ARLINGTON, Texas (KXAN) — The most-penalized team in the NFL stayed true to its brand. The Dallas Cowboys committed 14 penalties as the San Francisco 49ers eliminated Dallas from the playoffs with a 23-17 win Sunday.
A game full of errors for both sides ended with a perplexing decision from Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Dallas built a drive in the final 30 seconds of the game without a timeout, moving to the San Francisco 41-yard line with 14 seconds left.
In what turned out to be the final play of the game, Prescott decided to run the ball in the middle of the field. He was tackled at the 24-yard line as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Time ran out before the official could spot the ball for a Prescott spike.
The Cowboys never led as San Francisco broke through for a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The 49ers extended their lead to 13-0 in the second quarter before Dallas got on the board with an Amari Cooper touchdown.
San Francisco had a 16-7 lead at halftime.
The 49ers pulled away in the third quarter after a Prescott interception put San Francisco in scoring position. Deebo Samuel scored a 26-yard touchdown on the following play for a 23-7 lead.
The Cowboys cut the deficit to 23-17 with eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter after a Jimmy Garoppolo interception boosted a quick Cowboys touchdown drive.
Dallas’ most-damaging penalty came on the 49ers’ final drive of the game when Randy Gregory was called for a defensive hold, allowing San Francisco to take more, critical time off the clock.
Another Dallas season ends with disappointment and an early playoff exit. The Cowboys haven’t reached the NFC Championship round in 27 years.