DAL-12, SF-19: COWBOYS HAVE DEJA VU AGAINST THE 49ERS AND LOSE IN THE DIVISIONAL ROUND- Tony Stahl, Inside The Star
Different year, same result.
On the first play of the final quarter, Running Back Christian McCaffrey drills it into the endzone, 9-16.
KaVontae Turpin does it again and runs the ball all the way to the 43 yard-line. Giving some hope to this Cowboys team.
This game just keeps getting more and more intense as Dallas approaches the 49ers’ Red Zone. Maher is forced to kick another field goal which just squeezes inside the right post. The nailbiting score is now 12-16.
With eleven minutes left, the 49ers have the ball on their own 25. Another big gain by the tight-end Kittle pushes the ball to the 42. While the 49ers ate up plenty of clocks, they go on to kick a field goal and make the score 12-19.
The Cowboys get the ball and can’t even get a yard as they immediately punt away with 2:05 left.
With 45 seconds left, the Cowboys get the ball on their six yard-line. The Cowboys get near mid-field, but a booth review put the Cowboys back to the 24-yard line.
With a strange final play, the game is over, 12-19 is the final score for this game.
Safe to say this was not Dallas’ finest showing of the season.
The Cowboys made several blunders on the game, including two interceptions off the arm of Prescott in the first half. That was compounded by Trevon Diggs missing two interceptions on what ended up being the 49ers lone touchdown drive of the game. It was a drive where Dallas thought they ended it with a sack, but a downfield hold gave the 49ers new life.
Sprinkle in bad direction decision by kick returner Kavontae Turpin on what could’ve been a touchdown and it put Dallas in a hole with three minutes remaining. Needing to drive for a win, Prescott almost threw a PIck-6, missed an open Michael Gallup downfield, and then stepped into a sack.
Dallas actually got the ball back with under a minute to go, but the offense wasn’t able to do much with it from the shadow of their own end zone as TE Dalton Schultz cost the team with two mental blunders that derailed their last-ditch effort.
If you are a glutton for punishment, here you go.
Although the Cowboys went nowhere to open the third frame, they got their own gift when Kelvin Joseph knocked the ball loose on the 49ers punt return with Damone Clark falling on the prize at San Francisco’s 21-yard line.
Dallas was able to work down to the 7-yard line, but when the offense could advance no farther, out came Maher. Cowboys Nation held its collective breath, but his kick split the uprights, the 25-yarder tying the game.
The defenses would hold serve over the next two possessions with Dallas overcoming a 53-yard kickoff return to force a punt with San Francisco doing the same after a 46-yard completion from Prescott to Lamb.
An unfortunate way for Pollard’s career-best year to end.
It’s tough to know for sure until Pollard undergoes an MRI, but this insight from Washington University Physicians offers some clarity.
Despite the fact that most athletes who experience a low ankle sprain can return to sports within one to three weeks following the injury, those players who sustain a high ankle sprain are often out of sports for four to six weeks depending upon the injury severity. Sports that involve cutting and pivoting, such as football, are especially difficult to play in the setting of a high ankle sprain. The player’s position may also dictate the length of recuperation as running backs or linebackers who have to quickly change direction are often the most disabled with this injury. For those athletes who require surgery, sports activity can usually be resumed in approximately four months. Therefore, surgery for this injury typically results in an inability to return the same season. Once an athlete sustains an ankle sprain, he or she, unfortunately, is more prone to future injuries. It is for this reason that most NFL teams require their players to have their ankles taped or braced during competition in an attempt to reduce the risk for recurrence.
That is a huge gut punch for the Cowboys. While a quarterback like Mahomes can withstand playing through the injury, Pollard is so reliant on lateral movements and quick cuts on his ankle to manufacture yards out of the backfield that he faces a likely multi-week absence. Mahomes, meanwhile, can simply sit back in the pocket and pick apart defenses with his arm, giving him a better chance to play even though he’ll be compromised.
What is your takeaway from this playoff loss?
10. Disappointing Dak - Down seven points, 82 yards from the end zone, 2:59 remaining in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game. Dak Prescott it’s your ... oops. With Cowboys fans and America on the edge of their seat waiting for a legacy-defining touchdown drive and a potential, riveting game-tying extra-point attempt by kicker Brett Maher, Prescott instead offered only a harmless three-and-out. On first down his quick pass toward tight end Dalton Schultz was late and almost intercepted. On second down he threw woefully short and wide of open receiver Michael Gallup at San Francisco’s 40. And on third down he was sacked. Three plays. Two incompletions. Zero yards. When Dallas needed it most, Dak didn’t deliver.
Dalton Schultz, Leighton Vander Esch, others headline 2023 Cowboys free agents- SportsDay Staff, DMN
And with that, the 2023 offseason officially begins.
TE Dalton Schultz
After a 2021 season with 78 receptions for 808 yards and eight touchdowns, the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Schultz for the 2022 season. Schultz caught 57 passes for a 577-yard, 5-touchdown regular season. He shined during the Cowboys playoff run with three touchdowns, two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and one against the 49ers.
Nine tight ends have an average salary higher than Schultz at $10.93 million. He is the highest paid free agent for Dallas. Should Schultz, drafted by the Cowboys in 2018, move on from Dallas, rookies Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot are expected to fill his absence.
LB Leighton Vander Esch
The Cowboys are well aware of the value Vander Esch brings to the team as Dallas re-signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2022. This year he’s proven he’s worth even more than that amount. Vander Esch played a decisive role in the Cowboys’ Nov. 24 win over the New York Giants, stopping Giants quarterback Daniel Jones at the 1-yard line. When the 26-year-old sat out the last three games of the regular season with a neck injury, the Cowboys missed his disruptive presence. Still, he’s had issues with injuries and has lost some of the speed he came in with as a rookie five years ago.
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