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Dak on Loss to WAS, INTs: 'Crappy, Won't Continue'


Dak Prescott isn't shying away from his fault in the INTs that have burned the Cowboys this season and, after losing to the Commanders, knows they must stop — effective immediately

LANDOVER, MD — The mission to further establish momentum going into the NFL playoffs was failed by the Dallas Cowboys, and in a fashion that was tough to stomach for all involved, as they fell 26-6 in their regular season finale against the Washington Commanders.

Ultimately, a win wouldn't have done anything to improve their playoff seeding (No. 5), but playing their starters — including Dak Prescott — for the majority of the game showed they were hoping to leave FedEx Field with a win.

Instead, they left having played the worst game of the season, slotting it directly next to their 19-3 loss in Week 1 to the very same Tampa Bay Buccaneers they must now recover to face on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend in no more than eight days from now.

Prescott, who played poorly in Week 1, virtually mirrored his numbers from that outing in Week 18, as you can readily see:

  • Week 1: 14/29 passing, 134 passing yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 47.2 rating
  • Week 18: 14/37 passing, 128 passing yards, 1 passing TD, 1 INT, 45.8 rating

The two-time Pro Bowler took to the podium following the regular season finale and took the train of accountability head on.

"Sh---y, not to use the language but it was exactly that," said Prescott of his and the offense's performance against the Commanders on Sunday. "The defense gave us a chance. We put them in bad positions, us and special teams did. ... I think the defense did enough, obviously.

"But, for offense, just completely not who we are. I don't think I've seen us like that, damn sure not in the last two years. It's something that, as much as you want to burn the tape and move forward, there's a lot that we've got to learn from. Use this tape."

Time and again, the defense did indeed give the Cowboys a chance at capitalizing, but the offense could muster only one touchdown (a 15-yard scoring pass from Prescott to CeeDee Lamb to end the first half) and the special teams unit, one that's been routinely excellent this season, only made things worse.

A great kick return to begin the contest was deleted by a penalty on safety Tyler Coyle. Bryan Anger fumbled a snap that then saw him tackled, gifting possession to the Commanders in the red zone. Turpin later muffed his second punt of the season, the Commanders again recovering in the red zone.

The Cowboys simply could not get out of their own way, as has been the case in each of their five losses this season.

"We've got the right guys in this locker room [that] understand nobody played their best ball, simple as that," Prescott said. "It starts with myself — being accountable for what you put out there, what you did. From that it's about understanding that's not who we are and then moving on and knowing what we've got ahead of us: one play at a time, one game at a time."

One thing the Cowboys were not doing, however, is wondering about the Eagles' outcome, having "zero awareness" of it as they desperately tried to find some sort of consistency on offense that never arrived.

For Prescott, who saw Kendall Fuller drop a would-be interception before targeting him on the very next play, resulting in a pick-six, now has a league- and career-high 15 interceptions on the season; and that puts the Cowboys in worrisome air when considering they're now tasked with trying to hand Tom Brady his first-ever loss against Dallas — in the playoffs, no less.

"It stinks," he admitted. "... I've got to get better at it. This won't continue. ... I've been having to get back up all my life."

The film from Washington won't be burned, but instead dissected and digested fully to try and force another needed episode of resilience from a Cowboys team that hasn't suffered a two-game losing streak at any point in the season. Keeping that trend alive in Tampa will ultimately tell the tale of if this version of the Cowboys are as special as they believe they can be.

Given the vibe in the locker room after the game, and of Prescott, they're sitting with a nauseating taste in their mouths at the moment, readying to turn the page quickly while not forgetting what happened in Landover.

"When that plane touches down [in Dallas], we're on to Tampa."Dak Prescott isn't shying away from his fault in the INTs that have burned the Cowboys this season and, after losing to the Commanders, knows they must stop — effective immediately

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