On Dec. 26, in a prime-time game, the Dallas Cowboys beat Washington 56-14. While the hype after that game was out of control, it was justified. The Cowboys looked Super Bowl worthy.
A few weeks later, that same team went one-and-done in the playoffs.
The Cowboys are on an improbable streak. They haven’t played in a conference championship game since the end of the 1995 season. This failure will linger for a long time. It’s a team that had the offensive and defensive stars to make a deep run, but they were outplayed on their home field by a San Francisco 49ers team that barely made the playoffs. The Cowboys’ season is over after the 23-17 wild-card round loss.
Dallas made a run, sparked by an awful fourth-quarter interception by Jimmy Garoppolo that pulled them to 23-17. Dak Prescott had a chance to drive his team for the win in the final three minutes, but on fourth-and-11 the 49ers blitzed and got pressure, and Prescott’s desperation pass to Cedrick Wilson fell incomplete. The 49ers couldn’t run out the clock after that and had to punt. Dallas had a small chance to drive 75 yards in the final 32 seconds, but the Cowboys couldn’t stop the clock after a Prescott run to the middle of the field. An official bumped Prescott trying to get the ball set, which threw Prescott off as he rushed to spike it. It was a poor decision by Prescott to run that late in the game with with no timeouts left. Time ran out and the Cowboys’ season was over.
The 49ers have been on a roll and could end up making a Super Bowl run. We thought the same about the Cowboys just a few weeks ago.
Cowboys suffer devastating loss
The energy on Sunday for the Cowboys was bad from the start. The 49ers had a dominant drive to start the game and Eli Mitchell scored for a 7-0 lead. The Cowboys lost 13 yards on their first drive and the 49ers responded with a field goal.
There were moments in which the 49ers seemed willing to let Dallas back in the game. They settled for some field goals. They…