, Brett Maher missed the PAT again, keeping the Cowboys’ lead at 12-0 with just over six minutes left in the second quarter.
Dak lays it all out on third down
Needing six yards to get the first, Prescott scrambled and laid out to get 10 yards to keep the Cowboys’ late first-half drive moving.
Dak to Dalton for Dallas’ 3rd TD
The Cowboys were in control for the entirety of the first half, with Prescott finding Schultz again in the end zone for an 11-yard score.
The only thing they weren’t in control of though was their kicking game. Maher missed a third PAT, keeping the Cowboys’ lead at 18-0 right before halftime.
Gallup-ing to the score
The Cowboys scored again, marking four straight drives with a touchdown 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 close to stepping out of bounds on his reception, but the replay review upheld his catch.
However, Maher missed his fourth PAT of the night, keeping it a three-score game at 24-0 with roughly 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
Bucs finally score
In what might be the final game in the NFL for both players, Brady found Julio Jones along the side of the end zone for a touchdown to finally get the Buccaneers on the board. Tampa wasn’t able to convert on the two-point conversion, keeping it a three-score game at 24-6 at the end of the third quarter.
Dallas goes for it on fourth down … and scores
With Maher struggling to make his PATs, the Cowboys opted to go for it on fourth-and-4 from the Buccaneers’ 18-yard line. The decision paid off and then some, as Prescott found CeeDee Lamb wide open for the score.
Oh, and Maher made the PAT this time to make it a 31-6 game.
Bucs get a late score
Looking to keep it respectable, Brady found Cam Brate for a toe-tapping touchdown right before the two-minute warning. He also connected with Mike Evans for the two-point conversion that made it 31-14.
Bucs get the onside kick
It was too little, too late for Tampa, which recovered the onside kick right at the two-minute warning. It’s just the fourth time this season a team’s recovered the onside kick. Evans dropped a would-be TD pass on the following play and the Bucs turned the ball over on downs before the Cowboys killed the clock.
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