Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott was facing a lot of heat entering the postseason this year. He laid a dud against the Washington Commanders in Week 18, entering the playoffs with as little positive momentum as any team in the field of 14.
Despite playing in only 12 games during the regular season because an injury cost him five, Dak Prescott led the NFL with 15 interceptions during the regular season. He threw at least one in seven straight games entering the postseason and had five games this season in which he threw two.
That loss had a lot of people thinking that the Cowboys were ripe for an upset during Super Wild Card Weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Who could blame them? The game against Washington was just the most recent in a string of shaky performances by Dak Prescott.
Despite the poor form that the Cowboys’ offense was entering the postseason in, the script was flipped against the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football. Dallas looked like a well-oiled machine despite going up against a Tampa Bay defense that ranked ninth in the regular season in passing yardage allowed.
That didn’t stop Dak Prescott from putting together not only the best game in his career, but one of the best in NFL postseason history. He completed 25-of-33 passes for 305 yards and four touchdowns, snapping his interception streak in the process as he didn’t throw one. He also ran the ball seven times for 24 yards and another score.
That performance put him in elite company. According to NFL Research, Dak Prescott is only the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to throw for 4+ touchdowns and rush for 1+ touchdowns in a playoff game.
The other three were Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan. Dak Prescott is also the first Cowboy in franchise history with five total touchdowns in a single playoff game.
That is certainly one way to quiet all of the doubters that Dak Prescott has. His performance was a masterful one, leading Dallas into the Divisional Round. If he can come close to replicating that level of play against the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys will be a live underdog once again.