After Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott’s interception, resourceful receiver Deebo Samuel raced 26 yards for a score, and the San Francisco 49ers hung on for a 23-17 wildcard victory over the Cowboys on Sunday’s match.
The Cowboys had one final shot with 32 seconds remaining and were at the San Francisco 41 with 14 seconds left as Prescott gathered up speed in the center with the intention of sliding and spiking the ball to a win.
However, Dallas was not snapped from the 24th before the clock struck 0:00. After a brief pause, referee Alex Kemp declared the game ended.
The 49ers survived QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s interception to take a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter. Prescott ran for a touchdown to get within a field goal, and he had a chance to lead Dallas to a field goal.
But the 49ers made a stop in the middle of the field when Prescott’s desperate fourth-down ball was just beyond receiver Cedrick Wilson’s reach.
Dak Prescott, making $75 million this year, has mostly played like he's worth $7.50 an hour today. He has been far more off than on. That interception just sealed it. Ballgame. Congrats, 49ers.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 16, 2022
How 49ers dominate the field
After the NFL’s most penalized team in the regular season committed its 14th penalty, allowing San Francisco to run out most of the clock – and the frantic final seconds as Dallas tried to win – the 49ers (11-7) won their first playoff game against the Cowboys in a historic rivalry after season.
The 49ers were in command in the fourth quarter, but they didn’t think they could win without relying on the rushing game, as Garoppolo threw an interception to Anthony Brown, who scored on Prescott’s 7-yard run.
The @49ers D-Line breaks through 😤
Nick Bosa with the sack!
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 16, 2022
Garoppolo’s blunder came not long after Prescott was intercepted at the Dallas 26 by K’Waun Williams, and Samuel ran uncontested on a cut-up midway through the final zone in the next game to give the 49ers a 23-7 lead.
San Francisco’s standout pass rusher Nick Bosa suffered a concussion shortly before halftime after being squashed in the head and neck area by teammate DJ Jones. The 49ers, on the other hand, kept the pressure on Prescott and finished with five sacks while keeping the NFL’s top offense to 307 yards.
Concussions almost eliminated both teams’ finest pass-rushers. Micah Parsons, a prominent Dallas rookie, left the game in the first quarter before Bosa was injured. He was evaluated and returned.
San Francisco scored on its first four possessions but settled for three field goals from Robbie Gould to keep the Cowboys at bay. Garoppolo later gave Dallas life with a rollover, which Brown collected and returned to San Francisco 28. Prescott won five games later.
The Cowboys used all three timeouts after Prescott’s desperate ball to Wilson fell incomplete.
The 49ers grabbed the first down on a second-team penalty by a Dallas defensive tackle on a running play, then Samuel got all but a few inches for a first on a third-and-11 run with only one minute remaining.
After another flameout in the first game of the preseason for Prescott, the star quarterback’s second in three innings, Dallas (12-6) will have to wait at least 27 years to make it this far in the playoffs. It was his first postseason appearance after signing a four-year, $40 million contract in the offseason.
Friendly fire takes out Nick Bosa… pic.twitter.com/KpuJWusGCj
— Joey Hayden (@_joeyhayden) January 16, 2022