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Cowboys vs. 49ers: The good, the bad, and the ugly from the Wild Card Round

The highs and lows from the Wild Card Round for the Dallas Cowboys.

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Well there you have it. The Dallas Cowboys season is officially over. The San Francisco 49ers came to town and handled their business, while the Cowboys did their best to giftwrap it for them. It’s time to turn the page on this year’s team and start a new chapter for what will hopefully be a even better one in 2022.

Before we do that though, let’s revisit what took place in this Wild Card matchup. This wasn’t a game with a lot of positives for America’s Team, but there were definitely more than a fair share of negatives. As such, the good, bad, and ugly this week is a little more interesting than previous weeks.

THE GOOD - Fighting to the bitter end

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

It’s difficult to identify anything positive coming out of this disappointing Wild Card matchup with the San Francisco 49ers. The Cowboys weren’t anywhere close to playing up to expectations, but even with that it was encouraging to see them to continue to fight to the very end. They could’ve easily hung their heads and accepted defeat, but instead they showed a lot of heart by battling it out until time finally expired. It’s not much to go on, however, it’s about the only silver lining there is.


THE BAD - Self-inflicted wounds/penalties

Arizona Cardinals v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Once again the Cowboys were their own worst enemy against the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card Round. They accumulated over a dozen penalties Sunday afternoon and about half of them were pre-snap infractions. Add that to poor tackling and other mental mistakes, and it’s a wonder the score was as close as it was. It’s one thing to lose to a better team, but it’s something entirely different when you’re beating yourself. This game falls in the latter, even though the 49ers are probably the better team on Sunday.


THE UGLY - The bitter taste of defeat

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

If losing wasn’t enough, the way the Dallas Cowboys lost made it much worse. This game was never really quite out of reach until the final seconds ticked off the clock when Dak Prescott desperately tried to spike the ball as time expired. If they’d been able to get a few more things to bounce their way or cut down on a few of their penalties, it’s quite possible they’d be the team advancing. Sadly, that’s not the way things turned out which will leave a bitter taste in their mouths and make the offseason seem much longer than it should.