NFL

Prescott says win over Chargers shows Cowboys 'always in the fight'

By Sports Desk September 19, 2021

Dak Prescott praised the resilience of the Dallas Cowboys after the overcame the Los Angeles Chargers 20-17 in the NFL on Sunday.

Staring down the possibility of a second consecutive heart-breaking road defeat to start the season, the Cowboys showed their determination in Week 2.

That was the message from star quarterback Prescott after Greg Zuerlein's 56-yard field as time expired gave the Cowboys victory over the Chargers. 

After watching Tom Brady march Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers down the field in the final minute to set up a game-winning kick in the season opener, the Cowboys' defence got the job done in the second half against the Chargers.

An 11-play Chargers drive in the third quarter ended with a Damontae Kazee interception of Justin Herbert in the end zone, four plays after an apparent Herbert TD pass was called back due to a holding penalty. 

It was more of the same on a 12-play Los Angeles drive that consumed much of the fourth quarter, as Herbert and the Chargers reached the Dallas two-yard line before having a touchdown negated due to an illegal shift.

Two plays later, Micah Parsons sacked Herbert for an 18-yard loss and the home side had to settle for a game-tying field goal from Tristan Vizcaino rather than a go-ahead touchdown. 

To Prescott, those two stands were indicative of a team determined to stick together. 

"We're resilient, we're gonna fight, we're always in the fight," Prescott told CBS. "I think tonight we showed our brotherhood, we trusted each other, we played complementary football.

"Defence came up with a great turnover there in the red zone and we finished off with a win."

Zuerlein saw to that with his booming 56-yarder, which Prescott "had all faith" the veteran kicker would make. 

More important over the course of the game was a revived Dallas rushing attack after the team ran just 18 times for 60 yards at Tampa Bay. 

The Cowboys more than tripled that yardage total on Sunday, going for 198 on 31 carries as Tony Pollard ran for 109 yards while averaging 8.4 per rush and Ezekiel Elliott piled up 71 yards, with both backs finding the end zone. 

"It started with the offensive line," Prescott said. "They came out and they set the tone, they were physical. That allowed both of those backs to get going. Those guys hit the holes and just allowed us to be balanced.

"That's what we said, after last game -- we're gonna do whatever it takes to win, whether it's throwing a lot, run and a lot or be balanced. Tonight, it took all of that to get it done."

Related items

  • Roethlisberger reflects with pride on Steelers career and 2021 season despite Chiefs defeat Roethlisberger reflects with pride on Steelers career and 2021 season despite Chiefs defeat

    Ben Roethlisberger reflected with pride on an 18-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers as he looks ahead to the next chapter.

    There was to be no magical ending for Roethlisberger as Pittsburgh fell to a 42-21 reverse against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card round on Sunday.

    The Steelers quarterback threw for 215 yards and two touchdowns on 29-of-44 passing, but he also had to watch Patrick Mahomes' brilliance cut open his side and end their postseason bid.

    While Roethlisberger has not specifically said he is retiring, he hinted at as much after bidding a tearful farewell to Heinz Field following a Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns.

    On Sunday, the two-time Super Bowl winner, who has donned the Steelers' black and gold for his entire career, spoke glowingly of his time in Pittsburgh as he looked back on his time with the franchise.

    He said post-game: "Yeah it's tough, but I'm proud to play with these guys. God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city, in Pittsburgh, with the greatest fans and the greatest football team and players. 

    "And it has just been truly a blessing, and I'm so thankful to him for the opportunity that he's given me.

    "Just a bunch of guys that fought for each other, that fought their butts off and just competed. It wasn't always pretty, but there are a lot of games that we found a way. 

    "I'm so proud of this group of men and the way they fight for each other, for the black and gold, for our fans. It's just been an honour to play with them."

    Roethlisberger's opposite number Mahomes finished with 404 passing yards and five touchdowns, and the veteran heaped praise on his fellow quarterback, who will next face the Buffalo Bills.

    Mahomes responded in kind as he congratulated Roethlisberger on his Hall of Fame career.

    "[He is] a tremendous player that I have a ton of respect for – the way he plays the game, the competitor that he is," Mahomes said. 

    "He's won Super Bowls. He's a guy that I've watched growing up, and I have a ton of respect for him. That's what I told him, that if this is his last game, he did it the right way."

    Roethlisberger is now hoping this Steelers team can carry on the legacy he has left behind.

    "I've been here a long time, and it's been a lot of fun," Roethlisberger added. 

    "Like I said, God has blessed me. We joke about the Browns and going there [in the NFL Draft], but it was meant to be that I was going to wear black and gold. Draft day I had a black suit on with a gold tie.

    "I'm just so thankful. I hope that I'm able to pass the legacy of what it is to be a Steeler from Dan Rooney. We all miss him, anyone that knew him misses him. 

    "Hopefully I can pass some of that on to some of the guys and they can continue the tradition of what it means to be a Steeler and get passed down.

    "Whenever you get a bunch of new guys, once you start to lose some of the old regime if you will, you've got to find ways to pass it down. 

    "And we've got some guys in there that will continue to do that. I gave Cam [Heyward] a big hug and told him it's on him now. It's his job to pass it down and to keep teaching and holding guys to the Pittsburgh standard."

    As Roethlisberger prepares for whatever the next challenge is that is thrown his way, he remains thankful for the opportunities he has had, including the Steelers' improbable progression to the playoffs following a dramatic end to the regular season.

    "We thought last week was going to be the end," he continued. "We didn't know what was going to happen and God blessed me to play another football game. 

    "It didn't end the way we wanted it to. But it's a blessing to be able to play this game. I try and tell those guys how lucky we are that we get to play football for a living. We need to count our blessings and understand how lucky we are. 

    "We're out there getting beat up and this and that, but we get to entertain millions of fans and throw, catch, run, do what we've all done as kids. That's our job and when we say our prayers thank God for that.

    "I don't know if it's emotional because it's the end of the season. I mean, this would be emotional no matter what. We never like to lose and go out and I'll miss these guys. It'll probably really hit me come training camp time."

  • 'I was very confident it was done, I was just nervous' – Shanahan admits to brief doubt amid chaotic 49ers-Cowboys finish 'I was very confident it was done, I was just nervous' – Shanahan admits to brief doubt amid chaotic 49ers-Cowboys finish

    Confusion reigned at the end of the San Francisco 49ers' dramatic Wild Card victory over the Dallas Cowboys, but Kyle Shanahan only had a brief doubt his team would have to face a Hail Mary in a bizarre finish.

    The Niners controlled the game and held a Dallas offense that had averaged over 400 yards per game in the regular season to just 307 in their 23-17 success.

    Yet San Francisco gave the Cowboys a chance to complete a remarkable comeback with 32 seconds left after their failure to execute a quarterback sneak on fourth and inches turned possession back to Dallas.

    The Cowboys promptly drove to San Francisco's 41-yard line in just three plays, before a bemusing play call from Dallas to run the ball with quarterback Dak Prescott despite having no timeouts sealed the game for the Niners.

    Prescott and the Dallas offense frantically tried to get set up to spike the ball to stop the clock and prevent time from expiring. However, Prescott handed the ball to center Tyler Biadasz to spot the ball.

    NFL rules state the ball must be spotted by an official and umpire Ramon George ran in to do just that, colliding with Prescott and Biadasz in the process and leading to a delay that prevented Prescott from spiking it before the clock hit triple zeros, meaning the 49ers never had to face a Hail Mary from the 24-yard line that could have settled a thrilling contest in the Cowboys' favour.

    Shanahan and the Niners strode onto the field in celebration after time ran out, with the Niners head coach admitting to brief concern time would be put back on the clock.

    "I thought it was over because I saw it live," Shanahan said. "I was very confident it was done. I was just nervous.

    "Sometimes when you're real confident you think you see it right. Sometimes it changes. So you're never fully sure until they let you know."

    Explaining the false start from tackle Trent Williams that kept the game alive and negated a successful quarterback sneak from Jimmy Garoppolo, Shanahan added: "We just shifted to an unbalanced [line].

    "It was on the silent count and it was quarterback sneak all the way, but Jimmy got really excited because of the look. Didn't let Trent get set. He's got to let him get set.

    "It ended up not being a problem, though it would have been a struggle to answer that one if it was."

    The Niners will next face the top-seeded Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Saturday in a rematch of a Week 3 encounter in which the Packers prevailed on a last-second field goal after some late Aaron Rodgers heroics.

    "I'm sure I'll be thinking a lot about it here on the plane," Shanahan said. "But they've had a hell of a year. I'm glad we get an opportunity to go up against them again.

    "They've been unbelievable. So, we'll rest up here. We'll enjoy this plane ride, and we'll get back to work right when we land."

  • 'Tough to accept' - Prescott thought he spiked ball in time in wild finish to Cowboys loss 'Tough to accept' - Prescott thought he spiked ball in time in wild finish to Cowboys loss

    Dak Prescott felt he had spiked the ball in time to get one more shot at a game-winning touchdown in a bizarre ending to their Wild Card round defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

    Prescott and a Cowboys offense that led the NFL in yards per game was frustrated by an excellent performance from San Francisco's defense as Dallas suffered a 23-17 upset loss.

    In a rollercoaster finish, the 49ers appeared to have clinched the game with a fourth-down quarterback sneak from Jimmy Garoppolo, however, a false start penalty negated that play and allowed the Cowboys to gain possession with 32 seconds left. 

    They efficiently moved down to San Francisco's 41-yard line in three plays but the Cowboys then inexplicably called a quarterback run play with Prescott despite having no timeouts.

    That set up a mad dash to spike the ball and prevent time from expiring, however, Prescott handed the ball to center Tyler Biadasz to spot the ball. NFL rules state the ball must be spotted by an official and umpire Ramon George ran in to do just that, colliding with Prescott and Biadasz in the process and leading to a delay that prevented Prescott from spiking it before the clock hit triple zeros, meaning a potential game-winning Hail Mary never came to fruition.

    "I thought I did [spike the ball in time],” Prescott said. "I didn't hear what the ref said, what their announcement was. I just saw them running off the field and the Niners running on the field and celebrating, so understood what had happened.

    "We were going to get some yards and get down and clock it. It's something we've practiced over and over again. Ran. Went and got some yards. Went down. As I was getting behind Tyler, saw four seconds left. I thought there was obviously time to make sure everybody was set, and then honestly, just got hit from behind. Still, when I got up [under center], I saw two seconds. I thought I could get the snap and get it down before time expired. I'm not sure what happened other than that."

    In his pool report after the game, referee Alex Kemp insisted umpire George had done everything correctly in spotting the ball.

    Prescott added: "We've practiced it. You hand it to the center. The umpire, all he has to do is usually come in and tap the ball. Yeah, I mean, don't necessarily know exactly why the hit happened, I guess. I knew he was going to come in and touch the ball. You can say, yeah, he needs to be closer to the ball or whatever. In hindsight, just tough. Yeah, tough to accept.”

    "I'd like to get a play off, knowing everything that happened, thinking that I spiked the ball in time,” Prescott said. "I mean with the official getting in the way of the play as well. Tough. Tough. Just tough."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.