Just like that, the Dallas Cowboys’ season is over.
Twelve wins in the regular season and one playoff win to show for it after their 19-12 loss to the 49ers Sunday night. The defeat marked the Cowboys 12th straight postseason appearance that they failed to reach Conference Championship Weekend, via ESPN’s Field Yates.
It also extends their own record for the longest streak in NFL history, and they’ve now gone 27 seasons in total without reaching the NFC Title Game. The jokes are coming in droves on Twitter, and there’s nothing we can do about them. They’re justified after another Cowboys playoff shortcoming.
You can point to about 10 plays that led to the Cowboys falling short against the 49ers — Tony Pollard’s ankle injury was devastating for the offense — but these four in particular stick out like a sore thumb.
4 plays that shaped the Cowboys’ playoff loss to the 49ers
4. Dak Prescott misses wide-open TY Hilton
This isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but man could it have altered the trajectory of the game had it gone differently.
On a key third down in the second half, Prescott had tunnel vision for CeeDee Lamb, who turned in a game to remember and hauled in an impossible catch while being held minutes earlier, and targeted No. 88 despite the fact he was blanketed by Fred Warner. Prescott nearly threaded the needle, but Lamb didn’t have nearly enough wiggle room to make the play.
Perhaps it was the 49ers pressure that sped up Prescott’s internal clock, because he had TY Hilton uncovered up the seam for a potential touchdown. At the very least, Hilton makes the grab and the Cowboys have 1st and goal.
Prescott was under siege on the play, and didn’t have time to turn back to Hilton. However, it’s pretty clear the QB had tunnel vision for his go-to receiver. Had Dak seen the entire field after taking the snap, he hits Hilton in stride for a touchdown.