McCarthy: Cowboys 'Came Up Short' In the End

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Mike McCarthy took to the podium following the loss to the 49ers to give his take on a season that had the opportunity to be special, but instead ended up being anything but

SANTA CLARA, California — Less than one week ago, the Dallas Cowboys were flying high after finally taking down Tom Brady on NFL Super Wild Card Weekend, but their potential revenge tour was cut short in the NFC Divisional Round against the San Francisco 49ers; and mostly by their own hand, not their opponent's.

Dak Prescott went from being masterpiece theater against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to seeing his run-in with interceptions resurface in the worst possible moments in the first half at Levi's Stadium, leading to a combined six points for the 49ers en route to a 19-12 defeat of the Cowboys.

"I think, really, as a whole today … we knew it was gonna be a slugfest," said head coach Mike McCarthy. "We just didn't get enough. You can go through the decisions, the statistics, but I think, defensively, we did a really good job, for the most part."

It's the second postseason in a row that Kyle Shanahan is celebrating at McCarthy's and the Cowboys' expense.

It could easily be argued that despite the late-game fatigue errors by the Cowboys defense, they more than held their own, while it was the offense who struggled to get going, though everyone in a Cowboys uniform is now headed to the offseason; effective immediately.

And, with that, another promising 12-5 season ends without breaking an NFC Championship Game appearance drought that now stretches 28 seasons. In a matchup that saw the Cowboys have every chance they could've wanted to take down the 49ers, they instead took down themselves and punched San Francisco's ticket to Philadelphia.

"Would we like to have a couple more snaps? Yes," McCarthy said. "Would we like to have a couple more third-down conversions on offense? Yes, we could've used those, too. Just extremely disappointed. This has been an incredible journey with this group of men, we just came up short tonight to a very good football team."

There are plenty of questions the Cowboys will face as their offseason gets underway, not exclusive to the laundry list of looming free agents as Dallas tries its best to keep the band together while improving to make themselves viable contenders for another Super Bowl.

But, for now, as raw emotions led several players, including safety Jayron Kearse to literal tears in the locker room following the loss on Sunday, first comes reflection on what went wrong, and what could've and should've been this season.

"Both teams laid it out there, but we came up short," said McCarthy.

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