What a game. What a win. What a performance.
The Dallas Cowboys held off the Seattle Seahawks in dramatic fashion, knocking off Russell Wilson and company 24-22 in front of a national primetime audience. It may have been a little too close for comfort, but the Cowboys were able to pull out a victory over a team that knows how to win — which cannot be understated.
The game was back-and-forth for the entire four quarters of football. At times, it was ugly. Penalties and self-inflicted mistakes frustrated both sides as the two squads battled for all of the 60 minutes.
But, in the end, Dak Prescott proved once again that he has what it takes to win in the clutch.
Was this Dak’s best performance of his career? No. I mean, it was not even Prescott’s best playoff performance, strictly in terms of statistics. However, the young signal-caller has begun to gain a reputation as a winner — and he backed it up when his team needed him the most.
Since Prescott’s rookie season, only Tom Brady — widely considered the greatest quarterback of all time — has recorded more wins. No player in NFL history has led more game-winning drives through the first three seasons of a career. The statistics go on and on.
Most game-winning drives first 3 seasons in NFL history— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) January 6, 2019
Dak Prescott - 15
Russell Wilson - 15
Matt Ryan - 13
Dak continues to show up. He continues to prove that he has what it takes to get the job done when his team needs him to. Whether it was the touchdown pass to Michael Gallup to put the Cowboys up just before halftime, or the two big throws to Amari Cooper, or — of course — a pair of big runs that resulted in touchdowns, Prescott answered every challenge he encountered on Saturday evening in front of over 90,000 fans inside AT&T Stadium.
We should not be surprised, though — this is the guy that led Dallas all of the way back from a 21-3 deficit in his first ever playoff game to only fall to a special throw by the incredible Aaron Rodgers in 2016. Prescott was tasked with going toe-to-toe with Russell Wilson on Saturday — a quarterback who has made a reputation on winning big games — and Dak answered each and every time.
Yes, the interception was a bad throw (and a missed pass-interference call), but Prescott made the plays when it mattered time and time again. Perhaps the best play of his young career came in Saturday’s playoff victory.
Facing a third-and-long situation after penalties backed the team up, and with a field goal not going to be enough to knock off his counterpart at quarterback on the other sideline, Prescott took matters into his own hands. What appeared to be a seven-yard-or-so gain at first turned out to be the play that ultimately sealed the win for the youngest quarterback to win a playoff game in the storied history of the Dallas Cowboys.
Not only did Prescott get the first down, he also sacrificed his body in the process. While you would typically not like to see your quarterback put himself in harm’s way, Dak is a tank and has shown that he will do whatever it takes to get the extra yard — like last season’s touchdown versus the Cardinals, for example.
I mean, look at this!
Prescott proceeded to sneak the ball in for six on the following play, putting the Cowboys up by ten with under two minutes remaining in the game. As we later saw, Wilson answered with a touchdown of his own, proving that the Cowboys could not have afforded to settle for three in that spot in this kind of game.
Following the game, Dak’s partner-in-crime, Ezekiel Elliott, had some high praise for his quarterback. The backfield duo traumatized the Seattle defense all night long, and Zeke wanted to point out how tough the man behind center is.
Erin Andrews asked the league’s leading rusher what was going through his head when he saw Prescott make that third-and-14. Zeke replied, saying:
It’s simple: he’s a grown-ass man. That’s what is. That’s how he played today, and he led us to this win.
A grown man.
Playoff Dak in full effect pic.twitter.com/yoGO1DsLat— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 6, 2019
Elliott was not the only All-Pro to chime in on the Cowboys quarterback. The great Zack Martin made it clear following the playoff victory: there is no other quarterback that the five-time All-Pro offensive guard would rather play for. That’s some high praise.
Zack Martin, on Dak: “Any time you see you quarterback throwing his body around and doing whatever he can to help us win, it’s inspiring ... I wouldn’t want anyone else as our quarterback.”#cowboyswire— David Helman (@HelmanDC) January 6, 2019
What happens next remains to be seen; however the 135th overall selection of the 2016 NFL Draft came up in the clutch when his Cowboys team needed him the most. In the NFL playoffs, that is all you can ask for from the man leading your franchise.