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SF 23, DAL 17: Cowboys Comeback Falls Short, Season Ends in Failure

Despite a 23-7 deficit going into the fourth quarter the didn’t stop fighting. Unfortunately, that fight and their season ended in failure today with a 23-17 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the 2021 .

With Dallas trailing big after three quarters, capped a drive with a 51-yard field goal to narrow the score to 23-10. Next possession, picked off a bad pass by Jimmy Garoppolo to set up the on the 49ers’ 28-yard-line.

would eventually run the ball in for a touchdown, giving us our final score of 23-17. But the drama continued as the Cowboys forced a punt and crossed midfield with over two minutes left, then eventually turned it over on downs

The 49ers nearly put the game away on their final possession, but Dallas used its three timeouts to save clock and eventually get the ball back. With only 32 seconds still on the clock, the Cowboys took advantage of soft and churned out 56 yards in five quick plays.

Unfortunately, a bizarre choice to to run the ball with no timeouts and then a mishandling of the ball between Dak Prescott and the official cost the Cowboys a shot at the endzone. The game ended as it had been played most of the day; Dallas failing to execute and allowing the referees to get in their way.

The nature of this loss is what hurts especially. Dallas sabotaged itself with numerous penalties, stalling its repeatedly and erasing valiant efforts to remain in the game. Even when the 49ers’ top defenders like DE Nick Bosa and LB Fred Warner left the game with , the Cowboys still didn’t do enough to take advantage.

This game went as many projected throughout the week. The 49ers had 169 rushing yards and were able to play conservatively. The Cowboys blew their opportunities with penalties and bad plays in key moments from culprits on both sides of the ball.

It was a team loss with plenty of blame to go around, both on the field and among the staff.

Winning the and getting 12 wins was nice. But as stated more than once during ’ broadcast, getting bounced in the of the playoffs is nothing anyone’s happy with at any level of the Cowboys’ organization or fanbase.

Now the begins with both OC and DC being pursued by numerous teams with coaching vacancies. abound and several positions, such as and , clearly needing upgrades after this season.

We’re on to 2022.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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22 Comments

  1. I don’t get all this “Kellen Moore” talk, specifically about him being some kind of genius and in line for a head coaching job. To me that’s ridiculous. The Cowboys offense is predictable and lacks imagination. Yes, they scored a lot of points, but look at who they scored the points against….a bunch of inferior defenses. Check their point total average against average or above average defenses. With all of the weapons on the offensive side of the ball, there is no excuse for their inconsistent performances.

    That leads me back to Kellen Moore. I would let him go wherever he wants to go, and if he didn’t leave of his volition, I’d fire him. How can you be a genius and be next in line for a head coaching job when the unit that you’re currently in charge of, is failing??!! That makes no sense whatsoever!! You’re failing at your current job and you’re a candidate for promotion??!! This offense should and could be 100% more effective with the right coaching leadership and play calling. I don’t see that in Kellen Moore. What the Kellen Moore talk does however, is illustrate the power of the media. Everyone in the media keeps repeating it, so it must be true. Makes you wonder what the media is looking at. BTW, I’m a lifelong Cowboys fan.

  2. I’m not gonna support a team where the QB is gonna condone those actions by the fans, you lost Dak, you lost that game, you were a no show for 3 quarters, you threw the pick that led to a touchdown, and you blaming it on the refs ? I HOPE YOU NEVER WIN SHIT FROM NOW ON

  3. 6 and 0 against a terrible NFC East…maybe the worst field of teams this once mighty division has ever produced. Outside of that they had one quality win and that was against the Patriots who were playing a rookie QB only a few games into his first season. By the time free agency takes it’s toll, a needed round of cuts happens, and the coaching carousel stops turning we won’t even recognize this team next year. In my opinion Zeke, Smith, LVE all get the chopping block. Sad to see Tyron’s career end this way but he is a shadow of himself. In reality there will be too many holes to fill and some under performing players may still hang in there. Aside from Martin I don’t think there is an O lineman worth his current pay check on the team.

  4. To recap – this game was a SH_T show from the start, horrible play-calling and bad play for 3 quarters, awful bone-headed plays by too many players. It was readily apparent Quinn and Moore were more focused on interview prep, this team will not win anything with PT Barnum Montgomery Burns Jerruh as GM, so I do not expect to see any post-season success with burns and nepotism Stevey in control. But what really did surprise me was the clueless and classless display put on by Dakota during the post-game press conference. As a Walter Payton man of the year nominee what he did yesterday with his comments about the refs and fans throwing things at them was highly distasteful. Dak has won ONE playoff game in SIX years. And once Moore, Quinn and Fassell leave you have free agents who will likely be gone: Gregory, Schultz, Wilson, Watkins, Kazee, Kearse. So 2022 will be even worse. And it is clear McClay is going to have to rebuild most of the O line, and Tyron and Zack will have wasted their careers here. Paper Tiger 12-5, 8-0 versus nfc least 4-5 outside it.

  5. There is news that when DP was informed that fans were throwing bottles and thrash at the refs, instead of the team, he changed his tune of initial disappointment, saying, “credit to them”. Nice guy? Sore loser.

  6. This team is about to officially hit rebuild mode , Dak isn’t the guy as I said before Jerry caved in and I’m still very much a critic of him now, our O Line is botched, Coop ain’t gonna last that much longer health wise for us, Ceedee is looking to me as a bust when compared to someone like Jefferson who was taken a pick after us, and we’re gonna lose some guys in FA, as well as possibly losing DQ at DC

    Don’t get it twisted though, Jerry did this to himself, ON WHAT PLANET DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO PAY A RB EARLY AND PAY YOUR QB LATE ? He screwed himself as well as us over by waiting till last minute to sign Dak which gave him the leverage to force Jerry into paying him top market dollar, the smart thing would’ve been to sign him early so not only could you flex the contract with the rookie contract , move it around and manipulate the cap so that it isn’t such a bad cap hit, but master negotiator Jerry chose to wait SMH

    But now that I addressed Jerry, now it’s Dak’s turn to get criticized, he’s being paid 40 mill, with that comes expectations, just compare him to other QBs, Lamar Jackson, he didn’t make the playoffs but injuries to himself as well as his team screwed them over, yet he bout brought them to the playoffs anyways, Josh Allen just blew out the Pats in playoffs, Mahomes taking care of business vs. Steelers tonight, does Dak deserve to be considered in the same light as those guys ?

    Also look at the young QBs who appear to be passing him or at least leveling with him rn, I’d take Herbert everyday, no questions asked over Dak, Burrow performed in his playoff debut unlike Dak, and he did it btw with not a freaking top O Line ppl (have you ever done that in your life Dak?)
    Kyler Murray man if he could stay healthy hed be passing up Dak, as well as of course, Allen and Jackson who i highlighted earlier,

    Let’s face it, he’s the new Kirk Cousins, we can win games with him, but not because of him, which is different, and when the game is on the line, he chokes under pressure, now if you look at the Vikings and how they paid Kirk now ppl see that Kirk is the problem, not the team that’s been put around him

    I believe sooner or later ppl will also come to that same conclusion with Dak, but i imagine there’ll be some ignorant ppl who’ll come to Dak’s rescue XD

    Bottom line, this is over, Cowboys still suck, and they look like they’ll continue to suck for at least 4 more years as long as Dak is our QB

  7. I’ve always said that when a salary cap was put on teams over twenty five years ago that that the Cowboys would never be in another Super Bowl as long as Jerry Jones owned the team. So far, after all these years, I’ve been right.

  8. Add LT as a need as it’s a strong possible that Tyron may call it quits after another year of struggling to stay on the field. And the left side was horrible today. Even Tyron. Good riddance to Williams. And after Urban went down we had no one at DT that even remotely resembles a run stopper. What to with big contract of Lawrence who was no factor today. So the needs are basically the same as last draft…replacement for Tyron, CB, ball hawking FS, LG and most important, a stud DT which we have needed for over a decade.

  9. In regards to Dak, Jones never put the non-exclusive tag on him to test the market, if he leaves get 2 1st round picks and save the cap room. Jones negotiated against himself. He has never been able to carry a team, doesn’t win vs good teams, hold the ball way too long, and is not accurate – his % maybe good, but look at the placement of the ball. Winston (N.O.) was paid $1 mil his first year with the Saints, after TB, and abut $8 mil his second year (this one). Though he was hurt, he has more talent and with a more conservative game plan was extremely effective. Dak, great guy, has padded his stats and is not the answer. McCarthy should be fired tonight, Moore should be let go to find another job, Flores from Miami should be called immediately or hire Quinn as HC and call the defensive plays. Even call Leftwich. They have had so much talent over the past years, but even Jason Garrett, who they kept on for 5 years too long, couldn’t instill discipline. Today’s game with all of the penalties and running straight up dumb plays was plain terrible. Pollard I believe had 4 carries. I have been a fan in the SF area since ’76/’77, I’m too old to go through the same crap every year. I’m sure Jerry Jones is really having reflective time and a lot of drinks right now.

  10. Look, DP was 17th in QBR before his scrimmage blowout of the Eagles. So not very surprised by this bad performance. Sure they made it a bit interesting late, but that was all on JG’s overthrow pick, resulting in that short field TD. Otherwise no shot at all. Never ahead in the game.

    SIX YEARS now and still ONE PLAYOFF WIN to his name. There are second year QBs that are better than him right now, with worse supporting casts. But every year he is hyped as an MVP candidate??? MVP candidates don’t lead their team to a grand total of 7 yards with TWO series in a first quarter of a playoff game. but this guy did. Then seven points in the half.

    Overthrows, throwing behind players, strip sack fumble, INT, bad pocket awareness, ETC. I’ve been critical of this guy for two years and even more so after he wrecked the cap with the idiotic contract they gave him. Should have tried to trade him BEFORE giving him that contract. Big mistake by the FO. IMO, he is not getting them to a SUPER BOWL.

    Longtime Cowboy fans demand better than this. It’s frankly an embarrassment to the Cowboy’s great history.

  11. Don’t get me wrong, I love this team and have been a fan for 50 years, but I saw this coming. I knew this bubble was going to burst,and it did in an unceremoniously way. The penalties, lack of execution and poor coaching is inexcusable for a team with this much talent. McCarthy is the point man in ALL of this. I can’t remember seeing a team this undisciplined in the post season in a long, long time. As much as a lot of people want to blame Jerry Jones for everything that is wrong with the Cowboys, I beg to differ. This team was loaded. The coaching staff was given a roster capable of winning it all, but the leadership failed them and ultimately, the fans.

  12. Screw those losers. The entire team. After watching Dallas for 55 years, i am so sick of these losers. It actually makes me sick to my stomach. Dak is a definite loser who is way overpaid. His play sucked most of the season unless he was playing the rest of the East. The entire team was a huge embarrassment. I HOPE EACH ONE OF THEM WALLOW IN THEIR OWN SORROW. I don’t feel pity on any of them cuz they deserve everything the pissed off fans give them. I guess they weren’t that good after all contrary to the BS hype driven press releases so they could sell Jerry’s BS and build his empire. They will never win another Super Bowl. I am finally jettisoning these azz hells and burning their stuff. Let them ban me cuz I’m going to troll those losers on social media til they can’t take it.

  13. Nailed it Stevet. Dak is a joke. Worse he is the kind of player that Jones will never give up on. Jerry loves players that he sees a diamonds in the rough that he found and no one else did. He is fourth round qb playing above his draft position, but nowhere near the caliber of player that can elevate his team to greatness. At best he is a decent back up who is making elite money and he and his massive salary will sink this team for years to come.

  14. Been a diehard fan since the early 70s. Besides Jimmy Johnson making Jerry look good; Jones is a glorified fan that is waaaaaay out of his league. Dak is way way way overpaid , Zeke is way way way overpaid , head coaches are hired to be yes men and this will be the same story every single year. Bank on it! I thought Stafford would have been a huge pickup for the Cowboys and Dak should have been dumped to figure out just how mediocre he is somewhere else. Very inconsistent, horrible decision maker and zero accuracy with wide open receivers. Brady did substantially more today with substantially less due to all the injuries Tampa has right now; because winners win , regardless of circumstances.

  15. Like I said in the half-time thread, I wouldn’t miss most of the UFA’s that might be leaving. Gregory, C. Williams, Kazee, Hooker, Vander Esch, etc all disappointed this game and way too often throughout the season.

    Team execution? I’m all for it. Didn’t see much of it this game, but I think we’re about to see a mini blow up.
    McCarthy? Wouldn’t be shocked to see him get axed.
    Quinn? He’ll leave to be his own boss again and take several of his assistants with him.
    Moore? I wouldn’t be surprised if Jerry does something stupid like elevate him to HC. Garrett 2.0. Smart thing would be to let some other team take a chance on him. I don’t think he’s ready to run an entire team.

    The underperforming, overpaid, non-free agents?
    I’d seriously look at moving on from La’el Collins and Tyron Smith. They’re both unreliable and are struggling more and more even when they are available.
    DLaw is a tough choice. When he’s on, he’s great. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been on his game much this season, and it’s hard to justify his salary.
    Zeke is and excellent pass protector, unfortunately, he’s paid like an elite RB. He’s no longer a very good RB, much less an elite one.
    Amari Cooper still runs exceptional routes. Unfortunately, he’s always dinged up and is too inconsistent even when healthy. Add in his getting disgruntled with his touches, and he’s underperforming his salary.
    Dak is way overpaid, but we all know he’s not going anywhere anytime soon…and neither is this team while he’s QB1.

    • lonewolfz – Vanderesch played his guts out – he led the team with 13 tackles (5 solos). He stopped the forward progress of a few scrums as well.
      Compare that to the stars – DLAW 2 solos and Gregory 1 solo, unless you count the takedown on the lineman he thought was the ball carrier….oops. Where were they most of the game?

  16. This team had a lot of accomplishments but did not play up to their potential! Very un discipline if players are not taught in practice to know what a penalty is and by the way this should be taught repetitiously over and over and over again then it will show up during games and we all seen that it cost us a win today! This falls on the coaching staff and is just as important as the schemes that are prepare from week to week for the teams we are playing! This has to be cleaned up or we will be in the same boat next year! By the way I like Dak but he needs to give back some of the 40 mill until he proves he is worth it! Very frustrated right now!! Losing games that we should win is just not acceptable!!

  17. Nothing surprising here at all. This team has six wins against 3 horrible NFC East teams. Their record has been a mirage. Stats fluffed up against terrible teams. I hang this loss on the coaching staff that never held their team accountable for the penalty count week after week. That is a part of the game that can be managed with coaching and discipline. Kellen Moore and Quinn can both hit the road for all I care. In every game against a decent opponent they have had no answers and have had their team ill prepared. This team will return to obscurity next year with the list of free agents they have and the amount of money they have tied up in two average players in their offensive backfield. With the inflated win total there likely won’t be a quality draft either. Dak has never done it against a quality team, isn’t as mobile as he once was and still can’t see the field or throw a consistently accurate ball. All Zeke is anymore is three yards and a cloud of dust if that. At least my Dawgs got it done after forty one years. Looks like it may take that long for the Cowboys to do it again as well.

  18. Put 160 million in the ref pocket and Dak will find him.. what a massive waste of 160 .. pretty much no pocket awareness, throw the ball away, when to go down, he’s lost against 500 or above teams.. if Connor, Lve, or baisdez is back ., we don’t want to win
    Daks horrible throw on pic cost another game

    • Dak is an above avg QB , it’s all on Jerry as an incompetent GM that he didn’t sign Dak for $30million per2 yrs ago. We’d be able to move on without pain. Same thing with Zeke and in 2 yrs Cooper

    • It’s obvious Dak is not as good as before his horrible injury. He seems slow and tends to throw behind or above the receiver. I think he needs glasses I’m not joking. I think he has a vision problem. Poor play from Dak spreads a funk to the teammates. Also a lot of poor play calling rand execution. Today Dak acted like he was drunk. The Cowboys left me feeling physically sick after this game. Most of the team acted like they didn’t want to win. A big letdown. We the fans deserve better and yh deserves more for all the money he paid dand trust he bestowed onto Dak. Multi millions for what? t was pathetic and I’m dang mad.

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