NFL fines Cowboys QB Dak Prescott for comments about fans throwing debris at referees

The NFL has levied a fine against Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Prescott was fined $25,000 for postgame comments made in the wake of an NFL wild-card loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a person with knowledge of the fine confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly disclose the fine.

The outcome seemed inevitable after Prescott encouraged fans who threw debris at officials — and doubled down on the remarks, rather than walking them back, Sunday night.

Prescott apologized Tuesday.

The quarterback was frustrated following a 23-17 loss that ended in a game official colliding with him on a messy attempt to spot the ball. Prescott and the Cowboys thought one more prayer of a play remained. Instead, officials ruled the game — and the Cowboys’ season — over after a quarterback draw that began with 14 seconds left netted 17 yards but bled too much time.

Fans began throwing debris, including beer and water bottles, on the field. Officials raced toward a tunnel exit. Prescott was initially told fans hurled trash at players, as defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had needed his helmet to deflect a bottle. Prescott said he hadn’t seen that, but he condemned the gesture.

“That’s sad,” Prescott said. “I mean you’re talking about a team, you’re talking about men who come out each and every day of their lives and give everything to this sport, give everything to this game of football. Nobody wants to succeed more than we want to succeed.

“I understand fans and the word ‘fan’ for fanatic. I get that too. But to know everything we put into this day in and day out, try our hardest, nobody comes into the game wanting or expecting to lose. For people to react that way when you’re supposed to be a supporter and be with us through thick and thin, that’s tough.”

Then a reporter told Prescott that fans were actually aiming at the officiating crew.

“Credit to them then,” Prescott…

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