It wasn't supposed to end so quickly for the Dallas Cowboys. After a 12-5 campaign in 2021 which saw the Cowboys produce the top offense in points and yards while also possessing the No.1 defense in terms of turnovers and stopping teams on third down, they were expected to make noise in the playoffs but failed miserably.
The Cowboys looked unprepared and flat against the San Francisco 49ers in the wild-card round and suffered a disappointing 23-17 loss at home, making it the 11th consecutive playoff appearance in which they didn't reach the NFC Championship Game.
“I don't know if it's gone yet,” Prescott said. “I don't know if ever will, honestly. I think there's probably some games, some moments in an athlete's career that just stick with them forever, and I'm sure that will be one of them.”
Prescott set the Cowboys franchise record for touchdown passes with 37 and totaled double-digit wins for the third time in his career. However, after a year of rehabbing his surgically repaired ankle, he dealt with a strained shoulder that kept him out for the preseason and a calf strain that cost him a game in the regular season.
The former Offensive Rookie of the Year was selected to be an alternate in the Pro Bowl. It would've been the third appearance for Prescott but he chose to let his body rest which makes sense with the multiple injuries he suffered in 2021.
“Just didn't want to take any more, I guess you could say hits, or just wear on the body,” said Prescott. “I wanted to turn the page and get ready to start next season.”
The pressure to lead the Cowboys on a deep playoff run won't be any less for Prescott in 2022, it will probably grow larger. With every season the passes without postseason success, coupled with what he gets paid, Prescott will be scrutinized, fairly or unfairly, it just comes with the quarterback position, especially with the Cowboys.
Prescott is now preparing for his seventh season in the NFL. He'll have to be better down the stretch in 2022 than he was this season in which he failed to reach 300 yards in eight of his last 10 starts and struggled with his accuracy. Also, he has to get the Cowboys to the NFC Championship Game at least, it's that simple.